Mike Small



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A champion as a player and coach, Mike Smallexcelled in the latter career while starring in the former. Small helped Danville High to the 1982 IHSA championship. A walk-on at Illinois, he won twice in 1988, leading Illinois to its first Big Ten title in 47 years. Hired to coach Illinois’ mens team in 2000, he led the Fighting Illini to unprecedented prominence, including five straight Big Ten titles and eight NCAA berths through 2013, notably a national runner-up finish in 2013. Small was voted Big Ten coach of the year a record six times. Twice a winner on the Nike Tour, Small won three PGA Professional National Championships, earned three national player of the year awards, and four PGA Cup berths. Small dominated the local scene like nobody before, with 15 state majors, including a record 10 Illinois PGA titles, four Illinois Opens, and one Illinois PGA Match Play title through 2013.

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