How Oklahoma men’s golf coach Ryan Hybl’s competitive spirit has taken the Sooners to the NCAA pinnacle

NORMAN, Okla. — Ryan Hybl walked into one of his first OU head-coaching meetings in 2009.

He looked around the room. There sat Bob Stoops. Sherri Coale. Patty Gasso. Mark Williams. John Roddick.

“All these unbelievable coaches,” Hybl said. “And we were literally the worst team on campus.”

Some 27-year-olds would be intimidated. Hybl was inspired.

“You talk about lighting a fire,” Hybl says 13 years later. “I’m super competitive.”

Even to this day, Hybl’s Sooner men’s golf team, which has become one of the flagship programs in the sport, ranks just No. 3 or No. 4 on Hybl’s own campus rankings.

But when athletic director Joe Castiglione holds head-coaching meetings now, young coaches must feel intimidated by the likes of Hybl.

OU golf is a runaway success story. The Sooners won the 2017 NCAA championship. They returned to the match-play finals in 2021. OU is the only program to make each of the last five NCAA quarterfinals, which is when match play begins.

Oklahoma coach Ryan Hybl stands with Max McGreevy after the Sooners won the NCAA Division I men’s golf championship at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois. (Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press)

“It’s pretty crazy to think about,” said Brad Dalke, a two-time all-American for Hybl and the leader of the 2017 title team. “You think football, you think softball, gymnastics. But the golf program’s been one of the most dominant sports at OU in the last 5-6 years. He’s built something special at OU. Don’t think it’s stopping anytime soon.”

In what was supposed to be a rebuilding season, the Sooners won the 2022 Big 12 Tournament in Trinity, Texas, and remain the nation’s top-ranked team in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.

Hybl has elevated OU golf to the unthinkable. When Hybl took over, the Sooners were coming off a season in which they placed 10th in the Big 12 Tournament and were ranked 89th in NCAA golf.

Now OU is on the level of arch-rival Oklahoma State, long one of the giants of college golf. OSU is second in the Golfweek rankings.

“Just because of that rivalry and their history, it’s a tough task to go into Norman as a golf coach and put yourself in the same sentence as the guys from Stillwater,” said current Sooner Logan McAllister. “He’s helped us use that motivation as a driver of success.”

Hybl is the younger brother of former OU quarterback Nate Hybl, the Rose Bowl star from 20 years ago. Ryan Hybl was a junior golf star growing up in Georgia. He was the 1998 American Junior Golf Association player of the year, an award that has gone to the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Scott Verplank, Jordan Spieth and Scottie Scheffler.

Ryan Hybl even took a recruiting visit to OU in 1999,

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By: Berry Tramel
Title: How Oklahoma men's golf coach Ryan Hybl's competitive spirit has taken the Sooners to the NCAA pinnacle
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Published Date: Mon, 02 May 2022 11:00:54 +0000

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