Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
18 Seasons at Ball State
Mike Fleck, who was a member of the Ball State University men's golf team from 1988 through 1992, was named the third head coach in the program's history Aug. 20, 1998. He replaced Earl Yestingsmeier, who was Ball State’s head coach for the previous 36 years.
The 2015-16 season was Fleck's 18th leading the Cardinals. His teams have won 17 tournament titles, most recently Ball State's own Earl Yestingsmeier Memorial Invitational in 2016. The Cardinals have won at least one tournament in seven of the past eight years.
Two of those wins came during a 2012-13 season that was one of Fleck's finest in Muncie. The Cardinals competed in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991 and advanced in a playoff out of the Pullman Regional to reach the NCAA Nationals for the first time since 1986.
That year's team, ranked as high as No. 27 in the nation by Golfweek, claimed tournament titles at the Firestone Invitational and Pinehurst Intercollegiate in addition to runner-up finishes at the Pinetree Intercollegiate and the Mid-American Match Play.
The win at Firstone was the second for the Cardinals under Fleck, as the team also won there in 2006. His teams have won Ball State’s own Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational a total of seven times.
While 2012-13 marked Ball State's return to the NCAA tournament as a team, Fleck previously coached three individual NCAA Regional participants -- Jamie Broce in 1999, Eric Steger in 2011 and Tyler Merkel in 2012. He added another in 2015 when Johnny Watts qualified for the Ball State-hosted Noblesville Regional by winning the Mid-American Conference Championships.
Watts became the first non-Kent State golfer to win the MAC since 2008 and the first freshman to win the league since 2005. He was the first Ball State player to claim the title since 1997 and just the third ever.
Fleck was named the MAC Coach of the Year for the 2010-11 season after a year that included a win at the Yestingsmeier and a second-place finish at the MAC Championships.
He has had 19 All-MAC selections at Ball State, and the Cardinals’ three in 2012-13 -- Merkel on the first team plus Joe Gasser and Alex Stinson on the second team -- marked the most for the program since 1982. He also coached Broce, an All-American and the MAC Golfer of the Year, in his first year on the job in 1998-99.
In addition to the on-course success, Ball State men's golfers have been named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars on 33 occasions under Fleck's watch. In 2012-13, Ball State tied for the most All-America Scholars in the country with four -- Gasser, Tony Lazzara, Merkel and Stinson. In 2005-06, Ball State was the only school in the nation with five selections -- Brandon Boomsma, Patrick Wilkes-Krier, Wayne Denger, C.D. Hockersmith and Andy Skillman.
Additionally, Fleck has had 22 Academic All-MAC selections and a pair of CoSIDA Academic All-Americans (Broce in 1999 and Dan Witt in 2002). In 2012-13, Ball State accounted for four of the seven spots on the Academic All-MAC Team -- the most in league history under the current selection format -- with Gasser, Lazzara, Merkel and Stinson.
Fleck, who graduated from Ball State in 1993, served as an assistant coach with the Cardinals for the 1993-94 season. He then became the head pro at Hickory Hills Golf Club in Farmland, Ind., for four years before returning to lead the men’s golf program at his alma mater.
High School: Batesville H. S. ('89) in Batesville, Ind. ... four-time Most Valuable Player
College: Ball State University ('93) ... earned two letters (1991-92) for Coach Earl Yestingsmeier as a member of the golf team ... posted five top-15 finishes as a senior.
1994-98: Head Golf Professional at Hickory Hills Golf Course in Farmland, Ind.
1993-94: Assistant Men's Golf Coach at Ball State
Other: Assistant Golf Professional at Greensburg, Ind., Country Club ... Golf Shop Attendant at Hillcrest Golf and Country Club in Batesville, Ind.
Tournament Titles (17)