Season opening tournament will be held at Bethpage State Park Golf Course.
Head coach Frank Darby honored as BIG EAST Coach of the Year.
Senior Ryan McCormick earns program's first individual title since 2001.
St. John's holds a five-stroke lead after first round of tournament.
Red Storm leaves the snowy Northeast to open season in Arizona.
The St. John's men's golf team wins the 2014 BIG EAST Golf Championship.
Frank Darby enters his 19th season as head coach of the men's golf team at St. John's.
Under Darby's guidance, the Red Storm has won 23 team and 35 individual championships, and has made appearances at five NCAA Regional Championships with the most recent coming in 2002.
"St. John's has had a great tradition of golf and we have had a tremendous amount of student-athletes who have been successful in both the business world and professional golf," said Darby.
Red Storm golfers have earned numerous awards under Darby's tutelage. There have been 64 BIG EAST All-Academic and 18 All-BIG EAST playing selections, along with three Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Academic All-Americans honored. Sixteen St. John's golfers have also made the NCAA Mid-Atlantic team.
Darby's players have also had great success outside of St. John's.Red Storm alumnus Keegan Bradley is competing on the 2011 PGA Tour, taking home titles at the HP Byron Nelson Classic, and the PGA Championship, the fourth major of the season. Alumnus Andrew Svobodais competing on the 2011 PGA Nationwide Tour. Svoboda made the cut at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines G.C. in San Diego, Calif., while Casey Calmi took the title at the Brae Burn Invitational in Purchase, N.Y.
St. John's experienced great success in collegiate golf during the 1970s and 80s, but it wasn't until Darby's arrival in 1994 that the program began to regain its position as one of the elite teams in the East and the Mid-Atlantic region.
"When I took over this program, my goal was to be one of the best programs in the country," said Darby. "I wanted to have a team that produces academic All-Americans as well as playing All-Americans and graduates all of our players while preparing them for success after college. I believe we have achieved all of these goals and are getting close to becoming one of the elite programs in the nation."
Darby has been a member of the PGA of America for 26 years an is the Tournament Operations Director for the Metropolitan Section of the PGA, which entails planning, organizing and implementing 100 golf events in a six-month period. Before his current position at St. John's, Darby served as head golf professional at Nissequoque Golf Club for 11 years. He also helped open the Colonial Springs Golf Club and served as its Director of Golf for two years. Darby, his wife Nancy and daughter Charlotte now reside in Stratford, Conn.