Coaching carousel heating up
January is usually a quiet month in college golf. Just two players left school (Jane Rah and Amelia Lewis) and one transferred (Taylor Travis). That’s about it.
But January is now heating up. The vacancy light is open above the door of four women’s coaches offices, three of which opened after the final putts dropped from the fall season - Miami, BYU and Florida State. The other - Mississippi State - was announced towards the end of October.
All four of these jobs are garnering a lot of attention and are attractive jobs for different reasons.
• Longtime Miami coach Lela Cannon announced her intentions to retire on Nov. 7.
Do we really need to say why the Miami job is attractive? This school, which does not have a men’s golf program, could own the international market with the right coach in place. The weather isn’t bad, either. Former Hurricane golfers and current head coaches Jill Briles-Hinton and Julie (Brand) Gallup would be on my list to call. This might even be a spot where a male coach could be in the running for the job - similar to J.T. Horton going to Tulane.
• After 22 years of guiding the Mississippi State program, Christi Sanders announced her retirement on Oct. 22.
One reason this job turns heads is the SEC. In keeping with the trend from last summer where we saw 12 of the 13 head coaches hired being assistants, I would look for an assistant to also land this job. There has been some talk of a few head coaches that may be interested. Former BYU coach Sue Nyhus and Texas Tech coach Stacey Totman would be worth a phone call.
• On Jan. 5 longtime Florida State women’s coach Debbie Dillman was not retained.
This decision has many around the country asking why. Dillman’s squad finished the fall season No. 27 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings and has enjoyed regular trips to the postseason and often stops at the NCAA Championship. However, the name Florida State is begging to be listed as a title contender. This is an appealing job for just that reason. Florida State officials have told me they have created a list of candidates and will seek them out once those coaches have completed their spring season. In the meantime, we should expect an announcement on an interim coach before the end of the month.
• BYU coach Sue Nyhus resigned on Nov. 10.
Of the four jobs open, this is the least appealing. However, Nyhus did take this squad to the postseason in six of her eight seasons and twice to the NCAA finals which shows it can be a successful place to coach. I am not quite sure what to expect with this hire, but I do think it might be hard to replace what they had.