Andrew DiBitetto, who finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships as a player, is in his sixth year at the University of North Carolina and his third as the associate head coach. The Rochester, N.Y., native played collegiate golf at Charlotte and later was the 49ers’ assistant coach and interim head coach.
DiBitetto received the 2016 Jan Strickland Award presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf as selected by the GCAA. The Strickland Award is presented to the NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA or NJCAA assistant coach that, among other things, has excelled in working with their student-athletes both on the course and in the classroom.
“I am thrilled that Andrew won the Jan Strickland Award,” said UNC head coach Andrew Sapp. “His contributions to our golf program have been invaluable and for the selection committee made up of our peer coaches to recognize his work is an incredible honor. Working with Andrew every day has made me a better head coach and I have definitely seen our players benefit from his teaching and seen our program grow in the past five years. His competitiveness and his dedication to our players are two traits that really stand out. UNC is fortunate to have him as a coach and mentor to our golfers.”
The Tar Heels have won seven team titles and six different players have won medalist honors eight times in DiBitetto’s five years in Chapel Hill. Carter Jenkins earned All-ACC and all-region honors last year. Ben Griffin earned honorable mention PING All-America and All-ACC honors in 2015.
“It’s an honor to coach at Carolina, which combines a first-class education with one of the premier college athletic departments in the country,” says DiBitetto. “UNC is a special place where student-athletes can develop academically, athletically, and socially due to the fact that they are surrounded by incredible people and resources on a daily basis. I look forward to doing anything I can to help our young men reach their goals on and off the golf course.”
“Coach DiBitetto is a great coach because he is easy to relate to and he works extremely hard,” says Register, a junior from Burlington. “Many times at tournaments he is up late mapping out greens. He is also around our age and was a good player himself, which helps him relate to us and makes him easy to talk to.”
DiBitetto was an accomplished golfer at Charlotte, where he led the 49ers to unprecedented success at the NCAA Championships. As a junior in 2007, he earned honorable mention GCAA/PING All-America honors after finishing ninth and leading Charlotte to a tie for third place at the NCAA Championships, the school’s highest finish in history. His ninth-place finish was the highest to date by a 49er.
As a senior, Charlotte was ranked consensus No. 1, won the A-10 Championship and tied for eighth at the NCAA Championships. It was the first time in school history men’s golf posted back-to-back top 10s at NCAAs. He set and still holds the records for most tournaments and most consecutive tournaments played (50).
DiBitetto was second at the 2007 A-10 Championships and fifth in 2006. He led the 49ers to A-10 Championships in 2006, 2007, 2008, earned All-Atlantic 10 honors in 2006 and 2007 and was a second-team pick in 2005.
He also excelled in the classroom, winning Atlantic 10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors in 2007, and was chosen an All-America Scholar by the coaches in 2007 and 2008. He was an Atlantic 10 All-Academic team selection in 2006 and 2007. DiBitetto has carried that passion for academic excellence to his coaching career, as well, as five Tar Heels have been selected to the All-ACC Academic team on eight occasions since he joined the UNC staff.
DiBitetto graduated cum laude with a degree in business management and played professionally for a short time. He returned to Charlotte as assistant coach in 2009 and was named the interim head coach for the 49ers in December 2010.
DiBitetto played or coached on six consecutive Atlantic 10 championship teams. Charlotte qualified for the NCAA Regionals in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and the 49ers had six players selected to the All-Atlantic 10 team. Five players were named GCAA Scholar All-Americas, three players were selected to the GCAA/PING All-Region team and two players earned A-10 Student-Athlete of the Year honors. Corey Nagy was a two-time All-America, earning honorable mention in 2009 and second-team honors in 2010.
DiBitetto and his wife, Laree, have a son, Levi.