Long Beach State breaking new ground
When the fall season ended, Long Beach State was not among the top 50 teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings.
That was hardly any big surprise.
After all, since these rankings began in the 1999-2000 season, the 49ers never have finished within the top 50. Their best, in fact, was No. 72 in the rankings’ inaugural season.
Over the past seven seasons, Long Beach State has finished in the top 100 only once, at No. 85 in 2005-06.
Over the past four years, however, the 49ers have shown slow, steady improvement under the guidance of three coaches: Bill Poutre, who helped lay the groundwork for the current program before leaving after the 2010-11 season and becoming assistant coach at Boston College; Ryan Ressa, who took the reins in the fall of 2011 before resigning to take a position with TaylorMade-Adidas Golf last fall; and Mickey Yokoi, who was named head coach in December after 14 years with the men’s and women’s programs at Arizona State.
Now, in what many might consider a surprise, the 49ers are ranked among the top 50 – actually, make it the top 40 – holding down the No. 37 spot.
“It’s not me at all,” Yokoi said about the team’s success this season. “It’s these players. They’ve all been playing well. They’re doing the right things to be successful. We haven’t played against that many (highly) ranked teams, but they’ve done extremely well against the competition they have faced. They’re really doing an excellent job.”