2004: College - Sister act brings success to Texas Tech
Like most college freshmen, Kim Kolb looked forward to the freedoms a higher education afforded. Three years ago, she trekked more than 1,000 miles to escape the harsh winter of Sioux Falls, S.D., and followed in her sister Stacey’s footsteps to Texas Tech University.
But Kolb didn’t exactly experience a clean breakaway. Stacey Kolb (now Stacey Totman), an all-conference selection in the mid-1990s at Texas Tech, was in her second season as head coach of the Lady Raiders when her younger sister came to town. And the transition from sibling to coach and caretaker wasn’t smooth as silk.
“I’m not going to lie, (Kim’s) first year was pretty tough,” Totman said. “Not for any other reason than I was probably harder on her than any of the other players because I never, ever wanted anyone to feel that someone was getting preferential treatment.”
Not to mention the fact that Kolb wasn’t too fond of taking orders from her big sister.
Fast forward to Kolb’s senior season, when she put the finishing touches on her first college title Oct. 5 at the New Mexico State/Price’s Give ’Em Five Intercollegiate, where she won by four shots with a 2-under-par 214 total. In that moment of victorious bliss, the bumps and bends of Kolb’s career at Texas Tech dissolved into a flicker of the past.
Year by year, the Kolb sisters worked out the kinks of the sister/coach relationship. Nowadays it’s not uncommon for Totman to ask her sister for advice or use her as a sounding board. While most of their conversations center around golf, they also find time to frequent the local malls together and engage in “girl talk” over an evening meal.
“It took a while to figure out, hey, she is my sister but yet she’s still my coach,” Kolb said. “If I was anywhere else, how would I act? As time goes on, it’s just gotten better and better.”
Because nine years separate the two, Kolb spent most of her youth trying to emulate her sister. They played the same varsity sports at O’Gorman High School – volleyball, basketball and golf. The pair may look alike and talk alike, but on the playing field Kolb’s spunky attitude sets them apart.
“She’s probably the spirit of the team,” said Totman. “She’s pretty feisty out there. She grinds and fights hard for every round.”
The Kolb sisters learned the game from their father, Tom, a retired fireman. So it was especially gratifying that dad was on hand in Las Cruces, N.M, for Kolb’s victory.
With the 2005 NCAA Central Regional scheduled for Texas Tech’s Rawls Course, Totman is hoping to lead her up-and-coming team to its first NCAA Championship appearance since 1996.
“I just can’t believe that her senior year is already here,” said a teary-eyed Totman. “It’s definitely going to be hard for me come spring time for her to move on to the next stage of her life.”
A stage that likely will include Totman still dispensing cautionary advice, shopping the sale racks with her sister and talking golf. Only then she will simply be known as big sister Stacey.