Every Bassmaster College Bracket winner

See all 12 of the previous College Bracket Champions.

Since 2011, the Bassmaster College Series has provided a path for College anglers to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic. Each year, one collegiate angler earns a berth to the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing. Of the 12 previous champions, five are current Bassmaster Elite Series pros and four are current Bassmaster EQ anglers. Also of note, there have been nine different schools represented on the Classic Stage. Bethel University holds the most Classic qualifiers with three. To qualify for the Bassmaster College Classic Bracket in previous years, anglers needed to finish inside the top four in the College National Championship. With a new format coming in 2024, anglers can qualify for the College Bracket via finishing first in points in either of two divisions, by winning the overall points race, and the national champions will earn berth to the bracket as well. Here is a complete list of those who defeated thousands of other collegiate anglers to be at the top step of the college fishing world.
2011 – Andrew Upshaw
Bassmaster Opens EQ angler Andrew Upshaw of Stephen F. Austin University was the first collegiate angler to walk across the Bassmaster Classic Stage in 2012 after winning the Bassmaster College National Championship in 2011. In 2011, only the national champions went to head to head to qualify for the Classic instead of the eight-man bracket. Since 2012, Upshaw has competed on the Opens, and in 2020 he began fishing the Opens with intentions to qualify for the Bassmaster Elite Series.
2012 – Matt Lee
The first of the Lee brothers to qualify for the big dance (Bassmaster Classic) was Matt Lee of Auburn University. Lee would go on to compete in the Elites from 2015 to 2018, qualify for the two Bassmaster Classics and earn a little over $250,000 in his tenure with B.A.S.S.
2013 – Jordan Lee
In 2013, Jordan Lee of Auburn University joined his brother, Matt Lee, as Bassmaster College Classic Bracket champions. Lee posted the best finish of all the bracket champions when he took sixth in the 2014 Lake Guntersville Classic. He then became the first collegiate angler to win the Bassmaster Classic in 2017 on Lake Conroe and won again in 2018 on Lake Hartwell. Over the course of five years with B.A.S.S., Lee joined the Elite Series, recorded 21 Top 10 finishes and earned over $1 million.
2014 – Brett Preuett
Before he was a Bassmaster Elite Series pro, Brett Preuett kickstarted his career in the college ranks while attending the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Preuett won the 2014 College Bracket against Bethel University’s Zach Parker to punch his ticket to the 2015 Classic. Preuett would later qualify to fish the Elites from the 2016 to 2017 and fished the series again from 2019 to 2021.
2015 – Trevor Lo
Minnesotan Trevor Lo took the title in 2015 fishing for Minnesota University after defeating Texas A&M’s Josh Bensema in the final round of the bracket at Lake DuBay in Wisconsin. Lo would fish the Bassmaster Classic in 2016 and the Opens in 2016 and would appear back on the Northern Bassmaster Opens in 2021.
2016 – John Garrett
Bethel University’s first of three bracket champions was Opens EQ angler John Garrett in 2016 when he won on Kentucky Lake. Garrett has had a long tenure in the College Series and the Opens after his win. Garrett fished the Opens in 2017 and then returned to the College Series in 2018 and 2019. In 2020 he was back on the Opens trail, and he nearly qualified for his second Bassmaster Classic had it not been for a culling infraction on the final day at the Arkansas River event. He has since been in the Opens and recently qualified for the Bassmaster Elite Series.
2017 – Jacob Foutz
Now an Elite Series pro, Jacob Foutz took the bracket win in 2017 while attending Bryan College. Foutz won the College Bracket over his former college teammate Jake Lee on Lake Bemidji in Minnesota. He would later fish the Opens in 2020-2021 and would qualify for the Elites for the 2022 season.
2018 – Nick Ratliff
Nick Ratliff from Campbellsville University took home the bracket win in 2018 at Lake Milford in Kansas. He narrowly beat West Virgina University’s Nolan Minor in a shootout on the final day to reach the 2019 Classic in Knoxville, Tenn. Ratliff would fish one full season on the Opens in 2019 and one division in 2021.
2019 – Cody Huff
Once a Bethel University student now an Elite Series pro, Cody Huff won the bracket honors in 2019 on Watts Bar giving Bethel two College Bracket champions. Huff fished the 2020 Bassmaster Classic as well as the Opens through 2020 and 2021 before qualifying for the Elites for the 2022 season. In two years of being an Elite, Huff has qualified for the Classic each season and has proved to be a force on the Bassmaster Elite Series.
2020 – Trevor McKinney
Bassmaster Opens EQ angler Trevor McKinney conquered the 2020 College Bracket on Lay Lake in Alabama after defeating teammate Blake Jackson by just over a pound. McKinney has battled it out on the Opens since 2021 with the intent of qualifying for the Bassmaster Elite Series.
2021 – Tristan McCormick
The latest Bethel University student to take victory at the College Bracket was Tristan McCormick in 2021 when he rallied to defeat Auburn University’s Tucker Smith on the Coosa River. McCormick would not only qualify for the Classic in 2022, but he would win the last Southern Open in 2022 and qualify for the 2023 Bassmaster Classic. He is the only College Bracket winner to win an Open the next year after winning the bracket.
2022 – Louis Monetti
Aboard his 1996 R72 Ranger bass boat with seats that had been torn apart and with other parts and pieces of it missing, Louis Monetti took the top honor in the College Series on Lake Greenwood in South Carolina. He defeated Seth Slanker on the final day and earn a ticket to the 2023 Bassmaster Classic. Monetti is currently a Bassmaster Opens EQ angler.
2023 – Easton Fothergill
Despite almost not making the bracket due to having brain surgery just a month before the bracket, Fothergill overcame all odds to be the top college angler in 2023. Fothergill finished ahead of Auburn University’s Tucker Smith on the final day at Lake Milford in Kansas with the biggest bag of the bracket of 11 pounds, 13 ounces granting him entry into the 2024 Bassmaster Classic.