Q&A: Notre Dame women’s coach Susan Holt

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One year after Holt’s team made headlines at NCAA regionals for all the wrong reasons (senior Annie Brophy reported inaccurate scores and was disqualified), the Irish made good on the blunder. Notre Dame advanced through the Central Regional on its home turf to qualify for this week’s NCAA Championship for the first time in school history. The seniors on Holt’s squad represent her first recruiting class to South Bend. The NCAA tournament will be held May 18-21 at The Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas.

What does it mean to your program to qualify for the NCAA Championship?

I think it’s a natural progression. This is my fifth year. The first year, we had an individual make it to regionals, and the last three years, we’ve advanced to regionals as a team. This is the first year we’ve made it all the way through. It’s just been really nice to see it come together the year we were fortunate enough to host. It was just kind of the perfect scenario.

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Notre Dame women's coach Susan Holt

How much did playing at home serve as an advantage for your team?

To be honest with you, I was pretty nervous. I think it probably brings more challenges than advantages, just from the expectations. We had a lot of family, a lot of fans, a lot of friends. We had a really good following, and a lot of things were different. We haven’t had a really good spring (of weather) here. Prior to the practice round, we had only played four 18-hole rounds on this golf course (Warren GC) this spring. I don’t know that you could say we had much of an advantage.

As a first-time participant, how do you prepare your team for college golf’s biggest stage?

Today (May 13) is going to be the first team practice that we’ve had since the final round of regionals because we had finals start on Monday, and they’ve all been swamped.

Obviously this year’s regional had a different feel compared to last year in Columbus, Ind. What did you learn as a coach from the Brophy situation?

We just moved on, to be honest with you. It happened; it was unfortunate. But we’ve moved on and moved past it.

Who has stepped it up this spring for the Irish?

I really couldn’t put my finger on any one player. I think that’s been the strength of our program this year. We’ve had more depth than we’ve ever had. We’ve had different stars every week this spring. I think that team balance has really taken the pressure off of everybody.

What did it mean to your program to see an Indiana team win it all last year?

I called (Purdue coach) Devon (Brouse) and left him a message. . . . I actually started my coaching career at Purdue. I was the head coach from 1990 to ‘93. To see what Devon has been able to build there has been really fun to watch.

Your husband (Tim Holt) coaches college golf as well (at Holy Cross in South Bend). What’s the talk around the dinner table?

We really try not to bring our work home. We’ve got two kids, and once we’re home, we try to focus on them because we are gone so much. We don’t have much shop talk.

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