College golf job blog: News from around the coaching community for 2022

News from around the coaching community.

Interested in the college golf coaching scene around the country in 2022? Get the latest updates on this page.

If you have information to share on this page, please e-mail Lance Ringler or Adam Woodard.

Editor’s note: To see previous listings, click here.

January 12

IDAHO

Athletic Director Terry Gawlik announced the hire of Stephanie Young  Stephanie Youngs has been named head women’s golf coach at the University of Idaho.

Young comes to Idaho from Bowling Green where she was the head golf coach for the past 16 years.

“It is an honor to become the next head women’s golf coach for the Idaho Vandals,” Young said. “Thank you to Terry Gawlik and Heath Senour  for this fantastic opportunity. I am excited to begin working with our student-athletes and get settled into the Moscow community. I would also like to thank everyone at BGSU for entrusting me to lead their women’s golf program for 16 years. I will be forever grateful for my time there and am proud of all that we were able to accomplish together.”

During her time at BGSU, Young has guided the Falcons to a school-record 12 team tournament titles and 11 individual tournament titles. Young played her college golf at the University of Toledo.

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College golf facilities: Youngstown State Penguins

Check out the Watson and Tressel Training Site.

The Watson and Tressel families presented Youngstown State University with a $1 million donation and four years later in the fall of 2011 the Watson and Tressel Training Site (WATTS) opened on-campus. The facility offers Penguin athletics one of the finest complexes in the Horizon League and is a training ground for the men’s and women’s golf programs.

Both teams can work on their games throughout the cold Northeast Ohio winters on the mezzanine at the state-of-the-art putting surface and short-game area that spans approximately 1,600 square feet.

“The WATTS is a unique indoor golf facility,” said head women’s golf coach Nate Miklos. “We’re able to hit shots and see ball flight for anywhere from 30-50 yards, which makes a huge difference in helping our players prepare for our spring season.”

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More: Check out our list of college golf practice facilities

Photos: Watson and Tressel Training Site

During a chaotic and incredible year, college star Rachel Heck didn’t want to make ‘rash decisions’ about NIL

“I was just happy to be playing golf.”

Perhaps the best way to sum up the historic year Rachel Heck had is to listen as she discusses what went through her mind standing on the 18th green holding up the NCAA championship trophy in Scottsdale, Arizona, in May.

This had been one of her goals for so long, and an unlikely one even after years of being hailed as maybe the best women’s golf prospect to ever emerge from the Memphis area. Here she was representing Stanford, the dream school she committed to as a freshman at St. Agnes, a dream that had to be deferred even longer because COVID-19 shut down the campus in the fall of 2020.

She wondered if this would even be possible, and it had nothing to do with her driver or her putter or the rest of the prodigious skills she so carefully cultivated, starting out at Chickasaw Country Club, then Windyke Country Club and, more recently, Spring Creek Golf Course and TPC Southwind.

So this moment, a moment that further cemented her as one of the world’s best amateur golfers, became a moment of clarity as well.

Stanford University golfer Rachel Heck celebrates with her father Robert Heck after being crowned individual medalist during the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club. Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY Sports.

“I think my mindset kind of changed after COVID,” Heck said. “There was a long period where I wasn’t able to play and I missed it so much. I didn’t know when I was going to be able to play again. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to go to Stanford. So I was just happy to be playing golf.”

Heck embodied what it meant to persevere and thrive as an athlete through a pandemic that continues to wreak havoc on sports, and became one of the symbols for the new name, image, likeness era that has completely changed the notion of what a college athlete can do.

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Put simply: There was no Memphis-based sports figure who accomplished more over the past 12 months.

Heck, 20, became just the third freshman to sweep the NCAA golf postseason, winning her conference championship, her NCAA regional title, and the national championship. She was only the second freshman to win the ANNIKA Award, given annually to the best women’s Division I golfer. Her scoring average over 25 rounds of college golf (69.76) is also the lowest in NCAA history.

Heck also made it to the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur and made the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open for the second time in four years. She finished the year at No. 3 in the women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings and No. 2 in the Golfweek/Amateur.Golf.com rankings.

“All the golf accomplishments just added on to what was already an insanely special year,” Heck said. “In my day-to-day life, I don’t find happiness from knowing that I won the national championship. I find happiness from my friends and everyone at Stanford and my coach. They’re what really matters.”

Stanford University golfer Rachel Heck tees off on the 11th hole during the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club. Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY Sports.

This perspective is a boon in light of all the other opportunities afforded Heck because of her achievements.

She is an example of how a college athlete’s ability to make money off name, image, and likeness can’t simply be viewed through the prism of professionalizing college sports. It’s not just about football and men’s basketball, either. It’s also a tool to keep athletes in school.

