Joe Meloy had simply been employed as director of counseling companies on the Milwaukee Faculty of Engineering in 1976 when Len VandenBoom, then the baseball coach and de facto athletic director, advised him that the small, personal college was going to begin a males’s golf workforce.
VandenBoom needed Meloy to teach the workforce.
“I mentioned, ‘Why me?’” Meloy mentioned. “And he mentioned, ‘As a result of you possibly can beat all people right here.’ So I mentioned, ‘OK, I am going to do it. What do I’ve to do? ‘
“He mentioned, ‘I do not know. You are the coach. ‘”
So started Meloy’s 46-year profession as MSOE’s coach. From these humble beginnings – one in every of his gamers di lui shot 120 in a event that first 12 months – Meloy solid a document highlighted by 15 convention titles and berths within the NCAA Division III Males’s Golf Championships in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Meloy, 71, stepped down as coach in August, three years after retiring because the college’s director of counseling companies. Rick Leslie, who performed for Meloy and graduated MSOE in 1993, takes over this system.
Because the dean of school golf coaches in Wisconsin, Meloy has one million tales and enjoys telling them. He punctuates them with a hoarse chuckle that’s each distinctive and contagious. Simply attempt not laughing together with him when he says one thing humorous, which is commonly.
“I obtained a lesson from Manuel (de la Torre) one time,” Meloy mentioned of the late trainer at Milwaukee Nation Membership. “I used to take these massive divots, particularly with wedges. So he comes over and says, ‘What do you wish to do?’ I mentioned, ‘I might prefer to hit somewhat draw.’ He mentioned, ‘Why do you wish to try this?’ I mentioned, ‘I do not know.’ He mentioned, ‘Do not you wish to hit it straight?’ “
Meloy was a high quality participant in his day. He performed on the College of Wisconsin workforce for one 12 months, completed runner-up to Archie Dadian within the inaugural WSGA Match Play Championship in 1975 and gained a Milwaukee District Match Play title, beating Mark Bemowski within the semifinals and Tom Stouthamer within the ultimate.
“I used to be a 1 (handicap) at one level in my life; now I am a 20, ”he mentioned. “I am unable to hit it anyplace. At 60, I began going to hell. I had hip (alternative) surgical procedure in 2013 and I used to be in ache earlier than that and I most likely modified my swing.
“Lastly, I moved to the senior tees, the way-up tees. I shot back-to-back 85s, one was at Brown Deer, one was at Blue Mound. And I mentioned, ‘That is extra enjoyable.’ I can get on some greens. I’ve putts for birdies. Do not get me fallacious, I nonetheless make my 7s, but it surely’s extra enjoyable. “
Meloy “recruited” gamers for his first workforce at MSOE by printing notices on a mimeograph machine – look it up, youngsters – and posting them round campus.
“I held a workforce assembly,” he mentioned. “On the time, plenty of the fellows who confirmed up have been on the GI Invoice. They appreciated to play golf. They weren’t superb. “
Meloy acquired some steerage early on from Steve Stephens, then the coach at UW-Parkside, and the Raiders began getting invited to tournaments run by colleges in what was then the Wisconsin State College Convention.
It wasn’t lengthy earlier than they have been aggressive. The Milwaukee Faculty of Engineering has a built-in recruiting benefit in that any golfer who desires to attend a smaller college and research engineering is prone to take into account MSOE. The blue-chip recruit goes to go to Oklahoma State or Stanford, however Meloy has been in a position to land loads of good gamers over time.
“These days, you get youngsters who can play,” he mentioned. “They’re good youngsters. However generally they’ll change into too mechanical. I inform them, ‘There is a really feel to this sport, too.’ They have the correct amount of OCD to be a very good engineer. “
From 1983 via 2009, the Raiders by no means completed worse than third within the Lake Michigan Convention, the Northern Athletic Convention and, extra lately, the Northern Athletics Collegiate Convention.
Amongst his high gamers lately have been Dane Zachman and 2022 graduate Garrett Schultz. Zachman gained the 2011 NAC particular person title by 10 strokes and was the convention’s participant of the 12 months. He additionally gained the 2019 Wisconsin Par-3 Championship. Schultz was medalist in three tournaments as a senior and completed second within the 2021 NACC Fall Championships.
“Garrett has became an amazing participant,” Meloy mentioned. “I made him be part of the Brown Deer Males’s Membership. First occasion, he shoots 67. Everyone is like, ‘Who is that this child?’ He simply gained the membership championship at Brown Deer, too. He is a participant. He gained three of his final 4 tournaments within the spring. Spectacular.
“He is working now. I mentioned, ‘Your sport will go to hell.’ “
MSOE’s roster this 12 months consists of gamers Meloy recruited from California, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois and Spain. The Raiders opened this season with an eighth-place end within the 21-team Edgewood Faculty Fall Traditional and completed ninth within the 14-team Wisconsin Lutheran Faculty Fall Invitational.
Meloy has stepped apart now, however you do not want an engineering diploma to acknowledge what he constructed.