Mike Wheeler is in his fifth season as the Head Coach of the Missouri Southern Lion Men’s Golf Team.
“2014-15 will provide our best opportunity yet to be contenders for the MIAA Conference Championship. Returning Senior Ryan Buerk is coming off a quality summer that saw him advance to the round of 16 at the Missouri Amateur. Junior Ethan Hutcheson won the Briarbrook Country Club Invitational, and Sophomore Taylor Lanford won a qualifier to advance into the Oklahoma Amateur.”
Also returning are Senior Skyler Arbuckle, Junior Austin Karnes, and Sophomore Phillip Roller.
“The quality of players available is on the upturn. We have added a number of Student Athletes that can really play. “
Freshman incomers are Spencer Smythe, Connor Neil, Grant Seifried, Nicklaus Carley, Aaron Shoemaker, and Chas Goines. Finishing out the squad are Senior Brandon Weller, Junior Garen Nelson, and Sophomore Trae Fairchild.
Golf has been an important part of Wheeler’s life. He is a past President of the Board of Directors at Twin Hills Golf & Country Club and served as a Director in the Joplin Golf Foundation for the 10 years. During his time with the Joplin Golf Foundation Wheeler served as chairperson of the Joplin Junior Golf’s “Tee It Up” program which offers golf instruction to junior golfers annually. Prior to coming to Southern he was an assistant coach with the Joplin High School Lady Eagles golf team.
Wheeler has also spent time in recent years administering the rules of golf. He was a Director with the Missouri Golf Association for the six years, working as a starter and rules official for the Missouri Junior Amateur and Missouri Junior Match Play events. He has five years’ experience as a rules official at the Missouri State High School Boys' Golf Championships and is a five-time attendee of the USGA Rules of Golf workshop.
Wheeler has two assistant coaches in Gary “Butch” Vernon and Taylor Griffith. Coach Vernon is the current President of the Joplin Golf Foundation Board and assists with Joplin Junior Golf. Coach Griffith is a former MSSU Lion and is the assistant Golf Professional at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club.