John Sjoberg was named Emory University's head golf coach coach following the conclusion of the 2011 season. He took over for Mike Phillips who announced his retirement after 28 years as the head man of the Eagles' program.
The 2018-19 season was a memorable one for Emory golf, highlighted by the program's 22nd appearance in the NCAA D-III Championships and sixth during Sjoberg's tenure as head coach. In addition, the squad brought home its fourth straight University Athletic Association title and 19th in school history. In addition to its league title, playing its way to three first-place finishes in tournament action – taking home the top spot out of 18 teams at the season-opening NCAA Preview, pacing the 18-team field at the Golfweek DIII Fall Invitational and coming away with the No. 1 position out of 30 programs at the prestigious Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational. Sjoberg saw his team establish a school record seasonal record with an average of 293 strokes per round, bettering the previous mark of 295.2 strokes set in 2017-18. Sjoberg mentored four players to All-American recognition, with Matt Organisak claiming second-team acclaim while Connor Yakubov, Eric Yiu and Logan Ryan garnered honorable mention accolades. In the classroom, Yakubov, Organisak and Galloway were named Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholars for Division III. Sjoberg was tabbed as one of five finalists for the NCAA Division III Dave Williams Award, which recognizes the national coach of the year, for the second straight campaign. Under his watchful eye, individual team members account for a total of 51 rounds of par or better during the season which helped result in the team log four of the school's all-time top eight team rounds, highlighted by a program record 272 at the Golfweek DIII Fall Invitational.
Sjoberg oversaw an outstanding 2017-18 season, the highlight of which was the program making its 21st appearance in the NCAA D-III Championships and the fifth during his tenure as head coach. The Eagles posted a seventh-place finish out of the 42 schools that began the competition, firing a 72-hole score of 1180 which established a program record at nationals bettering the previous mark of 1187 turned in by the 2011 squad. In addition, the Eagles, who concluded the regular season ranked fourth in the Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll, captured their third straight UAA crown, with Sjoberg and assistant Cameron Hooper being selected as the league's Coaching Staff of the year (the fourth time Sjoberg had been recognized for that honor). Besides the team's performance at UAs, Sjoberg saw his charges bring home first-place finishes at the Rhodes College Fall Classic (finishing with a school-record 855 for a 54-hole tournament), the Discover DeKalb Emory Spring Invitational and the Fred Kravetz Invitational). For the second consecutive year Emory set a team seasonal scoring record, averaging 295.2 strokes per round, topping the 296.8 strokes the 2016-17 squad had posted. Sjoberg mentored four players to All-UAA honors including first-team honorees Matt Organisak, Keenan Hickton and Stefano Butti and second-team choice Connor Yakubov. Organisak was named the conference's Player of the Year for the second straight season, and was afforded PING Al--South Region acclaim along with Sam Galloway. All of the team and individual accomplishments helped result in Sjoberg being named one of five finalists for the Division III Dave Williams Award, which recognizes the national coach of the year, for the second straight season.
Working with a youthful and talented group, Sjoberg oversaw a memorable 2016-17 campaign, which included a berth to the NCAA D-III Championships. The Eagles were one of 42 schools to capture a berth to the national tournament and ended the 72-hole event tied for 12th place. Emory was ranked 12th in the preseason and wound up the regular portion of the campaign in the No. 3 spot in the Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll. Emory brought home its second consecutive UAA title, with Sjoberg being tabbed as the conference's Coach of the Year for the third time. The squad established a school seasonal record with a team scoring average of 296.8 strokes per round, topping the previous standard of 297.4 set by the 2010-11 team. Emory recorded six top-five finishes during the season including a first-place performance at the Callaway Gardens Invitational, the school’s first non-UAA title since 2011. Under Sjoberg's guidance, the duo of Stefano Butti and Matt Organisak earned Second Team All-America accolades. The list of impressive accomplishments did not go unnoticed as Sjoberg was named one of five finalists for the Division III Dave Williams Award, which recognizes the national coach of the year.
