COLLEGE STATION -- After 15 successful seasons as Texas A&M¹s women¹s golf coach, Jeanne Sutherland will resign at the end of the season to become head professional at Vail (Colo.) Golf Club.
Last week, Sutherland led the Aggies to their second straight Big 12 title
and their third since 1998. The Aggies will compete in the NCAA Central
Regional May 10-12 and will be trying to advance to their fourth straight
NCAA Championship, a school record.
Sutherland was an assistant professional at Vail GC before accepting the A&M coaching position in 1992.
³The travel has worn me out,² Sutherland said. ³My mindset changed when I sat down and counted the number of nights I had spent in hotel rooms in the last year. In today¹s world of recruiting, golf is 365 days and encompasses every country in the world. You can¹t afford a moment¹s hesitation to climb on a plane and check a player out. When that hesitation occurs, your program will slide and I didn¹t want that to happen at A&M.
³I have worked with and been supported by so many great people in
Bryan/College Station,² Sutherland added. ³This has to be one of the
greatest places to live and work in the country and I never took that for
granted. Texas A&M is a special place and to me it stands for what is great about the young people of today. I will leave with lots of great memories.²
Prior to Sutherland¹s arrival at A&M, the Aggies had not won a tournament in seven years. But since she took the reins, the Aggies have captured 13 tournament crowns and her three Big 12 Conference titles are tied for second most among league schools. A&M won the 2006 conference title by a record 11 strokes.
Under Sutherland, the Aggies became a mainstay in the top 25 national
rankings and advanced to NCAA postseason play in 13 of her 15 seasons. Her Aggies have advanced to the national finals four times, including the last three years in a row.
³Jeanne did a terrific job for us, winning back-to-back Big 12 championships the last two years, and will be extremely hard to replace,² A&M Director of Athletics Bill Byrne said. ³We¹ll do our best to bring in someone who can build on what Jeanne has done and can lead us to national championships.²
In addition to the team¹s success, many of Sutherland¹s players have earned individual honors. In 2006, Ashley Knoll earned first-team All-America honors and was named Big 12 Player of the Year after winning the conference title by six shots.
In 1998, Isabelle Rosberg was named Big 12 Player of the Year after winning two tournaments, including the Big 12 title. Jamie Hullett was named second-team All-America in 1997, A&M¹s first All-American in 14 years.
Sutherland¹s players have earned 16 all-conference citations and won 19 individual tournament titles. In addition, 10 of Sutherland¹s players have earned Academic All-America honors.
³The thing I will miss the most in coaching is my players,² Sutherland said.
³I have so many funny stories and great memories of my time with them. I have had the opportunity to coach some of the most motivated, loyal, talented and bright young ladies you could assemble anywhere. They taught me a lot, made me smile every day and made my work a joy. I stay in touch with so many and getting pictures of their kids at Christmas time means as much to me as winning championships.
³They have truly been a blessing in my life and hopefully, they will
continue to stay in touch and remind me what is important.²
Sutherland has been honored by her peers as conference coach of the year three times. In 1995, she was named Southwest Conference coach of the year after leading the Aggies to a second-place league finish. In 1997, Sutherland was named Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year and NCAA West District Coach of the Year after A&M finished as conference runner-up and qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Sutherland again was named Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2006 after A&M captured the league crown.
In the summer of 1997, Sutherland was selected to coach the women¹s team to victory at the USA-Japan Collegiate Golf Championship in Japan. The team included such standouts as 1998 U.S. Open runner-up Jenny Chuasiriporn of Duke.
Under Sutherland¹s tutelage, A&M teams have finished in the top five in 11 conference tournaments and have posted 69 top-five finishes.
³The Athletic Department at Texas A&M has been constant in its support of me and our goals as a team,² Sutherland said. ³I¹ve had the opportunity to work for three great athletic directors and not many coaches can say that. John David Crow hired me 15 years ago and told me that winning was important, but winning with character was more important to him and this community. Wally Groff came along and made a commitment to building a great facility and that facility is the best in the nation. Wally's commitment was unquestioned and he was a great man to work for. Bill Byrne has continued the tradition of commitment and the fact that we have won two straight championships is a testament to his support.²
A native of Dubuque, Iowa, Sutherland played college golf at the University of Northern Iowa, where she earned All-America honors as a sophomore after placing third at the AIAW Division II National Championships and leading the team to a third-place team finish. In 1983, she placed 13th at nationals and paced the team to a fifth-place performance.
Sutherland received a bachelor¹s degree in English/teaching with a minor in coaching from Northern Iowa in 1983. She served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Iowa in 1987-89 while earning a master¹s degree in physical education/athletic administration. In 1997, Sutherland was inducted in the University of Northern Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame as well as the Dubuque (Iowa) High School Athletics Hall of Fame.
A PGA Class A professional, Sutherland also has taught at the renowned John Jacobs Golf Schools.
³We still have two important tournaments to play this season and I am
committed to finishing strong with this team,² Sutherland said. ³I am not
really allowing myself to think too much about anything but coaching right now. The team understands that we are committed to winning and that we need to make the most of the opportunity ahead of us.²
JEANNE SUTHERLAND¹S CAREER CAPSULE
At Texas A&M
€ 1997, 2006 Big 12 Coach of the Year
€ 1997 NCAA West District Coach of the Year
€ 1995 SWC Coach of the Year
€ 1998, 2006, 2007 Big 12 Champions
€ 13 NCAA appearances in 15 seasons
€ Has coached 16 all-conference players
€ Coached Ashley Knoll, 2006 All-American, 2006 Big 12 Player of Year
€ Coached Jamie Hullett, 1997 All-American and current LPGA Tour player
€ Coached Isabelle Rosberg, 1998 Big 12 Player of the Year
€ Has coached 10 All-America Scholars
€ Has graduated 100 percent of her players in 14 seasons
€ Founded Texas A&M ³Mo²morial Invitational, now in its 14th year
€ Coached U.S. team to victory at 1997 USA-Japan Collegiate Cup
€ Has led Aggies to 13 team titles and 19 individual championships
As a Professional
€ Earned PGA Class A professional status
€ Taught at renowned John Jacobs Golf Schools
As a Player
€ Earned All-America honors at Northern Iowa in 1983
€ Finished third at 1982 AIAW National Championships
€ Member of NIU Athletics Hall of Fame (1997) and Dubuque (Iowa) High
School Hall of Fame (1997).