By ALEX BLOOM
Beginning in the fall of 2016, the University of Mary Washington will welcome the addition of a men’s golf team to its varsity program. The team will call the Augustine Golf Club in Stafford County home and will be coached by Rod Wood.
In an announcement released by the University on Oct. 27, UMW Athletic Director Ken Tyler was enthusiastic about the newest addition to the UMW athletic family.
“We’re very pleased to add men’s golf to our varsity athletic program,” Tyler said in the announcement. “We are in a prime location for golf and look forward to the many benefits it will bring to our athletic department, the University and our community.”
Along with the announcement of the varsity golf team, the University also introduced Wood as the program’s inaugural head coach. Wood, former men’s basketball coach and current director of athletic facilities, said “it’s exciting to start a program from scratch, golf has always been a passion of mine and I look forward to working with the students we plan to recruit.”
Wood’s first coaching job in golf was at Robert E. Lee High School in Fairfax, Virginia, where he coached current Professional Golfers’ Association Tour professional Kris Blanks.
In the announcement released by UMW, Ken Tyler had nothing but praise for the future leader of UMW golf.
“Rod Wood is a proven coach and recruiter with a great deal of experience and connections in the sport of golf, and he will be an excellent leader for our program,” Tyler said.
With play expected to begin in August of 2016, the University will spend the next year and a half recruiting the talent necessary to compete in the Capital Athletic Conference. The Eagles will immediately be eligible for CAC and NCAA championship play. The CAC is littered with talent and the Eagles will be tested quickly and often by the likes of usual rivals York, Marymount and current CAC champions Christopher Newport.
The men’s program will be partners with Raspberry Golf Management, who has helped develop 32 Division I and over 50 collegiate golfers. The University is also considering the addition of a women’s team in the fall of 2016 or 2017.