By: Joe Langley
For the last 4 years, golf at UMW has had a different coach each year. This means that every season, the team has had to get to know their head coach before focusing simply on golf.
Dana Hall, director of golf, shared her thoughts on the coaching carousel.
“The coaching change over was a product of our former athletic director’s decisions for personnel for the first two years,” Hall stated. “Last year the coach quit three days before the season and we covered the season as best as we could. This year we are excited that we have a coach for each team who are also faculty members at Mary Washington.”
Senior and team captain Phillip Manceri is excited for his final semester playing golf for UMW. Manceri shared his opinion regarding the frequent coaching change.
“Having a new coach every year I’ve been here is tough and something I never expected,” Manceri said. “If I had known this was going to happen before I came to UMW, it would have impacted my decision in coming here. However, the adversity that my team and I have gone through shows our character. We’ve shown that we can handle unexpected changes and still be successful.”
Having consistency at the head coach position is key to a team’s chemistry, however, according to Manceri, it seems to have added to their competitive fire. While Manceri is upset that he wasn’t able to have the same coach during his tenure at UMW, he’s learned a lot from each coach and appreciates what they’ve done in such a short time.
Senior business major Jason Guintu feels similarly to Manceri, highlighting how coaching has affected the consistency of the team. “I feel like we weren’t able to grow as a program,” Guintu said. “We’ve had to go back to step one in the process each year. However, that doesn’t take away from how much I love this team and our collective goal of winning at the highest level.”
Dan Wolfe, head coach of the men’s golf team, is also a UMW alumnus. Wolfe was hired as a visiting business professor and coach this past fall and has received nothing but praise from his players.
Psychology professor Dave Kolar is the coach for the women’s golf team; and has also received praise from his players.
“Both coaches have a love of the sport and the best interest in our student-athletes to excel in the classroom and on the golf course,” Hall said. “They understand the demands of our student-athletes in the academic arena and on the course.”
Hall was confident in both teams and their goals for the spring season. “Our men’s team has their sights set on challenging for the CAC Championship and getting back to the NCAA Tournament this spring,” Hall said. “Our women’s team has seven women on the roster and are hopeful to be competitive in all of their competitions this spring.”
Manceri’s goals are the same as every season, however, his last season has a deeper meaning to it. “Our goal is to win another CAC championship, and make it to the NCAA tournament,” Manceri said. “Individually, my goal is to place my absolute best, and enjoy every single moment of it because it is my final season at UMW. I will miss being part of this team and playing with these guys every day, there’s no doubt in my mind.”
The men’s team will compete in their first tournament of the season next week, the Callaway Invitational in Pine Mountain, Georgia.