Jay Loar enters his 12th year as head coach of the SMU men's golf team having firmly established SMU as one of the nation's top golf programs.
The 2009 season saw SMU finish as Conference USA runners-up and saw two Mustangs, Kelly Kraft and James Kwon, earn All-C-USA honors and NCAA Regional invites. Over the summer, three `Stangs qualified for the U.S. Amateur and ground was broken on the new SMU Payne Stewart Golf Learning Center at the Dallas Athletic Club (DAC).
In 2008, Loar again led SMU to the NCAA Regionals and had another golfer, Kelly Kraft, named PING All-Region. Loar coached Kraft to an outstanding first season on the Hilltop, with the Denton, Texas, native earning Conference USA Newcomer of the Year honors. Kraft and sophomore Ben Tewes were also each named second-team All-C-USA performers.
In 2007, Loar guided Colt Knost to PING Division I All-America honors, as he became SMU's first All-American since Will Dodson was tabbed an honorable mention All-American in 2004-05. Knost earned All-South Central Region honors and was the 2007 Conference USA Golfer of the Year. He qualified for the EDS Byron Nelson Championship and became the first amateur since 1993 to make the cut following a scorching round of 64 during day two of the PGA event. Following the season, Knost was named to the Walker Cup team and was ranked as the No. 1 amateur golfer in the world following his wins at the 2007 U.S. Amateur Championship and the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Knost was the sixth golfer in history to win two USGA championships in the same season and just the second to win the Amateur and the Amateur Public Links in the same year.
In 2006, SMU captured its third-straight conference title as the Mustangs won their first Conference USA crown. SMU won conference titles as a member of the Western Athletic Conference in 2004 and 2005 and back-to-back Southwest Conference crowns in 1955 and 1956, but had never won three straight championships. SMU finished the Championship at 19-under 845, the fifth-best 54-hole team score in school history, and the final-round 276 tied for the lowest team round score in C-USA Championship history. Loar guided Will Dodson to his second straight individual league championship and had two golfers - Brandon DeStefano and Colt Knost - named All-C-USA.
Following the 2006 season, SMU was named the 16th-best overall golf program in America by Golf Digest.
For his outstanding work, Loar has twice been named conference Coach of the Year and was honored as the GCAA South Central Region Coach of the Year in 2004.
Since Coach Loar initiated his coaching philosophy of empowering each player through positive reinforcement and building self-esteem, the SMU men's golf program has produced seven All-Americans, two United States Amateur Champions, a USGA Pub-Links semi-finalist and champion and three NCAA Scholastic All-Americans.
Loar believes that accomplishment and success are more meaningful when shared with others. He has worked diligently to bring the SMU alumni, former players, corporate supporters, and the golfing community together to support the SMU program through Friends of Men's Golf and the Payne Stewart Cup.
"As head coach, I have a single focus and purpose - to turn the SMU men's golf program into a perennial powerhouse and to bring NCAA Championships to SMU and the Dallas community," said Loar.
For the past nine seasons, Loar has held responsibilities of Director of Golf and Head Coach for SMU men's golf. Prior to that, Loar served as SMU's men's head coach for three years.
Loar has been dedicated to coaching his family as well as SMU's players. His son Nicholas played under Loar at SMU, and at the same time, he continued to support his son Edward, a four-time All-American at Oklahoma State. Loar was named Golfweek's Father of the Year in 1999.
Loar has also been involved with his own sports and human development company, Building Champions, for the past nine years. Building Champions specializes in helping people understand themselves better, building high self esteem and developing strong mental skills for life and competition -- skills Loar thinks will help every student-athlete in the SMU golf program to be successful, and skills he now is able to focus on with each player.