Mickey Yokoi Hired as Women's Golf Coach

Aug. 20, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State assistant men's golf coach Mickey Yokoi has been hired as the fifth head coach of the Sun Devil women's golf program, athletics director Gene Smith announced Monday. Yokoi replaces five-time National Coach of the Year Linda Vollstedt who retired in June after leading the Sun Devils to six NCAA championships in her 21-year career.

Yokoi (pronounced YO-koy) has spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach for the Arizona State men's golf program under head coach Randy Lein. During his five years as a Sun Devil assistant, ASU won four Pac-10 Conference titles and produced 2000 U.S. Amateur Champion Jeff Quinney and 2001 U.S. Pub Links Champion Chez Reavie.

'We are very excited about keeping Mickey Yokoi in the Sun Devil family,' Smith said. 'Mickey is an excellent teacher of the game and will undoubtedly help continue Arizona State's legacy as one of the premier women's golf schools in the country. Mickey's familiarity with the Sun Devil golf program will ensure continuity among the players and staff.'

'I am very excited about this opportunity, not only for myself but for my family as well,' Yokoi said. 'My wife and I love Arizona State and the state of Arizona. No one will ever match the job that Linda Vollstedt has done with this program, but I am excited to build on the foundation that Linda has set and continue those successes in the future.'

Prior to his five years at Arizona State, Yokoi oversaw all golf operations as a head golf professional at the Country Club of the North in Dayton, Ohio, from 1994-95 and assisted the head professional from 1993-94. He also served as the vice chairman of the Children's Medical Center LPGA Tour Event in 1995.

'There is no doubt that Mickey is ready to lead his own program. He is very well-respected in the collegiate golf community and well-liked by Arizona State's athletics administration,' said Lein, who first worked with him when Yokoi served Lein's assistant coach at USC in 1989-90. 'I know everyone on the ICA staff is excited about Mickey getting this opportunity. I look forward to working with him as we both have the same goals. He takes over a great program, and he has the experience to keep it great.'

Yokoi played collegiate golf at UCLA from 1977-82 before beginning a professional career. At UCLA, he earned All-America and All-Pac-10 honors. He also played on the 1982 Pac-10 Championship team which included Corey Pavin and Steve Pate.

After leaving UCLA, Yokoi went on to play on the Asian Tour, the Canadian and Australian PGA Tours and the PGA Hogan Tour. He has been a member of the PGA Tour since 1994. After ending his professional career, Yokoi went back to UCLA to complete his studies and earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1997.

'I can't wait to get to work because I know my experience has prepared me well for this challenge,' Yokoi said. 'I have had the opportunity to work with Randy Lein who won a national championship in 1996 and learn from Linda Vollstedt who led the Sun Devils to more national championships than any other program in the country. It is very rare to be able to work with two outstanding coaches who have each won national titles.'

What They're Saying About Mickey Yokoi...

'Mickey has been involved with the program and the players for a long time, so the transition should be an easy one. I wish him all the luck in the world.'

- Linda Vollstedt, former Arizona State head women's golf coach (1980-2001), five-time National Coach of the Year, winner of six NCAA titles and one of Golf World's Top 10 College Golf Coaches of the 20th Century.

'Mickey has excellent knowledge of the important golf skills, and just as importantly, he would be very willing to work with any of his player's existing instructors... Mickey has the energy and dedication to take care of every need of his players.'

- Molly Cooper, former Arizona State golfer (1998-01)

'Mickey is a great person to be around as he is so energetic and encouraging all of the time. His personality is what strikes me most. It would do wonders in the upliftment of team spirit and will have a great impact on the future success of the women's golf team.'

- Thuhashini Selvaratnam, former Arizona State golfer (1995-99), contributing member on three NCAA Championship teams, and current rules official at the Arizona Junior Golf Association

'Mickey's instincts, personality and experience have qualified him to be an outstanding collegiate coach ... If I had a daughter of college age who was an accomplished golfer, I would want her playing for Mickey ... I cannot think of a responsibility that the job requires that Mickey could not handle with success and professionalism.'

- Kurt Schuette, Director of Men's and Women's Golf at USC

'I truly cannot imagine a better suited candidate to fill the role of head coach and take over the reins of an already successful program. One cannot underestimate the importance of continuity, consistency and knowledge of the daily operations that Mickey possesses as a current member of our coaching staff.'

- Patti Snyder-Park, Arizona State Head Volleyball Coach

- www.thesundevils.com -

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