In his 23rd season coaching and teaching golf at Northwestern, world renowned short-game instructor and life-long Wildcat Pat Goss continues to be one of the college games' top mentors. Now serving NU as its Director of Golf and Player Development with oversight of both the men's and women's programs in addition to day-to-day student-athlete golf instruction, Goss has helped build both teams into Big Ten and national powers.
Goss transferred to Northwestern as a student-athlete in 1991 and joined the coaching staff soon after the conclusion of his playing career. In 1997 -- after four years as an assistant coach -- he was named head coach of the men's team, adding the title of Director of Golf in 2007. Following 18 seasons at the helm, Goss was elevated to Director of Golf and Player Development in the summer of 2014, selecting his current NU assistant David Inglis to succeed him as head coach of the men's program.
In February of 2007, Goss achieved one of his sport's highest honors, being named one of Golf Magazine's "Top 100 Teachers in America" before being named the Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year in 2012. Goss has written instructional articles for Golf Magazine and Golf Digest, appeared on Golf Academy Live and, most recently, appeared in a CBS Sports Special on PGA Professionals in May of 2011.
Goss emphasizes teaching and that coaching trait has been recognized nationally by numerous publications. In 2002, Golfweek tabbed him as one of its 40 individuals under the age of 40 who have an impact in the golf industry.
At Northwestern, his accomplishments include four Big Ten titles (1999-2001, 2006) and seven top-30 NCAA national finishes in the last 16 years. These achievements have solidified Northwestern as one of the nation's top programs, and perhaps the elite program in the Midwest. In the Golf Digest "College Golf Guide," Northwestern is ranked 30th among all schools nationally and is the top program for schools in the northern and northeastern half of the country.
Already a four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001), Goss' Wildcats have won four Big Ten team crowns (1999, 2000, 2001 and 2006) and five individual Big Ten Championships in that time (Luke Donald, 2000 and 2001; Chris Wilson, 2006; Eric Chun, 2009; David Lipsky, 2010). In addition, NU has won 35 tournament titles in Goss' tenure, including capturing three-consecutive Big Ten Match Play Championship titles from 2010-12. NU has won multiple times in the same year under Goss in 10 different seasons, most recently in 2013-14 when it captured the Windon Memorial Classic and the Rod Myers Invitational.
Under Goss, the Wildcat program has consistently been ranked among the nation's best, year-in and year-out. Northwestern has made 16 appearances in the last 19 NCAA Championships, the last 14 under Goss. In a Golfweek study (Sagarin average) performed at the beginning of last decade, Northwestern's program was ranked 25th nationally for a six-year period (2000-05).
In 1997, Golfweek tabbed Goss as its National Coach of the Year after guiding the Wildcats to their first of four straight top-20 NCAA finishes. The 1999 Big Ten title was Northwestern's first since 1948.
In 1998-99, Goss' troops took third at the NCAA Championships with Luke Donald becoming Northwestern's first NCAA golf champion. Donald, a four-time All-American, and Jess Daley, another Wildcat All-American, both earned their PGA TOUR cards in December 2001. Goss still serves as short game coach for Donald, who became the world's No. 1-ranked golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking following his win at the 2011 BMW PGA Championship in Europe. Tom Johnson, a 2004 graduate, earned his PGA TOUR card in December of 2006 and Chris Wilson, a 2007 grad, won his PGA TOUR card during Q school in 2009 before earning a berth in the 2011 U.S. Open through local and sectional qualifying. 2011 graduate David Lipsky won the 2012 Asian Tour Qualification School to earn his card on that circuit, where he won his third-ever professional event, the HANDA Faldo Cambodian Classic. In 2014, Lipsky captured the Omega European Masters to earn his European Tour card.
The success on the course also has carried over into the classroom. In the 50 academic quarters that Goss has been in charge, his Wildcats have boasted at least a 3.0 team grade point average in 43 of them.
In addition, Wildcats routinely have earned GCAA Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar honors in recent years, totaling 18 such awards in Goss' tenure. The accolade combines criteria comprised of skill level, grade point average and moral character.
Upon assuming duties as interim head coach in February 1997, Goss guided NU to a runner-up finish at the Dr. Pepper Intercollegiate Championships in Pottsboro, Texas. The next weekend, the Wildcats won the Marshall Invitational in Huntington, W. Va., the school's first tournament title since 1993. Just prior to the Big Ten Championships, the interim tag was lifted and Goss was named head coach.
In Goss' first season at the helm, the Wildcats qualified for the NCAA Championships. It was a special moment for the team and Goss as Northwestern also was the host school for the tournament.
Playing in front of a purple-filled gallery, the Wildcats shocked many by leading the NCAA Championships after both the first and second rounds. NU entered the final day in second place and finished seventh, its highest finish since '43.
In 2006, Goss helped bring the Big Ten Championships back to Chicagoland after a 50-year hiatus. The wait was worth it as Northwestern staged perhaps the best conference championship while also sweeping the team and individual titles. Northwestern went on to finish second at the NCAA Central Regional Championships and earn another NCAA national championships berth.
Goss spent four-plus seasons as the Wildcats' assistant coach prior to his promotion to the head coaching position. He is a PGA Class "A" member. In 1995, he spent four months as the teaching professional at El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico.
Goss has former players who have played on the PGA Tour, European Tour, Nationwide Tour, Asian Tour, PGA Tour China, Canadian Tour, NGA Hooters Tour, Golfweek National Pro Tour and Gateway Tour. He has coached two active Wildcats to berths in Major Championships, with Dillon Dougherty earning a spot in the 2005 Masters and Eric Chun qualifying for the 2010 British Open.
The native of Crystal Lake, Ill., spent the first two years of his collegiate playing career at Marshall University before transferring to Northwestern in 1991. He received his bachelor's degree in economics from Northwestern in 1992.
Goss is a two-time GCAA District Four Coach of the Year (1997, 1999). In addition, he served on the District IV Advisory Committee from 1998-2000, and as its chairman in 2000. He currently is serving on the board of the First Tee of Chicago.
He and his wife, Lindy, have three children: Allison, Claire and Madeline. The Goss family lives in Evanston.