Images of the Fighting Irish during their run to another BIG EAST title.
Steve Colnitis, a member of two BIG EAST Conference championship teams and two NCAA Central Regional qualifying squads at Notre Dame from 2001-05, completed his seventh year as an assistant coach for the Fighting Irish in 2011-12. Colnitis (pronounced coal-NIGHT-iss) aids in many of the day-to-day operations of the men's golf program, including recruiting, practice planning and travel scheduling.
In his seven seasons on the Notre Dame staff, Colnitis helped guide the Irish to the 2006, 2011 & 2012 BIG EAST Conference titles and the corresponding NCAA regional berths, as well as BIG EAST runner-up ﬁnishes in 2007 and 2010. He also was instrumental in helping Notre Dame to the top seven single-season stroke averages in school history (school-record 291.50 in 2010-11, 291.59 in 2011-12, 292.97 in 2005-06, 294.41 in 2009-10, 295.71 in 2006-07, 295.27 in 2007-08 and 297.97 in 2008-09).
What's more, Colnitis put his stamp on the Irish program as a recruiter. His latest success can be seen with the last five incoming freshman classes, which included Future Collegians World Tour (FCWT) ﬁrst-team All-Americans Max Scodro (who also garnered all-BIG EAST honors each of his four years at Notre Dame as well as BIG EAST Player of the Year as a junior and senior and GCAA and Golfweek All-America honors) and Chris Walker, along with rising senior Paul McNamara III, who was an International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) ﬁrst-team All-American in 2007.
Along with head coach Jim Kubinksi, Colnitis added a deep three-player class for the 2010-11 campaign that included Andrew Carreon, Andrew Lane and Niall Platt. Platt was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year as well as earning all-BIG EAST honors in each of his first two seasons. Platt also concluded his freshman year with a six-under 210 at the NCAA Southeast Regional. Colinitis' recruiting success continued in 2011-12 with the addition of Tyler Wingo, a two-time Virginia state champion, Patrick Grahek, an AJGA Scholastic All-American and 5A Georgia High School Golf Coaches Association (GHSGCA) all-state selection in 2011, as well as Peyton Vitter and culminated in his final class comprised of one-time North Carolina state champion Cory Sciupider, who hails from Etowah, N.C., and four-time all-county selection Zachary Toste out of Pembroke Pines, Fla.
"It has been a sincere pleasure to have had the opportunity to both coach Steve and then have him work within our program as assistant coach for 7 years," head coach Jim Kubinski remarked. "His contributions are too numerous to list. He was a friend and mentor to each and every one of our players as well as someone who treated the position and our program as a part of his life, rather than simply as a job. He was invested in everything we did and for that I'm very grateful. Steve represented Notre Dame with great class and integrity, a tremendous example for our student-athletes. We're blessed for our interaction these last several years and certainly wish him well in all endeavors. He'll never be too far away though, as once a part of our ND golf family you are always a part of who we are."Colnitis joined the Irish coaching staff in 2005 following a four-year career on the Notre Dame men's golf team, earning a pair of monograms along the way. He competed in 13 tournaments during his career, posting a 77.86 stroke average, and served as a tri-captain for the Irish in 2004-05, helping Notre Dame earn its second-consecutive BIG EAST title and a return trip to the NCAA Central Regional (where the Irish wound up only two shots shy of advancing to the NCAA ﬁnals).
Colnitis graduated from Notre Dame in May 2005, earning his bachelor's degree in marketing from the Mendoza College of Business. He also garnered Dean's List honors during the fall 2004 semester. Born September 15, 1982, in Baltimore, Md., Colnitis now resides in South Bend.