Senior, Finance Major . Golf . Kalamazoo, MI
When Barrett Kelpin took a visit to the University of Iowa during his senior year of high school, the Kalamazoo, Mich., native knew he had to be a Hawkeye.
“I came on my recruiting visit during Thanksgiving break my senior year and had a great experience,” said Kelpin, now a senior on the UI men’s golf team. “I knew who Coach Hankins was from his time at Michigan State and that he was a great coach. The prospect of playing for him was exciting for me.
“I loved everything about the school on my visit and it has been the best four years of my life. I was really impressed with Kinnick Stadium and what a great tradition Iowa Athletics had, as well as the amount of people that follow Iowa Athletics and take an active interest in cheering for the Hawks.”
“It was the best decision I ever made when I decided to sign with Iowa and become a Hawkeye,” said Kelpin.
The Hawkeyes sure are glad to have him.
Under the guidance of fifth-year head coach Mark Hankins, Kelpin has helped lead the resurgence of the Iowa men’s golf program.
Iowa has been selected to compete in NCAA Regional competition at The University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga. Competition will be held May 17-19. It marks the fourth-straight year Iowa has appeared in an NCAA Regional.
The Hawkeyes advanced to the NCAA Championships in 2009 and 2011. Last season, Iowa finished tied for 10th at the NCAA Championships, marking the best finish in school history. Kelpin has also helped lead the Hawkeyes to a first division finish at the Big Ten Championships in three-straight seasons.
Kelpin has enjoyed a special senior campaign. He finished second in the running for Big Ten Golfer of the Year and was a first team All-Big Ten selection. Kelpin currently paces the Hawkeyes with a 72.85 spring scoring average. He never finished lower than seventh place during regular season stroke play, including a second-place finish at the Boilermaker Invitational.
Kelpin hopes to continue pursuing his dreams of playing professional golf when his time wearing the Black and Gold is completed.
“I’m going to turn professional when I graduate in May and pursue a career in professional golf,” said Kelpin. “I have been playing golf all my life and I want to continue playing when I graduate and make a career out of it. I love golf more than anything, and the encouragement of my coaches and family members to turn pro will be a great support system for me.”
The Hawkeye standout is grateful for Iowa Athletics supporters who have helped make the last four years so special.
“The donors at the University of Iowa are an invaluable part of Hawkeye Athletics,” said Kelpin. “It is a testament of generosity and dedication to Hawkeye Athletics when donors are so generous to our athletic department. It makes me proud to be a Hawkeye and associated with University of Iowa Athletics when we celebrate their generous contributions to the athletic department.”
“The education and athletic experience I am getting here at Iowa is second to none and I cannot thank the donors enough for helping make it possible for me.” In recognition of his outstanding achievements in athletics, academics and citizenship at the University of Iowa, Kelpin received the 2011-12 Bud Suter Memorial Scholarship.