|Alma Mater:||New York University|
Rich Mueller took the helm of Columbia's golf program in August 2005. While also serving as Director of Golf, Mueller has shaped the Columbia golf program into a perennial Ivy League power. In his 12 years as Director of Golf at Columbia, he has led the Lions to five Ivy League team championships (four on the men’s side, one in women’s), three individual Ivy League champions or Ivy League Player of the Year award-winners, five NCAA postseason team appearances and tutored 25 All-Ivy League golfers.
Last year, first-year Jeremy Perna became the first Columbia men’s golfer to earn Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors. Perna, along with senior Mert Selamet both earned All-Ivy League accolades, while senior Arjuna Anday and Selamet took home GCAA All-American Scholar awards. The Lions finished seventh at the Ivy League Championships.
In 2015-16, Mueller saw three Lions earn postseason awards. Harrison Shih was named the Ivy League Player of the Year after finishing the season with the lowest scoring average in program history (dating back to 1993-94) with a 72.00. The senior rounded out his career with six top-10 finishes and qualified for the U.S. Amateur in the summer of 2015. Junior Mert Selamet was named a first team All-Ivy League selection after finishing in a fourth place tie at the 2016 Ivy League Championships, while posting a 76-77-71--224 (+8) in the three-day event. Earlier in the year, Selamet was able to card his first career hole-in-one in the opening round of the Princeton Invitational on April 9. Junior Christopher Chu picked up a second team All-Ivy League honor after finishing in a tie for 10th place at the Ivy League Championships. Highlighting the season was an impressive performance at The Desert Shootout as the Lions went on to post a 283-291-280--854 (-10) in the spring-season opener to mark the best 54-hole score relative to par in program history.
Columbia rounded out the 2015 season with a fourth place finish at the Ivy League Championship as Selamet led the way for the Lions, earning his first-career All-Ivy League accolades after carding a 77-71-77—225 (+9) to finish tied for seventh with second-team honors. The Lions also continued their storied success early in the season with a first-place finish at the Tuxedo Autumn Invitational where they bested second-place Hofstra by eight strokes on Sept. 27. The 2015 squad also saw success off the golf course as it was named recognized by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) for its academic achievement over the course of the year, marking the Lions as one of only five schools in the Ivy League to earn the honor in 2015.
The Lions roared to its fourth Ivy League Championship in the previous seven years in 2014, in one of the best performances at Baltusrol Golf Club. Columbia's second round score of 276 marked the third-best round in program history and catapulted the Lions to first place, keeping Yale at a distance through the final round for a 12-stroke victory. Brandon Jowers and Harrison Shih captured first team All-Ivy accolades, while Tharusyan Pillay took home second team honors. Columbia's 2014 season was full of team accomplishments. In addition to the 276 from the Ivy League Championship, Columbia shot a 274 at The Doc Gimmler and a 275 at the 2014 Desert Shootout for the three lowest rounds in program history. The Lions also won two tournaments for the first time since 2005-06, winning the Wildcat Invitational hosted by Villanova and the Ivy League Championship.
Columbia claimed fourth at the 2013 Ivy League Championship, getting second team All-Ivy League performances from sophomore Brandon Jowers and first-year Harrison Shih. As a team, the Lions twice finished in the top-five of tournaments, while recording five individual top-10 showings.
The Lions took third place at the 2012 Ivy League Championship, just missing out on a possible three-team playoff by three strokes. Then-junior Michael Yiu placed second individually and earned first team All-Ivy League honors. The Lions posted five top-three team showings in 2011-12.
The 2010-11 squad made second-round and third-round surges up the leaderboard at the Ivy League Championship to finish in second place. Then-junior Brendan Doyle took third place and earned first team All-Ivy League honors. Then-senior Clark Granum tied for seventh and garnered second team all-conference honors. Granum and Yiu were named to the NCAA Division I PING All-Region Team. Granum and Doyle were also named GCAA Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars.
In 2009-10, Columbia roared to its third conference championship in as many years. Granum fired a final-round 67 at the famed Baltusrol Golf Course in Springfield, N.J., and helped the Lions hold on for a three-stroke victory. Granum tied for the low score by an individual through 54 holes and was named a first team All-Ivy League honoree for the third straight season. Doyle and Yiu garnered second-team accolades. Granum was also named to the NCAA Division I PING All-Northeast Region Team and he was tabbed a GCAA Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar.
In 2008-09, the Lions battled back from a three-stroke deficit on the event’s final day to claim their second straight Ivy League Championship. Coincidentally, Mueller’s team advanced to the NCAA Northeast Regional, which Columbia hosted at Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway, NJ. Doyle, a first-year in 2008-09, was named to the Division I PING All-Northeast Region Team. Also successful off the course, the 2008-09 and 2009-10 Lions squads were named a GCAA All-American Academic Team with cumulative GPAs above 3.2.