Heck is now represented by Excel Sports Management, the same New York-based agency that works with Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas, among others. She has only signed one marketing deal at the moment with Six Star Pro Nutrition, she said, although there have been numerous other offers to sort through.

“I just wanted to do this process right, not make any rash decisions, not sign any contracts the day after NIL was finalized by the NCAA,” Heck explained.

More importantly, though, it helps offset the pressure to turn pro that a golfer of her acclaim might have previously felt.

“For me, I don’t want to go pro anyways,” Heck said. “But I think the incentive was to monetize how you’re playing. If you’re playing well, some people look at it as a waste to stay in college when you could be making money off of that now.”

“To know that you can make money while playing in college gives you the best of both worlds. I really do think it’s going to keep a lot of people in college, which is so important. If you get your degree, the Tour will always be there.”

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Patriot All-America Invitational field elevated with addition of women’s field

“It’s always been a hope and a mission of the tournament to add a women’s field,” said Patriot chairman.

Heading into its 11th year, the Patriot All-American Invitational is elevating its field in a big way.

In July, tournament organizers announced that after 10 years of having only men’s golfers, one of the premier amateur golf tournaments will have a women’s field for the first time at Wigwam Golf Club in Litchfield Park, Arizona, Dec. 28-31.

The interest to get in the field was sky high.

“We filled the women’s field with the first round of invitations. We were ecstatic. And we filled it within a few weeks,” said Sean Scibienski, chairman for the 2021 Patriot All-American.

“It’s always been a hope and a mission of the tournament to add a women’s field but we had to let the tournament season, make sure we knew what we were doing, work with our partners to fundraise enough to do it,” said Scibienski. “This is the first year we pulled the trigger and we’re super excited. We’re starting with a 42-player women’s field. Our hopes are to grow that. We got a top-notch field this year. We’re super excited to have them.”

The Patriot All-America made the announcement in partnership with the Women’s Golf Coaches Association of America.

“The WGCA is excited to partner with The Patriot,” said Angie Ravaioli-Larkin, WGCA President. “This is so special to our organization especially with our involvement and commitment to The Folds of Honor. What a tremendous opportunity to recognize some of the finest players in women’s college golf while honoring those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

While the inaugural field for the women will be 42 golfers, the men’s field will be 84 players once again. The Wigwam resort has three 18-hole layouts which will allow the men and women to play at the same time. The men will compete on the gold course while the women will tackle the blue.

“It works out pretty nicely. They have three golf courses, but two of them kind of weave in amongst each other,” Scibienski said. “Both golf courses are right next to each other, and several holes kind of intertwine between each other so it really makes for it spectacular for spectator’s access to both the women’s field and the men’s field at the same time. It makes it really easy for them.”

Aside for the field size and the different courses, everything else about the experience will be the same for the male and female competitors, including the unique part of the Patriot All-American.

“Each golfer receives and carries a commemorative Ping golf bag that bears the name and branch of a fallen or wounded hero from their hometown or school,” Scibienski said. That’s been a tradition at the event since it started.

“We like to call it the college bowl game of golf. The players are getting swag items in their rooms every day, they get breakfast, lunch and dinner, a VIP tour of Luke Air Force Base.

“We have a F-35 flyover. The keynote speaker this year is Lt. Dan Rooney, the founder of Folds of Honor. Anything that’s not golf tournament, actual playing related, the women are alongside the men doing the exact same stuff.”

The tournament falls in between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but that’s never been an issue filling the field.

“Who doesn’t want to play golf in Arizona in December?” Scibienski said. But as it turned out, it was much more than that.

“A lot of the men’s golf coaches and men’s golfers went to their women counterparts and said ‘This thing is amazing.’ The kids who come out here love it. We have several kids who try to play it every year they have eligibility. The boys did a great job telling the girls ‘You gotta make it out and play.'”

The West Valley Mavericks, who run the Patriot, style themselves a bit after the Thunderbirds, who are in charge of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and like the Thunderbirds, the Mavericks are forward thinking and are already looking ahead to 2022 and beyond. That includes making a bigger deal out of the final round ending on December 31.

“It is on our agenda for future plans to basically do our version of the Bird’s Nest [the famous concert venue at TPC Scottsdale], where we roll right from closing ceremonies to a big New Year’s Eve bash at the Wigwam,” he said. “That’s just a future plan that we haven’t pulled the trigger on yet but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it next year or the year after.”

