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Southern Methodist University (SMU) is a private research university in University Park, Texas, with a satellite campus in Taos County, New Mexico. SMU was founded on April 17, 1911, by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South—now part of the United Methodist Church—in partnership with Dallas civic leaders.  However, it is nonsectarian in its teaching and enrolls students of all religious affiliations. It is classified among “R-2: Doctoral Universities – High Research Activity”.

The main campus of Southern Methodist University is located in Highland Park and University Park, both of which are incorporated enclaves of Dallas, Texas.
It is located on 234 acres of land just west of US Route 75.  Dallas Hall is the centerpiece for this campus and is the administrative center for the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

As of fall 2020, the university had 12,373 students, including 6,827 undergraduates and 5,546 postgraduates, representing the largest student body in SMU history.  As of fall 2019, its instructional faculty is 1,151, with 754 being full-time.
In the 2020 academic year, the university granted over 3,827 degrees, including 315 doctorates, 1,659 master’s and 1,853 bachelor’s degrees and offers over 32 doctoral and over 120 masters programs from eight schools.

SMU has eight degree-granting schools each headed by a dean, with all undergraduates entering the university in the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences as pre-majors:

  • Cox School of Business
  • Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Dedman School of Law
  • Lyle School of Engineering
  • Meadows School of the Arts
  • Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies
  • Perkins School of Theology
  • Simmons School of Education and Human Development

For the class of 2024 (entering Fall 2020), 14,010 students applied, 7,379 (52.7%) were admitted, and 1,531 enrolled/matriculated (20.7%) – including 758 women and 773 men, and the 1 year retention rate (entering Fall 2019) was 92%. The average SAT was 1,343 while the average ACT was 30.6.  The middle 50% SAT range for enrolled students was 630-710 for Evidence-Based Reading & Writing, 620-740 for math, while the ACT Composite range was 29–33.

Southern Methodist University’s athletics teams are known as the Mustangs and participate in the NCAA’s Division I, with the football team competing as a member of Division I FBS. The football team plays at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the SMU campus. Mustangs compete in the American Athletic Conference (previously named Big East Conference) for all sports beginning in the 2013–14 season. Prior to that, the Mustangs participated in the now-defunct Southwest Conference and the Western Athletic Conference.

​Southern Methodist University
Dallas, tx

Jerry Pittman Head Men’s Golf Coach Chris Parra entered his fourth season (2022-23) at the helm of the SMU men’s golf program and his ninth overall season on the coaching staff. Parra was named full-time head coach on April 16, 2020, after serving the 2019-20 season as interim head coach.

Parra was named American Athletic Conference Head Coach of the Year for the 2021-22 season after leading the Mustangs to their second AAC title since joining the league in 2013, and 10th title in program history behind a 54-hole tournament-record performance at Southern Hills Golf Club (282-277-276, -29).

In his first two seasons as head coach, Parra led the Mustangs to their two best finishes (No. 12 in 2019-20, No. 18 in 2020-21) in the Golfstat rankings since the organization began ranking teams in 1993-94. The Mustangs have won five of 24 tournaments since he took over the reins of the program, and produced nine individual tournament champions in that timespan.

Parra’s time at SMU has been highlighted by success in NCAA postseason play, including leading the Mustangs to the 2021 NCAA Championships in his first opportunity as head coach. As an assistant in 2015, he saw Bryson DeChambeau win the program’s first individual NCAA Championship, and helped the Mustangs reach the 2019 NCAA Quarterfinals after a memorable playoff win against Clemson for the eighth and final spot.

In addition, the Mustangs won the 2015 Noblesville (Ind.) Regional and Noah Goodwin claimed medalist honors at the 2021 Stillwater (Okla.) Regional, Parra’s first NCAA Regional as head coach.

Since arriving on campus in 2014, Parra has coached 15 All-American Athletic Conference selections (three as head coach), 11 all-region selections, three AAC Golfers of the Year (DeChambeau, 2015; Mac Meissner, 2019; Noah Goodwin, 2021), seven All-Americans, and been a part of nine tournament wins. Eight of his players have gone on to play professionally, including three who won professional tournaments in 2021; DeChambeau (eight-time PGA Tour Winner), Austin Smotherman (Korn Ferry Tour tournament winner) and Meissner (Forme Tour tournament winner).

In addition to success on the course, the Mustangs have been successful in their courses during Parra’s tenure. The Mustangs have earned an Outstanding Team Academic Award five times in Parra’s eight school years, including both seasons that Parra has been in charge of the program. In addition, 19 Mustangs have been named All-America Scholars by the GCAA, with 14 of those selections coming since Parra was named head coach.

In 2019, the Mustangs won his first two events as acting head coach, making him just the 11th men’s golf coach in NCAA history to win multiple events in his first season as head coach, and the first to win his first two tournaments as head coach since Mississippi State’s Nick Goetze in 1998. The Mustangs would rise all the way to No. 2 in the Golfstat rankings and sat at No. 12 at the time of the season’s cancellation due to COVID-19. The following season, Parra led the Mustangs to a NCAA Championships bid and a national finish of T-17th, after spending the entire season in Golfstat’s top 25.

The Irving, Texas, native played for the Mustangs from 1996-98, earning a tournament win in 1997 at the UTSA Invitational. Parra had a 75.94 stroke average in six collegiate events, turning pro in 1999.

Parra competed professionally for 14 years (1999-2014), spending most of his career on what is now known as the Korn Ferry Tour. He played in 36 events on the PGA Tour’s developmental circuit, earning one top-10 finish and four top-25 finishes. His best finish came in 2010, where he finished tied for seventh at the Fort Smith Classic.

In 2006, Parra made his first PGA Tour appearance in the Byron Nelson Championship, where he made the cut and finished 72nd overall. Later in his professional career, he played in the LatinoAm and the PGA Canada Tour. At the 2013 U.S. Open Local Sectional Qualifying, Parra carded a 70 to tie for second.

Parra’s Head Coaching Record:
Parra Timeline:
2019-Present: SMU (head coach)
2014-19: SMU (assistant coach)
1999-2014: Professional career (Korn Ferry Tour + others)
1996-98: SMU (student-athlete)
Note: was acting/interim head coach in 2019-20

Parra by the numbers:
19: GCAA All-America Scholars
15: AAC All-Conference selections
13: Tournament Victories
7: All-Americans
6: GCAA Outstanding Team Academic Award
3: NCAA Championships Appearances
3: AAC Golfers of the Year
2015 Individual NCAA Champion

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