Guiding one of the youngest rosters in Emory golf annals, which often saw a contingent of four freshmen and one sophomore competing in the squad's 11 competitions, Sjoberg saw his 2015-16 charges earn a spot in the NCAA D-III Championships for the first time since 2013. The Eagles, unranked at the start of the year, finished No. 12 nationally at the end of the regular season. In addition, Emory brought home the University Athletic Association Championships, and Sjoberg was tabbed as the league's Coach of the Year. The team's scoring average of 301.1 strokes per round was the third-best showing in the history of the program. Under Sjoberg''s direction freshman Connor Yakubov played his way to Third Team All-American acclaim and garnered all-region honors with classmate Stefano Butti.
The 2014-15 campaign represeted Sjoberg's fourth season as head coach. After playing with a senior-dominated lineup the previous year, the Emory mentor went into the team's 10-tournament campaign with a lineup that was comprised of one freshman, one sophomore and two juniors, who had combined for 21 rounds of competitive action heading into the year, and one senior. Freshman Keenan Hickton and senior Alex Wunderlich earned All-UAA recognition with Hickton being tabbed as the league's Rookie of the Year.
Sjoberg's third season (2013-14) as head coach saw his squad capture the UAA title for the second time during his stint as program leader with three players earning first-team recognition on the all-conference squad -- freshman Colby Hipp, senior Jonathan Chen and junior Alex Wunderlich. Hipp was named the league's Rookie of the Year after taking home medalist honors, the first Eagle to accomplish that since 2010.
The 2012-13 campaign, Sjoberg's second at the helm of the program, was highlighted by the team's performance at the NCAA D-III Championships (the 11th straight and 18th overall appearance by the Eagles), posting a fourth-place finish that represented the best-ever performance in school history. Emory's 72-hole score of 1191 was the program's second-best effort in the event and the finish the seventh top-10 showing in school annals. Sjoberg saw junior Johnathan Chen card a four-round score of 289, the best individual effort ever by an Emory player, en route to a third-place out of the 210 players who originally comprised the field. Chen, along with Alex Wunderlich, captured Third Team All-America honors.
During Sjoberg's first year as head coach, he guided the team to its 10th straight (17th overall) bid to the NCAA D-III Championships. In addition, he saw the Eagles captured the University Athletic Association Championships, setting a conference record with a 36-hole score of 581. Under his tutelage, senior Ryan Dagerman captured First Team All-America honors, the Emory player to earn that distinction since 2006. Sjoberg saw two of his players, David Collura and Dagerman earn sports on the Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-Scholar Team with Dagerman also awarded the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
Sjoberg had been Emory’s assistant coach since July of 2008 and helped the Eagles to a first-place finish at the 2011 University Athletic Association Championships. During his stint with Emory, Sjoberg has played a key role in the program making three NCAA D-III Championship appearances, and this past year’s eighth-place effort was the first top-10 showing by the Eagles since 2006. Sjoberg has helped mentor four different players to a total of five All-America berths, including 2011 honorees, Ryan Dagerman, Charles Raindre and Johnathan Chen.
“I would like to thank Coach Phillips for three great years to start my coaching career,” Sjoberg stated following his appointment to head coach. “I have learned more than I could have imagined in during that time and look forward to carrying on the tradition that Coach Phillips has built at Emory."
Sjoberg came to the Emory program after serving as the assistant professional at the Duke University Golf Club in Durham, NC, since 2005. Among his responsibilities were serving as the primary liaison between the course and the university's men's and women's golf programs, administration of tournament events and instruction.
Sjoberg attended Methodist University and was a member of the golf team from 2002 through 2004. He was part of a program that earned three trips to the NCAA Tournament while claiming a pair of USA South Athletic Conference crowns.
Sjoberg serves on a number of regional and national commttees including the NCAA South Region Committee (2015-present) and the GCAA All-America Selection Committee (2016-present), while joining the GCAA Palmer Cup Selection Committee and the GCAA Jack Nicklaus Award Committee in 2018.
Sjoberg earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Methodist in 2005.
John's family includes his wife, Charlotte, and children, Stanley and Charlie.
updated June 2019