Golf Coach Leaving School
Prange set to leave Purdue by early summer.
Feb. 17, 1998
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Bob Prange, head golf coach and director of golf operations at Purdue University for the last four years, will leave the position later this academic year.
Prange, who has held the Purdue job since 1994, said today his resignation will be effective on or about June 30, 1998, the last day of the current fiscal year.
"I've had an outstanding experience at Purdue," Prange said. "Coaching the men's and women's teams has been an exciting challenge, and being involved in the design and creation of the new Kampen Course was the opportunity of a lifetime. However, the position here demands a tremendous amount of administrative work, which will increase with the upgrading of our facilities.
"At this point in my career, looking into the future," Prange added, "I want to increase my hands-on involvement in the game of golf, and I think a private club or a good public course may be the best place for me, though I won't discount a coaching or teaching position in the future."
Prange said he decided to announce the decision now in order to allow plenty of time for Purdue to find a successor and for him to identify a new position before the golf season begins.
"With the new course scheduled to open during the summer, this is the ideal time for the university to hire a new director," he said. "Whoever gets the job will be taking over a first-class operation and starting with a clean slate."
Morgan Burke, director of intercollegiate athletics, said Prange's impact on the golf operation will be felt for a long time. "During Bob's tenure, significant improvements were made at our golf complex and financially he restored their viability by eliminating the deficit he inherited and ensuring the courses paid for themselves," Burke said.
As director of golf operations, Prange has been in charge of Purdue's Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, which includes two 18-hole courses and a driving range. He also coaches both the men's and women's varsity golf teams.
The athletic and academic performance of both golf teams has improved under his direction," Burke continued. "We respect his decision and appreciate his desire to more tightly focus his efforts by reducing the administrative demands on his time," Burke added. "The timing of this announcement will allow for an orderly transition and we wish Bob and Sara the very best in the future. I'm asking Nancy Cross (Assistant Athletic Director) to initiate a search for Bob's successor and Pete Dye (world-famous golf course designer) has agreed to assist in the identification of candidates." - more -
The Kampen Course (formerly the North Course) has been under construction since the fall of 1996 and will reopen this summer. The new 7,500-yard layout was developed by Dye and is expected to be one of the best university golf courses in the country.
Under Prange's management, the Ackerman Hills Course (formerly the South Course) also has undergone an upgrade including installation of a state-of-the-art irrigation system and improvements to tees and greens. Other improvements to the complex include a scheduled renovation to the driving range; a new clubhouse, now under construction; a new pavilion for group outings; and a new cart barn.
Prange was formerly the head golf professional at Rolling Hills Country Club in Newburgh, Ind. Prior to that position, he served as head pro at a variety of private and daily fee/resort courses in Arizona, Texas, California and Wisconsin. Prange also has been associated with the John Jacobs' Golf Schools as a staff instructor and has headed up their schools in Arizona and New York.
He instructed several members of the Arizona State men's golf team, including Phil Mickelson, who won the NCAA championship in 1992.
Prange graduated from Greenfield, Ind., High School in 1969. He was the golf team's Most Valuable Player four straight years and was the Indianapolis Junior Champion in 1968. He also played varsity basketball three years.
He attended Edison Junior College in Fort Myers, Fla., from 1969 through '71 where he earned all-state honors and was district champion in 1971. Interestingly, he was current PGA star Fuzzy Zoeller's roommate.
Prange then attended Ball State from 1972 through '73 and was the Cardinals' team captain as a senior. He twice competed in the NCAA Championships and earned a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1973. Prange was Indianapolis City Champion in 1971 and 1973, and a semifinalist in the state amateur championship and Indianapolis District Champion in 1972. He also attended Purdue in the spring of 1975 and studied turf management in the Department of Agronomy.
After turning professional, Prange played on the Asian Tour in 1976, in the Greater Milwaukee Open in 1978 and '79, in the San Diego Open in 1981 and in the Los Angeles Open in 1982. He was a qualifier for the National Club Professional Tournament in 1980 and '86.