Getting in the Patriot All-America Invitational

The tournament features Ping All-Americans from the previous season in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and NJCAA as well as 2021 First Team All-America seniors from the AJGA. The golfers also have to be ranked high enough in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Notables in the field

Two of the top 50 golfers in the latest men’s WAGR rankings are in the field: Sam Choi of New Mexico (20) and David Ford of North Carolina (35). Three of the top 50 in the women’s rankings are playing: Oklahoma State’s Caley McGinty (20), Oregon’s Hsin-Yu Lu (41) and San Jose State’s Natasha Andrea Oon (49).

Arizona State is well represented as Mason Anderson, Kiko Coelho, James Leow and Preston Summerhays from the men’s team are in the field, as are Ashley Menne and Calynne Rosholt from the women’s team. Christian Banke and Chase Sienkiewicz from the Arizona Wildcats men’s team as well as Maya Benita and Ya Chun Chang from the UA’s women’s team are in the field. Mason Domecq from Ottawa University Arizona and Siripatsorn Patchana from Grand Canyon University are also playing.

Specator information

Admission is free for all days of competition. The tournament will also be live-streamed on the West Valley Maverick’s youtube channel. There will be cameras on the first tee, as well as the 16th and 18th holes. The 16th hole is a par 3 and the camera there can also capture tee shots from the 11th and 17th hole. The camera on the 18th hole will also be used for the closing ceremony.

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Your 2021 picks: Our top 10 college golf stories (No. 1 is all about facilities)

Take a scroll through the top 10 college golf stories of 2021.

After the COVID-19 pandemic derailed the 2019-20 season, college golfers across the nation were back in action this spring as the amateur golf calendar got back on schedule.

Like the rest of college athletics, the biggest storylines for college golf centered around the NCAA’s new name, image and likeness rules – particularly how Barstool Sports has operated – as well as the NCAA Transfer Portal. Oh, and don’t forget the NCAA Regional that was decided without a single shot being hit.

As we continue the countdown to 2022 by offering up a snapshot of our best stories from the year, take a scroll through some of the biggest stories from the world of college golf in 2021 (photo galleries and preseason watch lists were not included in this listing).

Wyoming’s refreshing pitch to transfer players is a rare moment of honesty in college football

Craig Bohl just telling it like it is

Someday very soon, statements like the one released by Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl on Friday won’t seem noteworthy. Just another press release in a long of line them throughout the college football offseason and into the spring.

We’re just not there yet. Which is what makes Bohl’s straightforward and honest assessment of where his program is following National Signing Day so eye-catching. The Cowboys coach plainly stated that his program did not have an adequate quarterback on the roster, that he’s actively looking for one in the transfer portal and, with NIL endorsements in play, joining Wyoming will help earn money for whomever does join the program.

The Cowboys went 7-6 this season, earned a 52-38 victory over Kent State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and have the eighth-best 2022 recruiting class in the Mountain West (per 247Sports). By no means is this a program without momentum, but adding a more-talented QB to the roster would certainly move things along at a faster pace.

That’s exactly what happened when Bohl convinced Josh Allen to transfer to Wyoming from JUCO in 2015. After earning just six wins combined in his first two seasons with the Cowboys, Bohl and Allen lifted the team to an 8-6 record and first-place conference finish in Year 3. The recipe for success at Wyoming was made clear then. NIL and new transfer rules have made it more accessible.

Recruit where you can, whenever you can, however you can.

It took Bohl barely 100 words to say what most programs in the sport refuse to—or in Dabo Swinney’s case, actively rage against: the bare truth about the transactional relationship that’s always existed in college sports.

Propped up next to an image of Josh Allen in his Buffalo Bills uniform (so no one ever forgets Bohl’s credentials), the coach’s words present a simple free agency pitch. As much as luminaries like Swinney want to convince their peers this is bad, it’s hard to see NIL in this instance as anything but leveling the playing field.

Want a chance to leave your school and start at quarterback for a Group of 5 program? Wyoming wants to hear from you and will even help make it lucrative.

See, wasn’t that easy?

One day more coaches will feel comfortable spelling out the same message.

 

College golf: After 30 successful years at the helm, Ohio State’s Therese Hession announces her retirement

Therese Hession coached OSU’s women’s golf team to 11 Big Ten titles, 17 NCAA Championships appearances and 25 NCAA Regionals.

Therese Hession, who coached Ohio State’s women’s golf team to 11 Big Ten titles, 17 NCAA Championships appearances and 25 NCAA Regionals and also served as the director of OSU’s men’s and women’s programs, will retire on Jan. 7.

Hession began coaching the Buckeyes in 1991. Lisa Strom took over as coach of the women’s team in July. Hession was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.

“I am so grateful to the many student-athletes of both the men and women’s golf teams for their tireless work and dedication to our programs both academically as well as athletically,” Hession said in a statement released by the school. “It was a privilege to be a small part of your life both on and off the golf course.”

