Bernard going for back-to-back wins
Bison open at Colgate Invitational this weekend
Bison Seeking Fourth PL Title
Bucknell Men's Golf at Patriot League Championship
Jim Cotner, for nearly 30 years a teacher, coach and administrator in the Lewisburg Area School District, is in his 12th year as head men's golf coach at Bucknell. Cotner has rebuilt the Bison golf program into one of the best in the East, leading the squad to 10 tournament titles in the last six years, including the 2006, 2007 and 2009 Patriot League championships.
Cotner was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year in three straight seasons (2005-07) and again in 2009 after guiding the Bison through one of the finest stretches in program history. The team was runner-up at the 2005 Patriot League Championship before breaking through with a first-ever PL title in 2006. A year later the Bison defended their crown, capturing the title with a narrow three-shot victory over Navy. In 2009, the Bison came from behind to catch Navy and host Army to win a third title in four years. The league crowns automatically qualified the Bison for the NCAA Regionals, where they played at the famed Omni Tucson National Golf Resort & Spa in 2006, at Arizona State's Karsten Course in 2007, and at The Club at Olde Stone in Kentucky in 2009.
"We have been fortunate to get student-athletes who want to come to Bucknell for the top-notch education, but who are also very passionate about golf," said Cotner. "The sport means a lot to them, and they have every opportunity to get better. The facilities here are first-class, with our own Bucknell Golf Club and a great teaching pro in Brian Kelly."
A 2000 inductee into the West Branch Chapter of the Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame, Cotner in 2001 retired from Lewisburg Area High School, where he served as the school's director of athletics for 11 years. Since moving to the district in September 1972, Cotner coached the Dragons' boys' varsity tennis team for four years (1972-75), the boys' varsity golf team for five seasons (1982-86), the boys' junior varsity basketball squad for two years (1972-74) and the boys' varsity basketball team for 17 years (1974-90).
A 1972 graduate of East Stroudsburg University, Cotner is active in the local golf scene, as well. For 13 years he has been president of the North Central Pennsylvania Golf Association, and he is a 13-year USGA Committee Member for Regional Golf Associations.
Cotner is only the fifth head coach in the 70-plus-year history of the Bucknell men's golf program.