(updated July 2014)
In his third season as an assistant coach at Florida State for both the Seminole men’s and women’s teams, Matt Savage has earned a leadership role on the Seminoles’ coaching staff because of his accomplishments as a collegiate player and the success he earned as a professional golfer. Because of his experiences and his incredible ability to relate to the Seminoles’ players, he has quickly become one of the nation’s hot young assistant coaches.
Savage plays an integral role in the continued success of the Seminoles as he works with each of the players on a daily basis while assisting with the day-to-day administrative responsibilities of each team. Savage works with both programs in the areas of skill development, recruiting, practice planning and match coaching.
In 2014, Savage helped the Seminole men to their third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship finals. The Seminoles finished in fifth place in the NCAA Raleigh Regional and in second place in the ACC Championship for the second consecutive season. Florida State has won four tournament championships during his first two years as an assistant coach for the Seminoles. Savage helped the Seminole women’s golf team to an appearance in the NCAA Championship tournament and to the team championship at the Web.com/Marsh Landing Intercollegiate.
While helping the Seminoles earn team success he is adept and working with Florida State’s golfers on an individual level. He works with current Seminole sophomore Jack Maguire – who earned All-America honors in 2014, was the 2014 ACC Freshman of the Year, an All-ACC selection and a member of the 2014 United States Palmer Cup Team and Hank Lebioda – the 2013 ACC Freshman of the Year and a two-time All-ACC selection. He also works with Florida State sophomore Matilda Castren who earned All-American and All-ACC honors and set the school record for lowest stroke average in 2014.
Savage is one of the top golfers in Seminole history. He earned All-America honors in 2007, was the first player in school history to earn All-ACC honors three times, played on one NCAA Championship final and four NCAA Regional Championship teams and led the Seminoles to the first ACC Championship in school history in 2008. Savage closed his career in 2009 with a 73.09 scoring average in 44 career tournaments – the fifth best average in school history.
Among Savage’s greatest attributes is his ability to communicate with players and coaches alike and concisely teach the sport of golf to the Seminoles’ student-athletes. Because of his recent experiences as a player and now as a coach, Savage’s ability to relate to today’s collegiate golfer allows him to expect the unexpected while creating long term plans and effectively teaching them on a daily basis.
Savage was one of the building blocks of the Seminole men’s program under Director of Golf Trey Jones from 2006 through his graduation from Florida State in 2009. The Seminoles were nationally ranked during each of his four seasons and finished the 2008 season ranked 11th after winning the ACC Championship for the first time in school history. The Seminoles were ranked as high as No. 7 nationally and earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA West Regional Championship in 2008.
Savage began his professional career on the NGA Hooters Tour soon after his graduation from Florida State and enjoyed three prosperous years on golf’s third largest tour. He won his first event as a professional – the 2009 Kentucky Open – and was among the top money winners on the tour during his three seasons.
FIRST YEAR COACHING SUCCESS
In his first season as an assistant coach with both the men’s and women’s teams at Florida State, Savage helped both teams to extremely successful seasons in 2012-13. The Seminole men finished in a tie for 11th in the team standings in the NCAA Championship finals, in third place at the NCAA Tallahassee Regional Championship, in second place in the ACC Championship and with three tournament championships during the regular season. The Seminole women played in the NCAA Championship for the school record eighth consecutive season and finished in fourth place in the ACC Championships.
Savage helped coach three All-Americans – Daniel Berger, Chase Seiffert and Jack Maguire – two ACC Freshmen of the Year and eight All-ACC selections – five men and three women – in his first two seasons as an assistant coach at Florida State. Daniel Berger earned PING and GolfWeek All-American First Team Honors in 2013, Seiffert earned All-American Honorable Mention honors by GolfWeek in 2013 and Maguire was an All-American Second Team selection by GolfWeek in 2014. Berger, Seiffert, Maguire and current junior Hank Lebioda have all earned All-ACC Honors with Lebioda and Maguire earning ACC Freshmen of the Year honors. He also helped coach Matilda Castren, who earned All-American and All-ACC honors and set the school record for lowest stroke average, and All-ACC selection Alex Milan in 2014 while Jessica Negron earned All-ACC and All-West Region honors in 2013.
