Wheeler claims MIAA coach of year again; Bagley named A-game scholar athlete

Apr. 19—Mike Wheeler is the men's golf coach of the year in the MIAA again. The conference announced the award late Friday morning.

This makes two consecutive years for Wheeler being named the top coach in the conference.

"Amazing. You receive this award truly based on your players' accomplishments," Wheeler said. "It is this group of men that I have to thank for earning this award for me. And coach (Derek) Skaggs for recruiting them."

Wheeler has guided the Missouri Southern Lions to seven tournament victories over the past two years. They won two events last year and had two second-place finishes and one third-place finish. They had a fifth and second-place finish this year to go along with the five wins.

Wheeler's group just claimed its second straight MIAA championship booking a spot in another super regional tournament.

The Lions won three of four MIAA points events which also helped them to claim the regular season title.

Senior Tradgon McCrae earned the MIAA golfer of the year award last year, and now sophomore Luis Limon claimed the top honor in 2024.

Wheeler announced his retirement earlier this month after 14 seasons at the helm of the program. Assistant coach Skaggs will be leaving the program with him. Skaggs has been helping Wheeler the past five seasons after stepping down as dean of admissions at the university. The two had planned to coach the golf program together until Wheeler decided he was ready to retire.

Limon talked about what coach Wheeler has meant to him.

"He's my coach, but he's also been a friend to me," Limon said. "He's been helping me on and off the course. We wanted him to retire with a win and we got it. ... I don't think we'd be here without his support."


On Wednesday, Dylan Bagley was named the MIAA's A Game Scholar Athlete for his performance on the links during the 2023-24 season as well as his 4.0 GPA.

The junior accounting major from Hastings, New Zealand, is the first Lion to receive this award since the MIAA started giving it out in 2022.

His best round of the year was a 67, and his best finish was being tied for fourth in the Firekeeper Open earlier this month.