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Jeff Lorio named Louisiana Coach of the Year for second time, Bennett and Weber earn full honors – Crescent City Sports

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Matt Weber, Jeff Lorio, Kyle Bennett

NEW ORLEANS – Three Privateers have been recognized by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association for their efforts during the 2023-2024 season. Head Coach Jeff Lorio was named Louisiana’s Coach of the Year for the second time after another record-setting campaign, while juniors Kyle Bennett and Matt Weber were named second-team All-Louisiana by the LSWA on Wednesday afternoon.

Lorio was once again voted the top college golf coach in Louisiana after another strong season of Privateer Golf. New Orleans finished this season with a 78-43-3 (.641) record and a 32-7-1 (.813) mark against Southland competition. Since the 2020-21 season, the Privateers have compiled a record of 230-139-5 (.621) overall and 67-22-2 (.747) against the Southland with three top-3 finishes at the Southland Championships.

The team set two school records this season. Their batting average of 288.63 was the lowest in school history, breaking the previous record of 289.95 set by Coach Lorio’s team for 2019-2020. Additionally, the team finished this year with 12 team rounds under par, surpassing the previous record of 11 set in the 2007-2008 season.

Individually this season, Privateer golfers scored 40 rounds under par, with eight of the 11 golfers who saw action scoring at least one round under par. Seven UNO golfers combined to score 17 rounds in the 60s this season.

Lorio joins Chris McCarter as two-time winners of the Louisiana Coach of the Year award at the Lakefront, with McCarter receiving the honor following the 2005-06 and 2007-08 seasons. They are the only two Louisiana Coaches of the Year in program history.

Bennett played in all 10 Privateers tournaments this season with a 71.93 batting average over 30 rounds of golf – the third-lowest single-season scoring average in school history. He was an integral part of the lineup this year, playing first or second in six of those tournaments. The Zachary native scored par or better in 18 rounds this season and collected six top-20 finishes, three top-10 finishes and a pair of third-place finishes.

Kyle’s low round this season was 67, done twice – first during the second round of the Golfweek Fall Challenge to open the season, and then during the second round of the Colin Montgomerie Invitational (part of back-to-back rounds in the 60s). Unsurprisingly, his best score through 54 holes was a 207 at that same tournament. He also excelled in the classroom, earning Southland All-Academic honors.

Weber joined the team in the spring after transferring from Louisiana and made an immediate impact. The Lafayette native played in all five tournaments this spring, ranked first or second in the lineup, with an average of 72.37. Nine of his fifteen rounds were at par or better, including four rounds under par.

In just five tournaments, he had three top-20 finishes, three top-10 finishes and a pair of top-5 finishes, including a third-place finish in his UNO debut at Gulf Coast Collegiate. His lowest round this spring was a 67 during the second round of the Koasati Pines Intercollegiate, and his best score through 54 holes was a 210 at the same tournament. Matt also earned second-team All-Southland honors after finishing in a tie for 10th at the Southland Championships.

The duo was named All-Louisiana for the first time in their careers and represents the fifth and sixth All-Louisiana selections during Coach Lorio’s eight years at the Lakefront. Wednesday’s selections marked the sixth time in program history that multiple players were selected during the same season and the second time during Lorio’s tenure.

Casey Crain and Chip Zahn were selected after the 1999-2000 season, Jose Toledo and Jason Kuperman were selected after the 2006-2007 season, Toledo, Ken Looper and Hector Arias were selected after the 2008-2009 season, Oscar Zetterwall and Looper were selected after the 2009-2010 season, and Grayson Gilbert and Florian Moosmeier were selected after the 2019-2020 season.

Information about the 2024-2025 golf season will be available later this summer. Fans are encouraged to check out UNOPrivateers.com and follow @PrivateersGolf Twitter/X And Instagram for the latest information.

HEAD COACH JEFF LORIO
(about Kyle Bennett and Matt Weber)

“What a great honor for Matt and Kyle to both be named to the All-Louisiana team. Matt had a great spring semester for us, and Kyle was obviously super consistent all year long. Louisiana has some excellent golf programs and collegiate players, so it is very special to have two boys named to the All-Louisiana team again this year. I am incredibly proud of both of these young men and super excited about the trajectory of our program.”

(on winning Louisiana Coach of the Year)

“I am also thrilled to be recognized as Coach of the Year. Obviously, all the credit has to go to the guys in the program who have worked extremely hard. It is very rewarding to witness their achievements this year. It’s nice to get a little validation of what we’ve done and achieved as a program.”

WE ARE YOUR KREWE
For 54 seasons, Privateer student-athletes have had the unique experience of carrying New Orleans on their chest. Like the city itself, our sports teams are fueled by resilience, perseverance and the unquenchable desire to win. Our city also hosts the biggest party in the country every year. And like a Mardi Gras parade, we are connected to our community by pride, tradition, a culture of acceptance and finally, our commitment to show that New Orleans is a world-class city to live, learn, play and work . We invite you to become more involved with the only university that truly represents New Orleans all day, every day. Join #NOLAsTeam, we are your Krewe!

SOCIAL MEDIA
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