OUTSTANDING SUCCESS IN 2014
Savage helped Florida State to outstanding team and individual success in 2014. The men’s golf team finished in second place in the ACC championship, fifth in the NCAA Raleigh Regional and played in the NCAA Championship Finals for the third consecutive year. He helped coach All-American Second Team, ACC Freshman of the Year and All-ACC selection Jack Maguire and All-ACC selection Hank Lebioda. The Seminole men won the USF Invitational where they posted the best single round team and tournament score in team history in winning the championship. The Seminole women finished seventh in the ACC Championship and in a tie for 11th place in the NCAA East Regional which was held at Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee. He helped coach freshman Matilda Castren who earned All-American Second Team and All-ACC Honors and who was the runner-up for ACC Player and Rookie of the Year honors as well as All-ACC selection Alex Milan.
Savage earned medalist honors at the 2008 North and South Amateur Championship at Pinehurst, advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Link Championship and played in the 2006 U.S. Amateur Championship.
2008 ACC CHAMPIONSHIP
Savage led Florida State to its first ever Atlantic Coast Conference Championship on April 20, 2008 as the Seminoles defeated Duke by three strokes at the 55th Annual ACC Championship at the Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point. The Seminoles defeated the Blue Devils by four strokes in the third round as they rallied from a one stroke deficit after two rounds to claim the school's first ever ACC championship in the sport of golf. Each of the five team members contributed to the victory as the Seminoles closed the 54-hole tournament with four players under par and only one at over par. Savage led the way with an eight-under par 208 score and finished in a tie for third place in the individual standings.
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS AS A PLAYER
In addition to leading the Seminoles to the first ACC Championship in school history in 2008, Savage helped Florida State to four tournament championships during his career: the Inverness Intercollegiate (Fall 2007), the Seminole Intercollegiate (Spring 2008), the ACC Championship (Spring 2008) and the Florida State Spring Break Invitational (Spring 2009).
Savage earned regional All-American honors in both 2008 and 2009 and earned All-American Honorable Mention honors from the Golf Coaches’ Association of America in 2007. He was named to the PING / All-Southeast Regional All-American team in 2008 as he led the Seminoles to the ACC Championship and was named to the Ping / Southeast Regional All-American team in 2009 and led Florida State to an appearance in the 2009 East Regional Championships. Savage earned Ping / Division I All-America Honorable Mention Honors as a sophomore after finishing in ninth place in the individual standings at the NCAA Championship Finals and earning 11 top 25 finishes in 12 events in 2007.
CAREER BEST SCORE
Savage carded the best single round score of his career – a 63 in the second round of the 2009 Florida State Spring Break Invitational. His nine under par score of 63, coupled with a 69 in the first round, allowed Savage to win the individual championship and helped the Seminoles to the team championship in the event. Savage’s score of 63 allowed him to win the first individual championship of his career. Savage’s score of 63 stood as the school record until he coached current Seminole sophomore Jack Maguire to a 62 in the third round of the 2014 USF Invitational.
Savage won the individual state championship, led his team to the state title, was named Mr. Golf in the State of Kentucky and earned National Player of the Year honors by the National High School Golf Coaches Association as a senior at St. Xavier Prep in Louisville in 2005. Savage earned All-America honors from the AJGA as both a junior and a senior, was a four-time All-State First Team honoree and played in the US Publinks Championship in 2005.
Savage was an academic standout during his collegiate career at Florida State as he was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll in 2006, 2007 and 2009 and earned his degree in communication studies in 2009. He is one of only three players to earn All-Academic honors at least three times under Seminole men’s coach Trey Jones.