Downes & Metcalf Honored at NEIGA Awards Banquet

Western New England head men's golf coach Bill Downes (left) and senior Mike Metcalf (right) were honored at the NEIGA Awards Banquet on Saturday night. Downes received the George A. Jacobson Special Recognition Award, while Metcalf was presented with the Guy Tedesco Award.
Western New England head men's golf coach Bill Downes (left) and senior Mike Metcalf (right) were honored at the NEIGA Awards Banquet on Saturday night. Downes received the George A. Jacobson Special Recognition Award, while Metcalf was presented with the Guy Tedesco Award.

Downes receives George A. Jacobson Special Recognition Award, Metcalf presented with Guy Tedesco Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (October 24, 2017) – Western New England University head men's golf coach Bill Downes and senior Mike Metcalf (Longmeadow, Mass.) were both honored at the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA) awards banquet on Saturday night at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel in Hyannis, Mass. 

Downes was presented with the George A. Jacobson Special Recognition Award, while Metcalf, his grandson, received the Guy Tedesco Award.

Established in 1990, the George A. Jacobson Special Recognition Award is named after longtime NEIGA executive director and former Salem State College Golf Coach George Jacobson. It is annually awarded to an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to college golf.

The Guy Tedesco Award is presented each year to the Outstanding New England college golfer who has made a significant contribution to college golf in the areas of active participation, exemplary behavior, promotion of the game, leadership and cooperation with others, and sportsmanship.

By far the longest tenured member of the Western New England University athletics staff, William Arthur "Red" Downes is in his 31st season as the head coach of the Golden Bear men's golf program, and 50th overall at the school.

Downes resurrected the varsity golf program at Western New England in the 1980's and has since built it into one of the strongest Division III programs in the region.

One of the most beloved figures on campus, Downes' contributions to the Western New England Athletic Department have been immense. In addition to coaching golf, he amassed 184 victories in 20 seasons as the men's soccer coach (1970-89) and 100 wins as men's basketball coach. (1977-86). He also coached baseball for three years (1971-73).

Coach Downes was a driving force in helping the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) gain automatic qualification to the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships for the first time during the 2014 spring season. He went on to lead the Golden Bears to consecutive CCC titles and appearances in the NCAA Championship in 2015 & 2016.

Downes was honored by the University by having the Western New England Athletic Hall of Fame named in his honor in 1999, and he was one of the six original inductees.

Metcalf has been a top performer for the Golden Bears both on the golf course and in the classroom during his time at Western New England.

The Longmeadow, Mass. native is a two-time All-Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) selection, earning first team honors in 2016-17 after finishing in the top-10 in seven of the ten events he played in.

After transferring from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Metcalf made an immediate impact with the Western New England golf program as a sophomore in 2015-16. He appeared in 11 events and posted a 79.7 stroke average on his way to All-CCC second team recognition.

Academically, his accolades are just as impressive. The Accounting & Finance major has a 3.63 cumulative grade point average and was selected as a Division III Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) last summer. Additionally, he was inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma National Student-Athlete Honor Society in March and completed an internship with PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Chicago over the summer.

Metcalf finished in a tie for 17th place over the weekend at the NEIGA Championship, which was held at the Captains Golf Course in Brewster, Mass.