Linda Vollstedt To Retire After 21 Years Of Coaching ASU Women's Golf To The Top Of The Collegiate Ranks.
June 19, 2001
Tempe, Ariz.-- Arizona State women's golf coach Linda Vollstedt, one of the greatest coaches in Arizona State athletic department and collegiate golf history the past 21 seasons, has announced she will retire as women's golf coach. Vollstedt, who led ASU to six national titles in the 1990s and was a five-time selection as national coach of the year, will remain on the athletic staff at Arizona State and work with the marketing and promotions of the golf programs. The 1994 National Golf Coaches Hall of Fame inductee will represent the Intercollegiate Athletic Department in the Arizona golf community and assist in all facets of golf development. Vollstedt ends her career as one of just 11 head coaches to mentor Sun Devil programs for more than 20 years.
'I am excited to begin a new part of my life,' says Vollstedt. 'I always wondered if this day would ever happen, and I know it is in my best interests and Arizona State's best interests to take on another challenge within the program. I never fully recovered from my injury (shattered left tibia plateau) back in September of 1997, and I know that now is the time to have someone else take over what I believe is the best program in the country. I want to thank everyone associated with the program for their support, and especially thank the players. They have been great and have allowed me to succeed at a place I love.'
'When ASU fans talk about the legends of Sun Devil athletics, they will include talk about Linda Vollstedt in their discussion,' says Arizona State athletic director Gene Smith. 'Her teams have competed at the highest level for a long period of time and have done it with class and dignity. There has been no better representative of our institution over the years than Linda Vollstedt.'
Vollstedt was the head coach for ASU's national titles in 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997 and 1998 as it won five titles in a six-year span and has won twice as many women's golf championships as any program in the nation. A finalist for induction into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame, she led the Sun Devils to NCAA top-10 finishes in 11 of her final 15 years as the Sun Devils have appeared in the past nine NCAA Championships, the third-longest active streak in the nation. In 1995, the Sun Devils went undefeated in 10 tournaments and became the only team to win three straight NCAA titles.
As a result of her efforts, Vollstedt has been recognized by her colleagues with numerous coaching honors in her illustrious career. In 2000, she was named by Golf World as one of the Top 10 College Coaches of the 20th century, and earned the PGA Anser Award, which annually honors an individual whose positive efforts have influenced the history of golf in Arizona. She was named Golfweek's 1997 Collegiate Coach of the Year and also swept the 1995 awards with Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year, West Regional Coach of the Year and Golfweek National Coach of the Year, as well as the National Golf Coaches Association Co-Coach of the Year. Vollstedt claimed consensus national coaching honors in 1993 and 1994 and was named the 1989 National and Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
Most recently, she was honored by the Standard Register PING LPGA Tournament Board of Governors with the Linda Vollstedt Award for Service and Leadership in Women's Sports. The award is given annually to a person or organization who shows courage, commitment, passion for women's opportunities in sports, volunteerism and a desire to help youngsters be successful. In 2000, the Linda Vollstedt award was given to Nancy Lopez.
Known as one of the premier teachers in the game, Vollstedt is a Class-A member of the LPGA teaching division, the highest standard for LPGA or PGA golf teachers. She is also regarded as one of the sport's finest recruiters, luring international talent to Tempe from as far away as Sri Lanka and keeping local stars such as two-time All-American and current LPGA Tour player Grace Park in the Valley of the Sun.
During Vollstedt's ASU tenure, she coached 41 All-Americans, 12 conference medalists, 71 all-conference golfers, nine U.S. Curtis Cup Team members, six U.S. Public Links winners, four U.S. Amateur Champions and four NCAA individual champions.
Throughout her career, Vollstedt guided numerous players to the professional ranks. Former collegiate All-Americans Danielle Ammaccapane, Kellee Booth, Brandie Burton, Nancy Harvey, Emilee Klein, Grace Park and Wendy Ward all currently rank in the top 40 on the 2001 LPGA money winners' list. Several other Sun Devils have left their marks on the Tour as well, such as the late Heather Farr, 1994 LPGA Hall of Fame inductee JoAnne Carner, Amy Fruhwirth, Lauri Merten, Jody Niemann, Pia Nilsson, Pearl Sinn, Nancy Taylor, Tina Tombs and Pamela Wright.
The Sun Devil women's golf team traditionally ranks among the nation's best in both academics and athletics. In addition to producing several academic All-Americans within the sport, the Sun Devils reached collegiate golf's pinnacle by winning their first NCAA championship (eighth national title) with a 16-stroke triumph over UCLA in 1989-90. That squad captured five regular-season tournaments and won individual honors at six of the 11 tournaments in which it played. Brandie Burton, who won six tournaments and was named NCAA and Pac-10 Player of the Year as a freshman in 1990, went on to become the 1991 LPGA Rookie-of-the-Year.
In 1987-88, Vollstedt guided the Sun Devils to the Pac-10 crown by 57 strokes (still a conference record) and an eventual tie for runner-up honors at NCAAs after winning four tournament titles.
Vollstedt recruit and three-time All-American Pearl Sinn was the United States' top amateur in 1988, becoming the first golfer (male or female) to win the U.S. Public Links and U.S. Amateur crowns in the same year. Additionally, Sinn later helped the U.S. squad win the World Amateur Team title. Amy Fruhwirth followed in Sinn's footsteps by winning both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Public Links.
