LYNCHBURG, Va. – Virginia freshman Ben James and Cavaliers head coach Bowen Sargent were the recipients of the top honors on the 2023 VaSID All-State University Division Men’s Golf team, which was released today by the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID).

James was named both the VaSID Men’s Golfer of the Year and VaSID Men’s Golf Rookie of the Year. Sargent was named the VaSID Men’s Golf Coach of the Year for the seventh time in his coaching career (also in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2017).

James burst onto the collegiate golf scene during the 2022-23 season and was named the Phil Mickelson Most Outstanding Freshman Golfer this season by the GCAA. He was a finalist for both the Haskins Award and Division I Jack Nicklaus Award which are presented to the nation’s top collegiate golfer.

The native of Milford, Conn., finished his first season at Virginia by earning first-team All-America honors from both Golfweek and Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).

In 13 tournaments, James posted a school-record stroke average of 69.0 for 40 rounds of play. He posted 11 top-six finishes, had 24 rounds in the 60s and 33 rounds of par or better.

James’ sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships tied as the second-best by a Cavalier. He helped Virginia reach match play at the NCAA Championships for the first time and post the best finish in stroke play (seventh) in program history.

Sargent is now the most honored coach in VaSID men’s golf history with seven state Coach of the Year honors.

Sargent led the Cavaliers to their most successful season in program history in 2022-23. Virginia reached the quarterfinals of match play at the NCAA Men’s Golf National Championship after a seventh-place finish in stroke play.

Virginia lost to eventual national champion Florida, 3-2, in the first round of match play. The Cavaliers made their 15th consecutive appearance at the national championship event.

In 2022-23, the Cavaliers picked up wins at the season-opening Streamsong Invitational and the Hamptons Intercollegiate. Virginia finished third or better in eight of 12 tournaments during the season and set a school record at the Streamsong Invitational, shooting 56-under 808.

The Cavaliers bookended that accomplishment by posting their best-ever score (-45, 819) and finish (third) at an NCAA Regional site. Virginia also reached the match play portion of the ACC Championships for the first time since the format was adopted in 2021.

A total of six University Division programs in the Commonwealth were represented on the 2023 VaSID All-State University Division Men’s Golf first and second teams.

Virginia (No. 10) and Liberty (No. 38), the top two ranked teams in the Commonwealth as ranked by Golfstat, took home seven of the 11 all-state honorees (Virginia – 4; Liberty – 3).

Single selections for Radford, Richmond, Virginia Tech and James Madison round out the all-state first and second teams.

VaSID names 44 all-state teams in 23 sports each year, as well as an Academic All-State squad and an all-sports champion in both the University and College Divisions. Membership in VaSID is open to all media relations professionals working at a university or conference in the state of Virginia.


2023 VaSID All-State University Division Men’s Golf Team
First Team
Ben James, Fr., Virginia
Jonathan Yaun, Sr., Liberty
Bryce Corbett, Sr., Radford
Cole Ekert, So., Richmond
Bryan Lee, Fr., Virginia 

Second Team
Pietro Bovari, Sr., Virginia
Josh Ryan, Fr., Liberty
Isaac Simmons, R-Jr., Liberty
Daniel Azallion, Sr., Virginia Tech
Daniel Cheng, So., James Madison
Deven Patel, So., Virginia

VaSID Golfer of the Year – Ben James, Fr., Virginia
VaSID Coach of the Year – Bowen Sargent, Virginia
VaSID Rookie of the Year – Ben James, Virginia