EXCLUSIVE: Former Brown Golf Coach Calls School’s Decision to Cut Programs “Disheartening”

Former Brown University men’s and women’s golf coach Robert Kenneally is calling the school’s decision to cut the golf programs, as well as, a number of other sports programs “disheartening” and “extremely unfortunate.” 

In comments given exclusively to GolfNewsRI, Kenneally said, “The decision that Brown University has made with regards to removing a number of athletic programs from Varsity status is certainly disheartening.” 

As GolfNewsRI reported, along with the golf teams, Brown cut men’s and women’s fencing, women’s skiing, squash, men’s track, field and cross country.

“To take away opportunities for student-athletes to compete at the highest level of NCAA competition is extremely unfortunate. Athletics plays a major roll as part of the education that these student-athletes receive at Brown. I assume that the students, Alumni (ae) and friends of Brown Athletics will fight this decision to its fullest extent,” added Kenneally. 

Kenneally currently serves as the Head Girls Hockey Coach at St. George’s School after retiring from Brown in 2018. 

Brown Golf PHOTO: Brown Athletics

Brown Golf 

The Bears men’s golf team is coached by Michael Hughes and had a roster of eight players for the 2019-20 season, including four seniors. 

The men’s team played in four tournaments prior to the coronavirus pandemic shutting everything down with their best finish coming at the Hamptons Intercollegiate in October – they came in ninth. 

“Well.  After a night of reflection I’m awakened to the sad realization that the Brown men’s golf team has indeed been dropped and my daily tasks of managing and recruiting for a D1 program will now shift to ensuring current team members are taken care of,” wrote current Brown men’s golf coach Michael Hughes on Twitter.

He added, “Not sure I understand the rationale behind the dropping but smarter folks than me felt it was a necessity. I’m not bitter: more disappointed but also privileged to have coached such fantastic student athletes. My thanks to all the former players, parents, fellow coaches who reached out yesterday – I’m truly fortunate to have such wonderful friends. As for me, not certain where the next road will lead but be assured I’ll embrace the adventure with zeal and a smile.”

The men’s home course was Metacomet Golf Club, which is in its last summer after a group including Brad Faxon decided to sell it after just one year. 

The women’s golf team was coached by Jackie Beck and consisted of nine players, according to the roster. 

The women’s best finish in the 2019-20 season was second in the Sacred Heart Fall Classic. 

Robert Kenneally PHOTO: Brown Athletics

Kenneally at Brown 

Kenneally joined the Brown staff in 1991 and had multiple positions including men’s and women’s golf coach and Director of Golf Operations from 1998-2002. 

He served as the sport supervisor for football, baseball, women’s basketball, gymnastics, men’s ice hockey, and men’s soccer, and oversees the Budget and Finance Office, Athletic Communications and Marketing and Promotions.

Kenneally also was the Director of Student-Athlete Academic Support Services, oversees eligibility, serves as University Academic Advisor, and has worked on the admissions board in the recruitment of student-athletes.

Prior to coaching, Kenneally graduated from Brown in 1990. 

As an athlete he played four years for the men’s hockey team leading the team in scoring in 1987-88. As a senior, Kenneally received the Charles A. Lanigan Memorial Trophy, given to the senior hockey player who shows the most improvement, leadership and dedication during his varsity career.

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