NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Iona College Director of Athletics Rick Cole Jr. announced the appointment of Chris Merce as head coach of the golf program. Merce - the department’s coordinator of academics - served as the squad's lead assistant a season ago. Former head coach Matthew Glovaski is stepping aside to continue his growing duties as Senior Associate AD for Internal Affairs within the athletics department.
"I'm excited that Chris will be leading our golf program going forward," said Cole. "He has great passion, knowledge and experience in the game that will help us continue to compete at the top of the conference and build to win a championship."
"I also want to thank Matt for his six years of guidance over the program," Cole stated. "His hard work has shown in the great results the team has produced over the past few seasons."
"I'm very honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead the Iona golf program," said Merce. "I would like to thank Rick for allowing me this opportunity and also thank Matt for bringing me into the Iona family this past year as assistant coach. The culture that he has developed at Iona during his tenure will be a big part of our success going forward, both on and off the golf course."
"I am extremely grateful for my time as head coach at Iona," said Glovaski. "These last six years have represented a very special time for me. I want to thank all of my players and alumni for the hard work, dedication and commitment they have given the program during my time as head coach."
"I am very proud of the many accomplishments the team has archived and believe the program is in a great position to be successful in years to come," continued Glovaski. "I am excited to begin this new chapter in my professional career and will continue to watch and support the Iona golf program as it flourishes under Chris."
Merce joined the Iona College athletics staff as coordinator of academics in August 2012 and shortly thereafter joined the coaching staff of the golf team. Prior to joining Iona, Merce spent five seasons as the assistant golf coach at Saint Peter's, where he played from 2004-08. Merce was named to the MAAC All-Academic Team on three occasions as a student-athlete.
While an assistant with the Peacocks, Merce helped the program reach new heights, including a second place finish at the 2012 MAAC Championship, the highest finish in program history.
During the 2011-12 season, Saint Peter's picked up its first tournament victory since 2000 in addition to five runner-up finishes during the season. Merce mentored a trio of All-MAAC honorees at Saint Peter's and helped the Peacocks lead the conference All-Academic Team selections in 2011 and 2012.
As a player at Saint Peter's, Merce led the team in scoring in each of his four seasons, winning individual medalist honors at five events during his career.
Since ending his collegiate career, Merce has continued to play in the Westchester area, finishing in the Top 25 in the Westchester Golf Association Player of the Year Standings in 2009, 2010 and 2012. He is a two-time Westchester Golf Association Public Links Champion and the 2010 Westchester County Publinks Champion. He was the runner-up at the 2011 Westchester Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship and has qualified and competed at the MGA Ike Championship, MGA/MetLife Public Links Championship, Westchester Open and New York City Amateur Championship.
The Gaels begin the season on Aug. 20 when they travel across the Atlantic for the 2013 University College Dublin-Iona College Invitational in Ireland.