Tim Mickelson, Arizona State's ex-coach, joins Lagardere and will be Jon Rahm's agent

Tim Mickelson (left) and Jon Rahm (right) will join forces as agent and player.

Tim Mickelson, Arizona State's ex-coach, joins Lagardere and will be Jon Rahm's agent

Professional

Tim Mickelson, Arizona State's ex-coach, joins Lagardere and will be Jon Rahm's agent

Tim Mickelson will be moving on to a career as an agent after all.

Lagardere Sports announced Wednesday that Mickelson had joined the agency’s golf division and will serve as an agent to Jon Rahm.

This puts a bow on a move that has been out in the ether for months. Rumors started to surface in June that Mickelson, then the head coach of Arizona State’s men’s golf program, was making that move, but he denied them during the U.S. Open. Yet, just a month later, Mickelson suddenly resigned from his role at Arizona State, fueling speculation about his future.

Mickelson spent five successful seasons as the Sun Devils’ head man. In his final four years, he coached Rahm, who left Tempe with 11 college victories, two Ben Hogan Awards and the No. 1 spot in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Now in a new endeavor, the two remain connected.

“I never envisioned retiring as a college golf coach,” Mickelson said in a statement. “Becoming an agent was an exciting and interesting option that always was in the back of my mind. With my background in collegiate golf and knowing the professional world, I thought this was the time to take on a new challenge and transition into a new profession.”

Rahm, 21, of Barrika, Spain, relied heavily on Mickelson throughout college, and that support system will continue as he makes his way through the pro ranks.

“It’s great,” Rahm said. “I mean, I don’t know if I told him personally before, but I always said that while I was in the States those four years he was pretty much my dad. He was the guy I went to when I needed help and the guy I went to when I needed guidance. For years he’s helped out a lot to become the player I am today.”

At Lagardere, Mickelson will work under Steve Loy, president of the agency’s golf division. And it’s certainly not the first Mickelson-Loy partnership. Loy, in fact, made a similar move 14 years ago. In 1992, Loy, then the men’s head coach at Arizona State, resigned to represent pupil Phil Mickelson,  Tim’s older brother, when he turned pro.

“It’s a coincidence that Tim also coached at Arizona State, but it’s no surprise that he’s had such success there,” Loy said in a statement. “Because the relationship Tim and Jon have is much like the one I have with Phil, and because Jon is now a member of the PGA Tour, this was the perfect time to convince Tim to join Lagardere Sports and manage the likes of Jon and other great young players to come. I have no doubt Tim will succeed in the next stage of his career.”

Rahm finished his career at Arizona State with a stellar four-victory senior campaign in 2015-16 that earned him his second consecutive Hogan Award and a No. 1 ranking in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings by season’s end as well as Golfweek College Player of the Year honors. His 11 career victories at Arizona State ranks second in school history behind, only Phil Mickelson’s 16.

Rahm finished T-23 at the U.S. Open in June for the low-amateur honor and then embarked on his pro career. He finished T-3 in his pro debut at the Quicken Loans National and followed with a T-72 at the Barracuda Championship and a T-59 at the British Open before tying for second at the RBC Canadian Open.

That second top-three finish made him eligible for the remainder of the 2015-16 Tour season as a special temporary member, which he accepted on Monday.

Arizona State, meanwhile, has moved on as well. The program announced last week that Matt Thurmond, head men’s coach at Washington, would replace Mickelson as coach.

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