The man entrusted to run Franklin College’s men’s golf program is a former Grizzlies athlete himself.
Only it was second base Curt Holcroft could be seen shadowing during the mid-1990s, not the second tee or green. Infield dirt as opposed to bunker sand.
More recently, the former Franklin College baseball player spent the past nine years as boys golf coach at Franklin Community High School and the past seven leading the school’s girls program.
Now Holcroft is the Grizzlies’ new men’s golf coach.
Holcroft, 40, will remain at Franklin Community High School, where he’ll continue to teach health and physical education.
“Right now I’m just kind of a lay coach (at Franklin College). Staying at the high school is huge. I enjoy my job and get to continue working with the kids there. Franklin Community Schools has been a great employer,” Holcroft said.
“But being a graduate of Franklin College and being able to go back, those ties run deep.”
A former Grizzlies teammate of local prep baseball coaches Andy Bass (Greenwood) and Scott Sherry (Whiteland), Holcroft in 2012 led the Franklin high school boys to their first sectional title in 31 years and sixth overall.
Last week senior Jake Hash became the program’s first state finals qualifier in Holcroft’s tenure when he tied for 27th individually at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.
How Holcroft over time transitioned from baseball player to golf mentor is as much right place, right time as anything.
“I was teaching at the old Franklin high school, and I enjoyed playing golf. It kind of grew into a passion, so I started helping (former Franklin high school boys golf coach) Steve Bennett on a volunteer basis for one year,” he said.
Holcroft was viewed as the logical heir apparent once Bennett left following the 2006 season.
Roger Lundy served as Franklin College’s men’s golf coach for seven seasons (2009-15) and recently wrapped up his eighth year as the school’s women’s golf coach.
Lundy remains at Franklin College as women’s coach. To his credit he didn’t leave the talent cupboard bare.
Seven of the Grizzlies’ nine roster players from this season return to give their new coach a strong foundation on which to build.
Departing our senior Chris Arnold and Josh Rhoads, who sported Franklin College’s best and fourth-best 18-hole averages this season at 77.4 and 80.9, respectively.
The Grizzlies placed third out of eight as a team this past spring at the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament with a four-day total of 1,237 — 38 shots behind perennial HCAC power Transylvania. Arnold earned medalist honors with a 71-73-72-76—292.
Holcroft’s mission is to apply this momentum toward the future of the Franklin College men’s golf program in terms of confidence and recruiting.
“I’m excited about Curt joining our staff primarily because he has prepared himself well as a coach building successful programs at the high school. I also think his involvement with and visibility within the network of high school coaches will be a great help in recruiting,” Franklin College athletic director Kerry Prather said.
“It’s an added plus that he is an alum, so he can talk personally about the Franklin College experience. Curt comes to us highly recommended, and he is respected through-out the community as a quality person.”
THE HOLCROFT FILE
Name: Curt Holcroft
Born: Madison, Indiana
Family: Wife, Christine; daughter, Lauren, 11; son, Luke, 7
High school: Madison H.S. – 1993
College: Franklin College – 1998
Major: Secondary Education
Favorite golf course: French Lick Resort
Favorite golfer: Phil Mickelson