(updated July 2014)
In his fourth season as an assistant coach with both the Seminoles’ men’s and women’s programs, Robert Duck has helped Florida State continue its tradition of NCAA appearances, All-American selections and All-ACC performers. He works with both programs at Florida State in the areas of recruiting and player development along with his daily team and individual coaching responsibilities.
Duck has helped coach both programs into the NCAA Tournament in each of his first three years while working with All-Americans and All-ACC honorees on both teams. In his first three seasons at Florida State, the men have produced three All-Americans, seven All-ACC selections, one ACC Golfer of the Year and two ACC Freshmen of the Year while the women have produced two All-Americans and four All-ACC performers.
During his first three seasons, the Seminole men and the Seminole women have appeared in the NCAA Tournament three times each with the men finishing in ninth in the team standings in the 2012 NCAA Championship finals and tied for 11th in the 2013 NCAA Championship finals. In addition, neither team has finished outside of the top five in the ACC Championships as the men have finished in second (twice) and third once and the women have earned two fourth place finishes with Duck as a an assistant coach.
Duck’s work with Florida State’s players has led to incredible individual success in his first three seasons in Tallahassee. His teaching abilities and coaching philosophies have helped accelerate the careers of two of the top men’s players in school history – Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger – as well as three of the top performers on the women’s team – Matilda Castren, Maria Salinas and Jessica Negron. Koepka was named the ACC Golfer of the Year in 2012 and was a three-time All-ACC selection while Berger earned All-ACC honors and played for the United States’ Palmer Cup team in 2013. Duck also 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. Castren earned All-American and All-ACC honors and set the school record for lowest stroke average in 2014, Salinas finished in second place in the NCAA Central Regional and earned All-American honors in 2012 and Negron earned All-ACC honors in 2013.
Duck has helped coach the Florida State men to six tournament championships in his first three seasons. The Seminoles earned tournament championships at the 2012 Seminole Intercollegiate, the 2012 FAU Spring Break Invitational, the 2013 Gator Invitational, the 2013 Seminole Intercollegiate, the 2013 Gary Koch Intercollegiate and the 2014 USF Invitational. He helped the Seminole women win the team championship at the 2014 Web.com/Marsh landing Intercollegiate and advance to the 2012 NCAA Central Regional, 2013 NCAA West Regional and 2014 NCAA East Regional Championships.
The Seminoles – both the men and the women – have been ranked among the nation’s top 25 teams throughout his first three seasons at Florida State. The men were ranked as high as No. 13 while the women were ranked as high as No. 22 nationally in 2012. The men finished the 2013 season ranked No. 12 nationally. During the 2014 season, the Seminole man ranked as high as No. 12 in the nation while the women ranked as high as 25th nationally.
Duck, one of the rising stars in collegiate coaching, is in his fourth season as an assistant coach at Florida State. He was the acting head coach at Augusta State in 2002, served the Jaguars as a volunteer assistant coach during the 2001-02 season and was an assistant coach for the program during the 2002-03 season. During his tenure as the acting coach at Augusta State, the Jaguars were ranked as high as No. 9 nationally.
COLLEGIATE PLAYING EXPERIENCE
Duck enjoyed a standout career at Augusta State (1998-01) where he earned All-America honors as a sophomore (1999) and led the Jaguars to three NCAA Championship appearances (1998, 1999, 2001). He is one of the top golfers in the storied history of the Augusta State program and remains listed prominently in the record book nearly 15 years after his playing career ended. Duck is ranked second in school history for lowest stroke average by a freshman (73.22) (which stood as the school record for nearly 15 years). It is an average that still ranks in the top 15 in school history. His career stroke average of 73.86 is ranked 14th in school history. During his career he earned 12 top 10 and 28 top 20 individual finishes.
COLLEGIATE COACHING EXPERIENCE
Duck’s ability to communicate with the players he coaches is illustrated by the success those players have earned on the golf course. In in first three seasons at Florida State he has worked with five All-Americans, eight All-ACC honorees, one ACC Golfer of the Year and two ACC Freshmen of the Year. Each of the six teams (three men’s and three women’s) he has helped coach at Florida State has played in the NCAA Tournament and both teams have been ranked in the nation’s top 25 during the first three years of his tenure in Tallahassee.
2014 WAS A BANNER YEAR
Duck enjoyed his best season as an assistant coach at Florida State 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 the team 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.
SUCCESS OF BROOKS KOEPKA
Duck worked with All-American Brooks Koepka during his final season as a Seminole (2011-12). He was named the ACC Player of the Year and led the Seminoles to a ninth place finish at the NCAA Championship finals in 2012. Koepka earned his PGA Tour card for the 2014-15 season as he finished in a tie for fourth place at the 2014 U.S. Open – a finish which also earned him an invitation to play in the 2015 Masters Championship.
ON COURSE COACHING
Because he has played and coached at such high levels, Duck is known as a players’ coach. His ability to help each student-athlete create long-term training schedules and encourage them to work towards those goals on a daily basis has helped create a teaching environment that has fostered the recent successes of both the Seminoles’ men’s and women’s programs.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY AS A PLAYER
Duck led Augusta State (now Georgia Regents University) to three NCAA Championship tournament appearances and helped the Jaguars to a seventh place finish as a senior. The seventh place finish was the best in program history at the time. With the foundation put in place by Duck and his teammates, the Jaguars won the NCAA Titles in 2010 and 2011.
SUCCESS IN PROFESSIONAL WORLD
Duck enjoyed a successful career as a manager of professional golfers for the Hambric Sports Group (2003-2012) before accepting his current assistant coaching position at Florida State. Based in London, Duck was the supervisor of the European Division of Hambric Stellar Golf. He was a player manager who oversaw public relations and marketing for seven clients including 1988 Masters champion Sandy Lyle, 2005 European Tour Rookie of the Year Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, former Augusta State All-American Oliver Wilson and Francesco Molinari.