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Miles College Captures SIAC’s Top Golf Honors; Players and Coach of the Year

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In his eighth season with the Golden Bears, head coach Leonard Smoot has earned SIAC Coach of the Year accolades six times. (FILE)

thesiac.com

Miles headlined the 2023 Men’s Golf SIAC Team with Phillip Darst named the 2023 SIAC Player of the Year alongside Jerris Baker who earned the SIAC Freshman of the Year. Miles College’s Leonard Smoot captured SIAC Coach of the Year honors.

The All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player, Freshman, and Coach of the Year were selected by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors, while the all-conference teams were decided by conference rankings with a minimum of 12 rounds.

Darst, a junior at Miles College, is having an outstanding season, setting school records along the way. In 15 1/2 rounds this season, he has had six rounds of par or better and is averaging 72.97 per round. His 7-under 63 in the final round of the SAS HBCU Division II Invitational set the school record and three-round score of 6-under 204 won the tournament and set a new school mark.

In two Division I tournaments, Darst finished third in both, going 1-under at the SWAC Fall Invitational and 2-over at the Alabama State Spring Invite. Overall, Darst has just four rounds at 4-over or higher and he has not shot a round in the 80s this season.

Baker has had two top-10 finishes this season and has averaged 76.27 strokes per round as one of the top golfers for the Golden Bears. His best performance came at the SAS HBCU Division II Invitational, where he led the tournament with an even-par 140, the school-record for low stroke total through 36 holes. He finished second at 2-under 208 after back-to-back sub-70 rounds. Baker also finished eighth of 43 golfers in the National Black College Hall of Fame Invitational.

In his eighth season with the Golden Bears, head coach Leonard Smoot has earned Coach of the Year accolades six times. Under his direction, Miles had two of its best three 54-hole efforts in school history this season.

The Golden Bears won the SAS HBCU Division II Invitational with a school-record 853. Miles also shot a collective 886 at the Derrell Foreman Invitation, which is third all-time. Miles also set a school mark with the lowest round in terms of score and relation to par (272, -8) at the SAS HBCU Division II Invitational.