Bishop Set To Retire As Saint Martin's Men's Golf Coach
Kevin Bishop was named the GNAC Men's Golf Coach of the Year in 2012, 2014 and 2021.
Kevin Bishop was named the GNAC Men's Golf Coach of the Year in 2012, 2014 and 2021.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022
by Saint Martin's Athletic Communications

LACEY, Wash. - Coming off one of the most successful seasons in Saints golf history, Saint Martin's head men's golf coach Kevin Bishop has decided to retire at the end of this season. 

Last season, in a span of two-and-a-half weeks, the Saints won the program's first GNAC championship, finished runner-up in the NCAA West/South Central Super Regional and concluded the year with a 15th place finish at the NCAA National Championships in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

"I have had quite a few good players in my time at SMU but last year's team was special both on and off the golf course," said Bishop. "We worked together as a real family, to accomplish our goals. I will remember that with great pride."

During his time at SMU, Bishop was awarded GNAC coach of the year three times (2012, 2014 and 2021) and his teams qualified for the NCAA regionals five times, which is the most for any sport in SMU history.  The Saints also finished runner-up in the GNAC Championship six times while capturing the crown in the 2020-21 season. 

"I want to congratulate Kevin on his upcoming retirement," said Athletic Director Bob Grisham. "Over the past 14 years, Kevin has done a tremendous job with the leadership of our men's golf program. He has established a program that is consistently competing at the top of the GNAC and West Region which is evident by winning the GNAC title last year." 

In his 14 seasons, to this point, his teams have amassed 685 head-to-head wins over Division II competition.  A number of players have found success and received awards, under his guidance, having garnered 39 All-Conference selections, two All-Region awards along with three Newcomer of the Year awards, a freshman of the year and a GNAC Player of the Year accomplishment. Saints golfers had 10 individual medalists, along with 34 top-10 finishes during Bishop's career.

Off the golf course, his teams found success in the classroom winning eight GNAC team academic GPA awards, with 29 individual student-athletes earning All-Academic honors.

"This success isn't just on the links, his student-athletes excel in the classroom and graduate," Grisham said. "His teams have won numerous GNAC academic titles and embody what we strive for in Saints Athletics and that is being competitive in competition and in the classroom."

Over the years, Bishop served on various committees representing the western region on the NCAA golf ranking committee along with being the GNAC representative on the coaches connection committee.  Off the golf course, Bishop developed an on-campus golf team room for both the men's and women's golf programs and was instrumental in forming a positive relationship with the City of Dupont. This relationship brought the NCAA Regional Championship to The Home Course two times and provides, to this day, a great venue for both the men's and women's Saints Invitational every year.

"My time at SMU has been very rewarding on the course, but the relationships made with my players and the camaraderie with the other coaches at SMU and other institutions, is what I will remember the most," said Bishop. "When Bob Grisham asked me years ago, over a hamburger lunch at Vans, if I would be interested in coaching the team, he told me he was looking for some competitive stability in the program. He asked could I commit to at least five years of coaching the team? I can say after 14 seasons, because of the talent and character of the men I coached, and the family atmosphere and teamwork Saint Martin's provides, it's been an enjoyable journey in my golf career."

"There is still some work to be done before I fade off down the fairway. We would love to defend our GNAC championship this April over in Couer D'Alene. It is a very strong and balanced conference.  It should be a great championship. The program is in good shape with a couple of nice recruits joining the squad this coming fall.  With a new head coach, the good play should continue. I would like to thank A.D. Grisham, and all the great people and coaches I have had the pleasure of working within athletics. There have been many great times filled with a ton of fun and laughs."

"I will be a Saint forever. While I am looking forward to more free time and some tournament golf for myself, I look forward to being available to the new coach and the athletic staff, as requested, if they need some volunteer help in the future."

In honor of Bishop's achievements, Saint Martin's has announced renaming the Saint Martin's Invitational, the annual golf tournament hosted each fall, to the SMU Bishop Invitational. The tournament is set to host 26-teams, both men's and women's, in early September of 2022.