Morrow steps down during 15th season at Kent State

Kent State head coach Mike Morrow, right, with daughter and former player Mandi.

Kent State head coach Mike Morrow, right, with daughter and former player Mandi.

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Halfway through his 15th season as head coach of the Kent State women’s golf team, Mike Morrow has announced his retirement. The veteran coach stepped down from his duties at the helm of the women's team on Jan. 24. Morrow became the program’s first head coach in 1997, and leaves with a perfect record in the Mid-American Conference after leading the Golden Flashes to the league title for the past 14 years.

In Morrow's absence, director of golf Herb Page and Rob Wakeling, the associate head coach for men’s and women’s golf, and women’s assistant coach Maddi Swaney will assume leadership of the program until a new head coach is named. Morrow also is stepping down as the general manager of the Kent State University Golf Course, a position he has held for the past 22 years.

Morrow called his early exit from Kent State, also his alma mater, a decision that was in the best interest of the university, and did not rule out a return to college golf.

"I'll probably wait to see how much I miss coaching," he said.

Morrow's legacy, especially at the Mid-American Conference Championship, is one of consistency. He also helped redefine the mid-major program in women's college golf. Together with Pepperdine, Kent State was able to compete with the top teams in the nation. The Golden Flashes finished a program-best 15th at the 2001 NCAA Championship.

“Kent State is a special place,” Morrow said. “For 23-plus years, it has been great to me. It has been a phenomenal place to work, live and raise a family, and it has been a great ride.

“Kent State is special because the people make it special. I go back to 1997 and I’m still grateful to Herb Page, (former director of athletics) Laing Kennedy and (former associate athletic director) Cathy O’Donnell for choosing me to initiate the program. We were fortunate to develop it into a championship program. The players are responsible for that. I am super proud to have coached some of the finest student-athletes ever to play at Kent State. And I’m happy that our program has been a positive influence in a lot of people’s lives.”

As a member of the Kent State men's golf team, Morrow in 1973 became the first Golden Flash to be named an All-American. He earned All-MAC honors from 1973 to '75.

“We are losing an icon,” Page said. “He has done an unbelievable job at Kent State. I hope he enjoys his retirement. He’ll get a chance to see his wife and daughters a lot more, and this is a good time now to transition into a new era with our women’s golf program.”

Kent State ended the fall ranked No. 75 by Golfweek. The Golden Flashes open their spring season at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic on Feb. 10.

Information from Kent State Athletics used in this report

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