Zionsville Community High School golf coach scores a first


Zionsville Community High School boys golf coach Adam Wood accomplished something that had never been done.

He became the first former state individual champion to coach a state championship team and he did it at his alma mater. The No. 2 Eagles edged No. 1 Westfield by five strokes in the IHSAA state finals June 12 at Prairie View Golf Club. The Eagles finished with 600 strokes while the Shamrocks finished with 605, followed by Hamilton Southeastern at 606. Westfield finished runner-up for the third consecutive year.

CIZ COM 0625 ZCHS state golf head shot

“It’s awesome. It makes all the hours and work behind the scenes worth it,” said Wood, who was the state champion in 2013. “It’s a phenomenal feeling. I think this is something they’ll hang on to for the rest of their lives, which is just what I wanted. We came close. I had some phenomenal teammates. We had strong programs but winning the big one is difficult. The credit is the five players who pulled it off.”

It was Zionsville’s first state boys golf title since 2004 and third overall.

“We knew it was going to be a battle, for sure. There were too many good teams around us on the leaderboard,” Wood said. “We don’t leaderboard-watch or anything like that. It was more about hitting the shots we wanted to hit and playing the golf we wanted to play and then let the scores add up however they add up.”

Wood said he was confident if the Eagles played the way they could play, that would be good enough. He said the players handled the pressure well.

This was Wood’s first year as head coach. He succeeded Steve Simmons, who was Wood’s coach. Simmons, who had been the ZCHS head coach since the 2007 season, left to take the Marian University men’s golf coaching job.

“I know that coach Simmons before me had many top finishes and he deserves a tremendous amount of credit,” said Wood, a former Duke University golfer who was a ZCHS assistant for one year before becoming coach. “I love him, and he built a fantastic program. I really just stepped in. He did all the legwork and guys played great.”

Eagles senior Andrew Wall finished tied for fifth, shooting 70-74 for a two-day 144 total. Eagles sophomore Max Steiner tied for eighth with a 76-72 for a 148, followed by senior Gavin Poole with a 77-74-151 and freshman Brycen Tisch with 81-76-157. Senior Bryce Conlee was fifth with a 167 total.

The Eagles had a three-shot lead over Westfield after the June 11 first round. But the Shamrocks and Hamilton Southeastern stayed close.

“I didn’t know exactly where Westfield stood but I knew we needed a strong back nine,” Wood said. “We had a terrific first hour and a half on the back nine, from holes 10 through 13. Pretty much down the line, guys were making birdies and making pars. That put us in a strong position to finish. We knew no one was going to hand it to anyone. Someone was going to have to go win it.”

Wood said the finishing holes are very challenging.

“You have to keep your focus all the way through, and the guys did that,” Wood said.

ZCHS finished second in the Westfield Sectional behind two-time defending state champion Guerin Catholic and was then second to Westfield at the Harrison Regional.