Athletic Specialist/ Men’s Golf Coach
Jake Harrington, a South Mountain Community College Alumnus, is in his sixth year as head coach at SMCC having elevated his alma mater into a perennial powerhouse in junior college golf.
During his 5 years as head coach, Harrington has earned national praise from around the country. He was named the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2012, the NJCAA Region I Coach of the Year in 2009, 2010, and 2012, the ACCAC Conference Coach of the Year in 2009, 2011, and 2012, the NJCAA Division II National Championship Coach of the Tournament in 2010 and 2012, and the GCAA Western United States Coach of the Year for 5 consecutive years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012). In addition, Harrington is in his second season as the NJCAA Division II Golf Coaches Association President, a position that he has moved up into after being nominated to be the Secretary during the 2008-2009 season, then the Vice-President during the 2009-2011 seasons.
More important to him then his individual success, Harrington is most proud of what his student-athletes have accomplished during his tenure. He has transferred 18 student-athletes on to play at NCAA schools, won 33-tournaments, the NJCAA Division II National Championship in 2010 and 2012, the NJCAA Region I Championship in 2009, 2010, and 2012, the ACCAC Conference Championship in 2009, 2011, and 2012. In addition, they have been recognized with 17 All-Conference Players, 20 All-Region Players, 22 PING All-Region Players, 14 NJCAA All-Americans, 18 PING All-Americans, 2 Phil Mickelson Award Winners (award for the best freshman in the country), 1 Jack Nicklaus Award Winner (award for the best overall player in the country), and won the GCAA Academic National Championship in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
The Men’s Golf Team continues to excel at the National Championship each year under Harrington, winning two of the past three NJCAA National Championships in 2010 and 2012, a National Runner-Up finish in 2011, and a third place finish in 2009.
In the fall of 2012, Harrington guided the Cougars to the #1 ranking in the GolfWorld/Nike Golf Coaches’ Poll, a position that SMCC has held every month since the inception of the GolfWorld/Nike Golf Coaches’ Poll in the summer of 2011, the #1 ranking in the Golfstat Polls, and the #1 ranking in the NJCAA Polls. This past fall the Cougars have won 2 out of 3 tournaments, with the only loss coming in the season opener (where the team finished in second place) to NCAA Division II School Grand Canyon University at the Longbow Preview in Mesa, Arizona. However, the Cougars bounced back with a convincing 9-shot victory against the nation’s best NJCAA Division I and Division II schools at the High Country Shootout in Ruidoso, NM where the team shot a 3-round total of 31-under par. In October, the Cougars finished off the fall season with a 1-shot victory at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Invitational at Windance Country Club in Gulfport, MS.
The 2011-2012 campaign saw Harrington lead the Cougars to the best season in school history which was caped of by winning their third NJCAA National Championship by a convincing 31-shot margin. Throughout the season they won 10 out of 13 tournaments with an average margin of victory of 20.5 shots. The 10 victories included the national preview, The Cactus Thaw (an NCAA Division II event), 5 conference events, the ACCAC Conference Championship, the NJCAA Region I Championship (won by 41-shots over a field that had 2 other teams ranked in the top 10 in the country), and the NJCAA Division II National Championship (won by 31-shots) giving SMCC Men’s Golf our second national championship in the past 3 years and our third national championship in the last 8 years.
In 2010-2011, the Cougars won 7 out of 13 events, which included a sweep of all 6 ACCAC Conference tournaments to clinch the 2011 ACCAC Conference Championship. In, addition, they also finished as the National Runner-Up in the NJCAA National Championships in Scottsboro, AL.
In 2009-2010, the Cougars clinched their second NJCAA National Championship and first under Coach Jake Harrington with a convincing 10-shot victory at Palm Valley Golf Club in Goodyear, Arizona. During the season they also won 8 out of 13 tournaments which included winning 3 out of 6 ACCAC conference tournaments, the NJCAA Region I Championship by 13 shots, and winning the 2010 NJCAA Division II National Championship.
The 2008-2009 campaign saw Harrington lead the program to 8 out of 13 tournament wins, with 5 of those victories being by double-digit margins. The Cougars also broke thru by winning the ACCAC Conference Championship for the first time in school history by winning 5 of the 6 ACCAC Conference tournaments, winning the NJCAA Region I Championship by 32 shots, and finishing 3rd at the NJCAA Division II National Championship.
In 2008, his first season as the head coach, he guided the Cougars through the season with no finish lower than 3rd place in all their events, including a 1st place finish in the Paradise Valley Invitational, rallying the team from a 10-shot deficit going into the final day of competition. Harrington was also named the GCAA Western Region Coach of the Year in 2008 in his first year of coaching the Cougars and now serves as the Secretary of the GCAA for NJCAA Division II schools.
Harrington returned to South Mountain Community College in the middle of the fall season in 2007 to coach a team that included his younger brother Daniel Harrington who was a great player in his own right. Harrington began his first year with lofty expectations, taking over for Travis Brown, who lead the team to 6 region championships, 2 national runner-up titles in 2003 and 2007, and 1 national championship in 2004.
“It feels really good to be back home at South Mountain Community College and be able to continue a tradition of excellence left by Coach Brown both academically and athletically,” Harrington said. Harrington played under Brown in 2002, where he helped lead a young team to the schools second appearance at the NJCAA Division II National Championships, where they finished in 5th place after being ranked as high as #1 in the nation on Golfstat. Harrington finished the season at SMCC earning Academic All-American, All-Region, and All-Conference Honors.
In 2002 he left SMCC with a golf scholarship to Holy Names University in Oakland, California with teammate Will Schoenfeld. At HNU, Harrington earned All-Conference and All-Region honors while helping the Hawks to be ranked as high as #1 in the NAIA both seasons according to Golfstat. In 2004, Harrington graduated with honors with his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from HNU and then returned to Arizona to be close to family and pursue his dream of getting a Master’s Degree.
In 2006, Harrington graduated with a 3.7 GPA from the University of Phoenix with his Master’s Degree in Global Management. Now Harrington is looking forward to the challenge of being a college golf coach for one of the most successful junior college programs in the country. “My goal is to continue to bring in the most talented golfers from around the world, help them develop both academically and athletically while competing in the national spotlight, and help them fulfill their dreams of playing golf at a four-year college while earning their degrees,” Harrington said “I want to build champion young men both on and off the golf course.”
Coach Harrington currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Sophay.
- University of Phoenix – Masters Degree in Global Management
- Holy Names University – Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management
- South Mountain Community College – Associates Degree in General Studies