Conrad Rehling

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Conrad Henry Rehling (born February 6, 1920, in Peru, Indiana; died April 3, 2007 in Hiawassee, Georgia) was a golf coach at the University of Alabama.

Rehling, the son of Fred and Sylvia Rehling, grew up in Indiana and played basketball on scholarship at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and began his career as a professor of physical education at the University of Florida in Gainesville in 1949.

Rehling became head coach of the Gators' golf team in 1956, going 66-26-1 over the next 14 years and winning a Southeastern Conference championship in 1956 and a fourth-place finish at the 1960 NCAA Championships. He stepped down as head coach in 1963 but remained on faculty through 1969.

After a stop at the University of West Florida, Rehling accepted the head coaching job for the Alabama Crimson Tide golf team in 1972. His team won its only SEC championship in 1979 and tied for third place in the 1975 NCAA championships. He was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1979 and 1983. Individuals coached by Rehling at Alabama included PGA touring professionals Tom Garner, Steve Lowery, Jerry Pate, and Lee Rinker.

He established a women's golf team at Alabama and served as its first head coach as well. He retired in 1988 and was succeeded by his assistant Dick Spybey. Having contributed to the establishment of golf competition in the Special Olympics, he spent his retirement coaching players with disabilities and writing books to help others do the same.

Rehling was inducted into the first class of the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame in 1980. The Professional Golfers Association gave Rehling their Horton Smith Award in 1992, recognizing his "outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education." He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 and was given a lifetime achievement award by the PGA of America in 2005 for his contributions to golfing in the Special Olympics. Their "Conrad Rehling Award" is given annually in his honor.

References

  • "Former Tide coach Conrad Rehling dies at age 87." (April 4, 2007) Tuscaloosa News