Twelve years ago, Vollstedt coached ASU - the lone American team - to a victory at the Japanese Collegiate Matches in Tangura, Japan. During the summer of 1986, she served as the head coach of the Pacific West Conference All-Star team, which toured and played in several countries in the Far East.
In 1986, Vollstedt received a pair of outstanding honors, as she was named NCAA Regional Coach of the Year and the LPGA's Teaching Division Coach of the Year. A 20-year member of the LPGA, she has served as president of the Western Section Teaching Division. Vollstedt served as a member of the NCAA women's golf committee from 1988-94 and is currently a regional member of the same group.
ASU's Danielle Ammaccapane won medalist honors at the 1985 NCAA Championships, becoming the school's fifth and Vollstedt's first individual national champion. Three tournament triumphs, plus the Western Collegiate Athletic Association championship, helped Vollstedt share 1985 WCAA Coach of the Year honors. In addition, she was rewarded with NCAA Regional Coach of the Year accolades in 1984.
A much-heralded prep coach, Vollstedt coached the girls' team at Phoenix's Alhambra High School for a decade before coming to ASU. Her teams won a pair of state championships (1971, 1977), finished as the runner-up twice (1970, 1978) and posted four undefeated seasons.
A native of Portland, Ore., Vollstedt has been involved with Arizona State University for nearly four decades, earning her bachelor of arts degree in education in 1969 and her master's degree in math education in 1971. Her Sun Devil playing career began in 1964 and concluded in 1968.
VOLLSTEDT BY THE NUMBERS
*3 LPGA Teaching Division Coach of the Year awards (1986, 1993, 1996)
*3 National Golf Coaches Association Coach of the Year awards (1993, 1994, 1995)
*4 Individual NCAA Champions: Danielle Ammaccapane (1985), Emilee Klein (1994), Kristel Mourgue d'Algue (1995), Grace Park (1999)
*4 Honda Award Winners (Wendy Ward, Kellee Booth, Heather Bowie, Grace Park)
*4 Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year awards (1989, 1993, 1994, 1995)
*5 Golfweek National Coach of the Year honors (1989, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997)
*6 NCAA Regional Coach of the Year awards (1984, 1986, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1995)
*6 NCAA Championships: 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, twice as many as any other women's golf program in the nation
*9 Conference Championships: 1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
* 11 U.S. Amateur and Public Links champions
*12 Conference Medalists
*15 Academic All-Americans
*17 LPGA Tour Players
*41 All-Americans, including 2001 honoree Jimin Kang
*71 All-Conference Honorees
PERSONAL SERVICES/CONTRIBUTIONS/COMMUNITY SERVICE
1997 YWCA Tribute to Women Outstanding Sports Leadership award...1998 ASU Alumni Achievement award...1998 March of Dimes Sports Leadership award...honored by the Standard Register PING LPGA Tournament Board of Governors with the Linda Vollstedt Award for Service and Leadership in Women's Sports, which is awarded annually to a person or organization who shows courage, commitment, passion for women's opportunities in sports, volunteerism and a desire to help youngsters be successful. In 2000, the Linda Vollstedt award was given to Nancy Lopez...founding member of the Women's Sports Foundation Coaches Advisory Roundtable...founding member on the committee to establish the LPGA Junior Girls Golf, LPGA Girl Scout and the LPGA Inner-City Junior Golf programs...co-director of the ASU Golf Academy for junior golfers (ages 12-18)...President of the LPGA Western Section (1986-1990)...member of the NCAA Golf Committee (1988-94)...regional member of the NCAA Golf Committee (1998-present)...Arizona Junior Golf Association Board Member.
TAKING THEM TO THE NEXT LEVEL
ASU head coach Linda Vollstedt has coached numerous who went on to play professionally. Here's a look at the list: Danielle Ammaccapane, Kellee Booth, Heather Bowie, Brandie Burton, Jeanne-Marie Busuttil, Tracy Cone, Michelle Estill, Heather Farr, Amy Fruhwirth, Nancy Harvey, Emilee Klein, Lauri Merten, Miriam Nagl, Jody Niemann, Pia Nilsson, Grace Park, Pearl Sinn, Tina Tombs, Wendy Ward, Pamela Wright.
LINDA VOLLSTEDT YEAR-BY-YEAR AT ASU
YEAR WINS CONF. REGIONAL NCAA2000-2001 0 3rd 6th 18th1999-2000 1 6th 4th T-11th1998-99 2 3rd 3rd T-2nd1997-98 3 2nd 2nd 1st1996-97 3 2nd 1st 1st1995-96 3 1st 5th 6th1994-95 10 1st T-1st 1st1993-94 8 1st 3rd 1st1992-93 5 1st 1st* 1st1991-92 0 2nd -- 9th1990-91 0 T4th -- --1989-90 6 3rd -- 1st1988-89 2 2nd -- T6th1987-88 3 1st -- T2nd1986-87 4 1st -- 11th1985-86 3 2nd -- 4th1984-85 4 1st -- 3rd1983-84 2 1st -- 2nd1982-83 1 4th -- 13th1981-82 1 2nd -- 10th1980-81 4 1st -- 12
* - Inaugural West Regional