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Women's Golf Team Finishes Eighth; Manuel Diaz Named Coach of the Year

Despite moving into fourth place on the third day of the N.C.A.A. Championships, the Georgia women's golf team faltered after the first four holes on Friday, shooting a 303 in the final round to finish eighth.

The Bulldogs carded a combined 1,205 for the tournament to finish behind two-time defending national champion Duke (1,170), Purdue (1,185), U.C.L.A. (1,186), Southern California (1,196), Stanford (1,197), Vanderbilt (1,200), and Pepperdine (1,202). Aside from the sixth-place Commodores, the only S.E.C. squad to finish in the top 10 besides Georgia was Auburn (1,213). I hate Auburn.

Considering the recent turmoil through which the Red and Black lady linksters have gone, this was quite an accomplishment.

Also worthy of note is the fact that Georgia men's tennis coach Manuel Diaz, who has guided the Classic City Canines to a 62-1 record over the last two seasons and may be second only to Suzanne Yoculan as the school's finest coach, was named National Coach of the Year for the third time after the Bulldogs captured their fifth national tennis title.

Coach Diaz is one of only four Division I men's tennis coaches ever to have won the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's National Coach of the Year award more than twice and he is the only such coach from outside the Pac-10. (Southern California's Dick Leach, Stanford's Dick Gould, and U.C.L.A.'s Glenn Bassett are the other three.)

Although Coach Diaz is the only S.E.C. coach to have captured the award since 1990, he is the second Georgia coach to be so honored. Bulldog legend Dan Magill won the award in 1980. That puts Coach Diaz in some pretty good company; when you're achieving at the level of the namesake of your workplace, you're doing quite well, so Manuel Diaz deserves some of the same credit deservedly given to Mark Richt, who recently surpassed one of the guys whose name is on the building in which his office is located.

Go 'Dawgs!