Q&A: Amy Bond, Florida State women's coach
Today on Wildman’s Corner, I caught up with Amy Bond, who is in her first year as the head coach at Florida State.
Bond left the Ivy League after coaching at Princeton for four years to return to her alma mater. The coach is all smiles as she talks about returning to Tallahassee.
Can you talk about your transition from Princeton to Florida State? I know this is where you always wanted to be, and here you are now back at your alma mater.
It’s great to be back. At times, it feels like I never even left. The four years at Princeton kind of flew by and gave me a new perspective in my coaching. The girls have really helped me adjust along with (men’s head coach Trey Jones) and the entire FSU community.
What do you take away from your experiences at Princeton?
I get to get back to the basics of coaching, really. Being at Princeton, there are zero scholarships and the girls are playing golf because they love it. It forced me to get back really to the basics of golf and teaching the fundamentals.
A couple of years ago, Golfweek did Ivy League Week and we played “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth-Grader.” It was funny because players couldn’t answer the simple questions, but the coaches dominated the game. Was there ever a time at Princeton when you were like, Man, these girls are Einsteins?
It happened all the time! My first plane trip with them, they were a couple of rows ahead of me on the plane and one of them was sitting there, she leaned back and kind of yelled down the isle, ‘Hey, Coach, I placed a pretzel on the precipice of Michelle’s lip.’ I was like, ‘Well is she going to choke?’ She laughingly said no. This man that was in between us said, ‘What in the heck is a precipice?’ I said I have no idea. One of the girls then turned around and said it means edge. I was like, ‘Well why didn’t you just say 'edge'?’ They did it all the time, and I brought that part of me with me to FSU, because every day we have a Princeton word of the day. When we are playing in big tournaments, I’ll pull out a big word, but of course I need to look it up to see how to pronounce it and what it means, but it gets a few good laughs.
People want to say teams in the Big Ten part of the country have it rough in the winter months. How did you and the rest of the Northeast schools handle the winter months?
I now have a new appreciation for players in the North and players who come from areas with snow, because they do have to adjust to it. Players spend the bulk of November, December, January, February and even parts of March inside, and I think it’s bad for them to take that much time off from practicing. However, I also think it's good for them because they get to rest their mind and take some time off to relax. It gives me a new appreciation, having grown up in Florida and always wondering what the big deal was. Now, I have a whole new appreciation for players that play in the North because they have to be mentally and physically tough to be able to do that.
Men’s and women’s college golf has a few rules that are quite different from one another. Do you wish that men’s and women’s golf followed the same rules and formats for everything?
I would like them to all be the same, and I think we are getting closer and closer. I think more so than anything, there are a lot of coaches in the country that coach both the men’s and women’s teams, and it can make it hard to flip from two different sets of rules each week. I think it would be really beneficial to all be under the same umbrella so there could be some continuity for the sport as a whole.
Do rivalries exist? I ask you because I have seen Florida State golfers hug Florida Gators on the 18th green! That just doesn’t seem right! So coach, do rivalries really exist in college golf?
I think they do, to a certain extent, but I think it all comes down to the girls, and they are friends. Most of these girls grew up with each other, both on and off the golf course. Being out here (at the men’s Seminole Intercollegiate), you see the difference in players. There is a difference between men’s and women’s golf because after a round girls do hug each other and talk throughout the round. I think the rivalry comes to exist really when we get to regionals and nationals. Outside of that, you just want to enjoy a round. I’m a Seminole through and through, and I do want to beat the Florida Gators, but we are very friendly with them.
What’s a more heated rivalry: Princeton-Harvard or Florida State-Florida?
Wow! I just think because it’s older, Princeton-Harvard. I think if you give it another 50 years, though, I think it will be Florida-Florida State.