Prior to her coaching career, Hession played on the LPGA Tour from 1980-91, competing in seven U.S. Women’s Opens.

“Words cannot express how much coach means to Ohio State golf,” Strom said in a statement. “From my first interaction with her as a recruit to being chosen to lead the Ohio State women’s golf team, I have deeply admired coach’s desire to show up every single day and help others be their best and to never stop learning.”

Ohio State promoted Hession to its newly created director of golf position for both the men’s and women’s programs back in 2018. She wasn’t the first woman to ever be named director of golf at a Division I school – Patty Post held the position at Delaware – she was the first at a Power Five Conference.

Early on at Ohio State, Hession remembers thinking if she could just get a computer she could really make something happen. Same with adding an assistant coach. Another hurdle involved getting an indoor practice facility designed and built for $6 million.

“We had to raise all the money before they’d put a shovel in the ground,” she said.

She eventually grew into a position to build models for the men’s program, passing along knowledge learned from decades of success.

With so few females coaching men at any level of college golf, Hession’s promotion represented a break in the barrier.

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College stars show out at 2021 PXG College Golf Showcase, which donated $1 million to military foundations

Check out some of the highlights from the second-annual college showcase.

The big winner of the PXG College Golf Showcase was once again charity.

The second annual event at Scottsdale National Golf Club aimed to elevate collegiate golfers and PGA Tour University while also benefiting military-focused foundations was shot last month but aired Wednesday night on Golf Channel. The teams, led by playing captains actor and Marine veteran Rob Riggle and Hall of Fame NFL running back Jerome Bettis, were filled with some of the nation’s best college golfers – for now – and the players didn’t disappoint.

Riggle’s Semper Fi & America’s Fund team, featuring Oklahoma State’s Eugenio Chacarra, Washington’s RJ Manke and Duke’s Gina Kim, were down big at the turn to Bettis’ team representing Mount Sinai, comprised of Arkansas’ Brooke Matthews, SMU’s Noah Goodwin and Oklahoma’s Logan McAllister, but fought back down the stretch. Ultimately, it was Riggle’s squad coming out on top in the end with $512,500 to the Semper Fi fund, just ahead of Mount Sinai with $487,500.

The tagline for the event is, “Elite college golfers should be household names.” While that’s true, if you’re just learning about Kim and Matthews, you might have missed their college careers. A total of 46 players recently earned LPGA cards for next season, including Matthews and Kim. Both said they plan to announce their decision about whether they will turn pro or defer and finish their college seasons in the coming days.

The money was donated by the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation. Parsons, the founder of internet domain and registrar company GoDaddy, purchased Scottsdale National in 2013 and started PXG in 2014.

Check out some of the highlights from the second-annual showcase.

McAllister hates putting in Arizona

OK, maybe not, but at last year’s NCAA Championship the Sooner star made two aces, then at the PXG event he chips in for eagle to give his team some early juice.

Blowout at the turn

Things weren’t looking good midway through the event.

‘Be the number!’

The Semper Fi squad started to get a little swagger after the turn and Chacarra couldn’t get enough of Manke’s approach at the par-5 10th.

Gina Kim throws darts

A 325 carry?!

No words, just watch.

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College Football Playoff 2022: Updated odds after third rankings

No movement in the top-5 this week as the Georgia Bulldogs continue to hold onto the top spot and the best odds.

There are only two weeks left in the regular season, and the College Football Playoff picture is becoming a little bit clearer. Georgia stays at No. 1 and remains the heavy favorite, with fellow SEC challenger Alabama holding steady in the No. 2 spot. Oregon and Ohio State stayed in the playoffs at No. 3 and 4, respectively, followed by undefeated Cincinnati still looking in at No. 5.

Michigan State, at No. 7 in the CFP’s rankings, has the 10th best odds at +10000, behind No. 13 Oklahoma (+3500), No. 9 Oklahoma State (+7000), and No. 8 Notre Dame (+8000).

Let’s take a look at the current odds for the top five ranked teams for week three. All odds are courtesy of Tipico Sportsbook.

College golf facilities: North Texas Mean Green

Check out the Mean Green’s new practice facility.

Earlier this fall before the North Texas vs. UAB football game, Bruzzy’s UNT Golf Facility opened after nearly two years of planning and construction.

North Texas president Neal J. Smatresk, Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker, members of the UNT System Board of Regents and the facility’s namesake and lead donor Jerome “Bruzzy” Westheimer were all present for the opening of the $3 million on-campus practice facility.

Bruzzy’s is 5,047 square feet and features two hitting bays with the latest swing analysis and technology, a virtual putting green, locker rooms, a study space, coaches offices, and a lounge and kitchen area.

More: Check out our list of college golf practice facilities

North Texas golf facility

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