In the 2007-08 campaign, Mueller finally guided the men’s program to its first Ivy League championship since 1999 and first-ever NCAA postseason appearance. The Lions overcame a small stroke deficit in the final round to eventually win by nine strokes.
In 2006-07, Mueller’s team succumbed to six-shot lead in the final round of the Ivy League Championship to finish third. However, Mueller coached then junior Chris Condello, to Columbia’s first-ever individual golf title. Condello, who turned professional, went on later that spring to qualify for 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont.
The 2005-06 season was his highly-successful first year for Mueller at Columbia, as the golf program won three tournaments and he was honored as the 2006 Mid-Atlantic Regional Coach of the Year by the Golf Coaches Association of America. The men’s team also posted its then-best finish at the Ivy League Championships since 1999, finishing a stroke behind Princeton for second place. In an interesting twist to the tournament’s conclusion, on the final hole, on the final day in the final pairing, Mueller, unearthed a Princeton player’s lost ball, which, if not found would have cost the Tigers their title. Sports Illustrated documented the gesture of sportsmanship in their May 2006 issue.
Mueller arrived at Morningside Heights after spending five years as the head golf coach at his alma mater New York University, where he led the program to its first two NCAA Championship appearances in 2004 and 2005. The Violets finished a best-ever 21st in 2005, after a 23rd-place finish in 2004. For his efforts, Mueller was named the University Athletic Association Coach of the Year in 2004 and was selected as the Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2005 by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).
Mueller’s student-athletes have also succeeded away from the course. Thus far he has produced 15 GCAA Academic-All Americans -- including Granum, Columbia’s first-ever honoree -- and seven Academic All-Ivy League student-athletes.
A Class A PGA professional, Mueller is also a member of the GCAA, USGA, and the AJGA. He has served on the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Committee GCAA All-America Scholar, NCAA Division III Men’s Golf and the ECAC Division III men’s golf committees. An active participant in the Metropolitan Section of the PGA, Mueller is currently ranked 103rd in Section’s Points and Money List. He has competed on the assistant’s tour as well as in USGA and PGA sanctioned events.
A 1999 graduate of NYU and a four-year member of the Violets’ golf team, Mueller received the team’s “Iron Horse” Award as a junior for his consistent play, and earned team MVP honors as a senior captain. He also received a master’s degree in Higher Education administration from his alma mater in January 2005.
A native of Greenlawn, N.Y., Mueller also teaches a recreational golf class at Columbia University. He enjoys being a member of the squash club at Columbia and is also a musician who frequently appears in New York City venues. He and his wife Serena reside in New York City.
THE RICH MUELLER FILE
Hometown: Greenlawn, N.Y.
Bachelor of Arts, New York University, 1999; Master of Arts, Higher Education Administration, New York University, 2005.
Director of Golf, Head Men’s Golf Coach, Columbia University, 2007-current
Head Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach, Columbia University, 2005-07
Head Men’s Golf Coach, New York University, 2000-05
Guided the Columbia golf program to five Ivy League team championships (four on the men’s side, one in women’s), including men’s titles in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014 and a women’s title in 2007 … Led Columbia to five NCAA postseason appearances (men’s: 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014; women’s: 2007) … Also coached three individual Ivy League champions or Ivy League Player of the Year award-winners at Columbia … Coached 25 All-Ivy League golfers … Coached 15 Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholars and seven Academic All-Ivy League honorees … Named 2006 Mid-Atlantic Golf Coach of the Year … At NYU, led the Violets to two NCAA Championship appearances in 2004 and 2005 … Named University Athletic Association Coach of the Year in 2004 and Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2005 by the Golf Coaches Association of America … Earned 10-Year Service Award by GCAA.
Four-year golf letterwinner at New York University (1996-99) … Earned the team’s Most Valuable Player award and “Iron Horse” award as a junior and senior respectively.
|Rich Mueller||17 Seasons|
|Year||Head-to-Head||Team Wins||Team Scoring Avg||Conf. Tourney||Postseason|
|2013-14||64-48-1||2||292.20||1st||NCAA San Antonio Regional (12th)|
|2009-10||56-43-1||1||301.50||1st||NCAA DI East Reg. (13th)|
|2008-09||58-56-1||1||303.63||1st||NCAA DI East Reg. (14th)|
|2007-08||60-60-2||1||302.16||1st||NCAA DI West Reg. (27th)|
|Columbia Totals||751-607-14||10||--||4 Conf. Titles||4 NCAA Appearances|
|Year||Head-to-Head||Team Wins||Team Scoring Avg||Conf. Tourney||Postseason|
|2004-05||109-57-1||4||308.57||3rd||NCAA DIII Championships (21st)|
|2003-04||91-60-3||2||315.48||2nd||NCAA DIII Championships (23rd)|
|NYU Totals||442-267-14||13||--||--||2 NCAA Appearances|
|Overall Totals||1,193-874-28||24||--||4 Conf. Titles||6 NCAA Appearances|