• 11 NCAA Div. III national team championships
  • 31 NCAA Div. III individual championships
  • 161 Iowa Conference titles
  • 23 Iowa Conference all-sports titles

John Bermel ‘84

Men's golf

John Bermel '84

Bermel, a Keota, Iowa native, now serves as head men’s and women’s golf coach at the University of Northern Iowa, but his playing career has extended well beyond his years at Central. He has twice competed in the PGA Championships, one of professional golf’s four majors. He competed at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. in 1994 and Valhalla Golf Course near Louisville, Ky. in 1996. Bermel also qualified for a major on the Champions Tour in 2012, playing at the U.S. Senior Open at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich. Bermel was Iowa Section PGA Champion in 1990 and 1993, while placing second in 1991 and 1995.

At Central, Bermel helped Central claim four Iowa Conference titles and earn four NCAA Division III tournament berths. After tying for eighth in the conference as a freshman in 1981, Bermel placed third in 1982 and then tied for medalist honors in 1983, but lost in a playoff. He was again second in 1984. He received Division III all-America honorable mention distinction three times as the Dutch recorded four straight top-10 national team finishes, including sixth-place showings in 1983 and 1984. Bermel was tabbed as Central’s outstanding freshman in 1981 and was named the team MVP in 1984, also serving as team captain that year.

Bermel has piloted the UNI men’s golf program since 1995, and began coaching the women’s team as well in 2002. He’s also a highly regarded golf instructor. He was named the Iowa PGA Professional of the Year in 2012 and was named “The Best Teacher” for Iowa by Golf Digest in 2009, based on a poll of golf instructors.

In 2011, Bermel received the Labron Harris Sr. Award by E-Z-GO in cooperation with The PGA of America, “presented to the college or high school coach and PGA professional whose support of the game through teaching, coaching and involvement in the community has helped ensure the continued growth of the game and who represents the finest qualities the game has to offer.”

From 1986-89, Bermel was an assistant professional at Mason City Country Club, Des Moines Golf and Country Club and Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo, and was named the state’s assistant professional of the year while in Mason City in 1987. He served as head professional at Beaver Hills Country Club in Cedar Falls from 1990-95 before taking over at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course, where he’s worked since 1995.

Bermel and his wife Tracy ’86 have five children who are active golfers: Abby (23), Jacob (19), Hailey (14), Hannah (14) and Ben (13).

Central College