Sean Covich was named West Virginia University’s 12th men’s golf coach on May 22, 2014, and has led the Mountaineers through the reintroduction of the sport and into a new era.
Tasked with rebuilding a program from scratch, Covich put together a team that saw success in its first season on the links in more than 30 years.
Vienna native Alan Cooke became the first Mountaineer since 1982 to tee off on Sept. 6, 2015, at the Tiger Turning Stone Invitational in Verona, New York. The squad finished 10th at the historic tournament, and built momentum from there. Senior Easton Renwick recorded the team’s first top-10 finish at the Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational on Sept. 15, 2015, and would go on to add four more top-25 finishes on the season.
After team posting a new-era low of 283 in two rounds at the Joe Feaganes Invite in the fall, WVU capped the regular season with a runner-up finish at rival Penn State’s Rutherford Intercollegiate in April. The squad shot 284-284-285=853 for its lowest 54-hole total of the season. Cooke set a program record by shooting a 207 for six under par and a runner-up individual finish.
Cooke and Renwick joined Tristan Nicholls, Max Sear and Chris Williams in representing West Virginia at the team’s first ever Big 12 Golf Championship at Whispering Pines Country Club in Trinity Texas April 29-May 1. Though the Mountaineers finished 10th at the event, Sear finished two spots shy of all-conference honors with a 12th-place finish.
Prior to the team’s trip to Texas, Covich was inducted into the Mississippi Community and Junior College Sports Hall of Fame for his time at Meridian Community College.
A native of Meridian, Miss., Covich came to WVU from Mississippi State, where he served as the assistant men’s golf coach the last three seasons. He previously served as the head men’s golf coach at Meridian Community College for five seasons.
At Mississippi State, Covich became the school’s first full-time men’s golf assistant coach in 2011. He helped the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament in 2013 and 2014 while improving the school’s national ranking from No. 125 in 2011 to a school-record No. 27 in 2013. The Bulldogs won a school-record four tournament titles in 2012-13, then added two more tournament wins in 2013-14 for the most wins (six) in a two-year span in school history.
The Bulldogs set school records for best team 36 hole score (-25), best team 54 hole score (-38) and season records for most team birdies (497), most team eagles (14) and most team scores of even-par or better (14). In addition, he helped the Bulldogs to the second-lowest team round in school history (274) and the second-lowest team score in relation to par (-14). Covich coached Chad Ramey to All-SEC honors, the first player in school history to be named all-conference three consecutive seasons.
At Meridian Community College, Covich successfully transitioned MCC from a NJCAA Division II program to a NJCAA Division I national power. He led MCC to a NJCAA National Championship Runner-Up finish in just their second season at the Division I level and positioned the Eagles as the No. 1 ranked JUCO team during the 2010-11 season.
At MCC, Covich guided his squad to 18 tournament championships. He produced 15 senior college players, six all-tournament team members at the national championship and guided seven All-Americans. During a back-to-back-to-back NJCAA postseason run, Covich’s 2010 squad finished runner-up at the NJCAA National Championships. He also coached the school’s first individual national champion in 2010. The Eagles set multiple school records during the Covich era, including most tournament wins in a season (9), lowest team score (274), and lowest team score in relation to par (-14).
Covich earned Coach of the Year honors four times during his span at MCC. In 2007, Covich was awarded with Coach of the Year by the Mississippi Association of Coaches, the National Junior College Association of America (NJCAA) Region 23, and the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC). In 2011, after winning the Golf Coaches Association of America’s District IV Coach of the Year Award, he was named a semifinalist for the Golf Coaches Association of America National Coach of the Year.
Known as an outstanding recruiter, Covich recruited and coached Brandt Garon, a two-time All-American at MCC. The Louisiana native won the Arnold Palmer Award and the NJCAA National Championship in 2010 while under Covich's guidance. Garon then added the prestigious Jack Nicklaus Award in 2011. Another Covich-product was 2012 NJCAA National Champion Jake Stirling. The Aussie was also a two-time All-American and was recruited to MCC by Covich. T.J. Morgan became the third player recruited by Covich to MCC who finished first at the NJCAA National Championship (t1 in 2013).
At Mississippi State, Covich reeled in the No. 1 ranked junior college golfer in the nation twice, as Joe Sakulpolphaisan (Darton State College) signed with the Bulldogs in 2012 and Tim Walker (Central Alabama Community College) signed with MSU in 2014.
Covich lettered at Meridian Community College from 1998-2000 and was a member of the 1999 NJCAA Region 23 Championship team. He received the Most Dedicated award during the 1998-1999 season. Covich lettered in varsity golf for Lamar High starting in sixth grade. Covich led the Raiders to an unprecedented four consecutiveMPSA Overall State Championships in 1995-1998. He received the Sportsmanship Award in his junior and senior seasons.
Covich completed his education at Mississippi State, earning his bachelor’s degree in sports communications in 2004 and a master’s degree in sports administration in 2006.
In 2005, Covich was the Tour Director of the Mississippi Junior Golf Association, during that tenure the MJGA experienced record membership and participation. Along with his guidance of the MJGA, Covich conducted 13 junior golf events, including the Mississippi Junior Championship. In addition to those duties, he assisted in operating several Mississippi Golf Association state championships such as the State Amateur, Senior Amateur and State Four-Ball.
He began his golf career under his father, PGA Club Professional Jerry Covich, at Briarwood Country Club in Meridian, Miss. Covich also worked for longtime PGA Club Professional and Robbie Webb Junior Golf Award winner, Jimmy Gamblin, at Northwood Country Club. Working for his father and Gamblin, Covich led junior clinics and camps at Briarwood and Northwood.
Covich has been in a member of the Golf Coaches Association of America since 2006. He was honored with the GCAA Service Award in December of 2015. Covich was selected to serve on the GCAA’s All America Scholar Committee in 2016.
In 205, Covich became Titleist Performance Institute Certified Level I and is currently working towards TPI Golf 2 certification.
Covich and his wife, Kate, have one child, John Keenan. The family resides in Morgantown.