Scott Lokers is aiming to keep the Hope College men's golf program impactful — on and off the course.
The 1981 Hope College graduate and former Flying Dutchmen golfer will succeed Bob Ebels as head coach, co-athletic director Tim Schoonveld announced today. Ebels is retiring after a successful 26-year run as head coach.
Lokers, 58, is promoted after serving the past five seasons as a volunteer assistant coach for Ebels.
"I want to continue and build upon the excellence of Coach Ebels' program," Lokers said. 'I really do believe in the Hope College twin pillars of competitive excellence and transformational experiences. We want to offer the best college experience we can for these young men. It's about helping them succeed on the golf course and every aspect of their lives, helping them grow into great young men."
Lokers becomes the 12th men's golf coach in Hope College history. He succeeds Ebels, who guided the Flying Dutchmen to 10 NCAA Division III Championship team appearances and 14 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles between 1991 to 2016.
"We are excited to have Scott join our team and be the next head men's golf coach at Hope College," Schoonveld said. "He is going to do a fantastic job coaching golf and continuing our men's golf success.
"His desire and ability to impact and influence young men are exactly what we desire at Hope, and we are excited to see him take over the reigns of this program. We are confident that he will build on the foundation that Coach Ebels and his teams have laid for the past 26 years."
Lokers is grateful for the mentorship from and friendship with Ebels.
"It's been a great privilege to be invited to coach Hope golf, and a privilege to serve as a volunteer assistant these past five years. I've learned a lot from him," Lokers said. "Bob built up the program. The successes he's had — from excellence in performance to helping these young men grow in every aspect of their lives — have been fun to watch."
Ebels asked Lokers to coach with him at Hope after the two played in a summer league together.
After receiving encouragement from his family — his wife of 36 years, Susan, and daughters Sarah and Anna — and the Overisel Reformed Church where he was pastoring at the time, Lokers took Ebels up on the opportunity to return to a special place.
As a student, Lokers golfed for three seasons at Hope. Both of his daughters are also Hope graduates, and Sarah golfed for three seasons for the Flying Dutch.
"Coaching has been a way to combine my love for Hope College, my love for golf and my love for investing in other people, especially college students," Lokers said.
Lokers has golfed since childhood, including amateur tournaments as an adult. He fondly recalls golfing growing up with brother, Ray, and their now 98-year-old father, Ray.
Lokers has worked in ministry for most of his career since graduating from Hope College with a degree in mathematics. After teaching for two years, he went back to school to become an ordained minister. He has been doing interim transition work the past three years for the Reformed Church in America.
Ebels believes Lokers is the right coach for the Flying Dutchmen.
"He loves this age of kid. He has felt a calling to have an impact in their lives: mentoring and modeling the way it should be," Ebels said. "He loves Hope immensely. He's a good golfer. He can compete, which gives him credibility to the parents and the kids who are looking at Hope."
— Alan Babbitt