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  • Rise Alexander Named Gladys Palmer Serive Award Recipient

    Risë Alexander, Women’s Golf Coach at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, has been named the 2016 Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award Recipient, the Women’s Golf Coaches Association’s (WGCA) most prestigious honor. Alexander will be recognized on Tuesday evening, December 8, 2015 at the WGCA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony which will take place at Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas, NV.

    Risë Alexander has been a competitive player of the game of golf since 1966, and played her collegiate golf at Oregon State from 1973-77. From there she played professionally for several years on the Women’s Professional Golf Tour. In 1983 she became a reinstated amateur. In total, she has played in 16 USGA National Championships in her competitive career.

    Alexander began her coaching career in 1978, as a part time volunteer assistant coach at Oregon State, and then 1981-83 as volunteer Head Coach for OSU. She began full time coaching in 1990, at her Alma Mater and continued in that position until 2014.

    During Alexander’s career she served as a member of the Women’s Golf Coaches Association as a member of the Awards Committee from 1996-1999, and Second Vice President of the WGCA from 1999-2004, which had responsibility for the selection of All Americans, All Scholars, and Hall of Fame Selections. In 2004, she became the Division I Director for the WGCA, responsible for the Coaches Poll voting committee, the US-Japan Match selections, and the US-China Match selection process. From 2008-2010, she served as the President of the WGCA and from 2010-2011 as the Past President.

    From 1995-97, Alexander served on the NCAA Women’s Golf Regional Selection Committee for the Far West District. In both 2005 and 2010, Rise was instrumental in bringing the NCAA Championship to the state of Oregon. She served as tournament host for both the 2000 and 2005 NCAA Women’s Division I Golf Championships. In addition, in 2001, she served as Co-Tournament Director for the NCAA West Women’s Regional hosted by OSU.

    In her career, Risë has always remained an avid supporter of Amateur Golf and Junior Golf. While at Oregon State she hosted numerous Jr. Golf Camps and worked at least eleven other private and Nike sponsored junior golf camps as well as several High School Clinics for Oregon High School Girls Golf and Coaching clinics for Oregon High School Coaches.

    One of her most emotional memories of her coaching service remains the Habitat for Humanity project that many WGCA coaches participated in following Hurricane Katrina. In the span of her 27 years of coaching she has also had the pleasure of working with many former players and assistant coaches that have gone on to become head coaches in Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf.

  • Laurie Gibbs to be Inducted Into the WGCA Coaches Hall of Fame

    Laurie Gibbs, Head Women’s Golf Coach at Pepperdine University, will be inducted into the WGCA Hall of Fame on Tuesday evening, December 8, 2015. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas, NV. Gibbs becomes the 48th member of the WGCA Coaches Hall of Fame.

    Recognized by her peers as one of the top collegiate women’s golf coaches in the country, Laurie Gibbs is in her 23rd season as head coach of the Pepperdine women’s golf team in 2015-16. During her tenure, Gibbs has taken a program that started out with limited resources and funding and turned it into one of national prominence. Through her tireless work ethic and diligent recruiting, Gibbs has Pepperdine contending for a national championship on a yearly basis.

    The last 17 seasons have established Pepperdine as one of the nation’s top golf programs. The Waves have appeared in the NCAA Championships 11 times, with eight top-10 finishes and four top-five showings, including a program-best second-place result in 2003. Her players have earned All-American honors 27 times. Gibbs has led Pepperdine to West Coast Conference championships in 17 of the last 18 years, including a current streak of 14 titles that began in 2002. Over the course of her career, the Waves have won 49 team tournament titles and have had 47 individual medalist honors.

    Gibbs’ efforts nearly paid off with a national title in 2003 as she guided the Waves to their most successful season in school history. Pepperdine claimed a program-record five straight tournament titles at one point and finished second at the NCAA Championships in West Lafayette, Ind. The Waves finished second in the final Golfstat and Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, and also achieved a program first that season as they gained a #1 national ranking during the spring in both rankings.

    Gibbs was selected the 2004-05 National Coach of the Year by Golfweek, was tabbed the West Region Coach of the Year on two occasions (1999 and 2003) and has been honored 12 times as the WCC’s Coach of the Year (1998, ‘99, ‘00, ‘02, ‘03, ‘05, ‘06, ’07, ’08, ’10, ’12 and ‘15). She has also been honored twice as Pepperdine’s Coach of the Year (1998-99 and 2002-03).

    After serving on the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee, Gibbs was selected to serve a four-year term (2003-07) as one of three coaches on the Division I NCAA Women’s Golf Committee. She also served on the USGA/NCAA Intercollegiate Committee. Prior to being hired as the head women’s golf coach at Pepperdine, Gibbs was a PGA teaching professional at the nearby Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles and competed on the Women’s Western Professional Golf Tour. In addition to playing and teaching, Gibbs authored and marketed ProTips, a quick reference guide for golfers. Gibbs attended and played collegiate golf at Long Beach State on an athletic scholarship and graduated from Santa Monica College.

  • Sorenstam and Hattori to be Inducted Into the WGCA Players Hall of Fame

    Annika Sorenstam of the University of Arizona and Michiko Hattori of the University of Texas will be inducted into the WGCA Players Hall of Fame on Tuesday evening, December 8, 2015. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas, NV. Sorenstam and Hattori become the 65th and 66th members of the WGCA Players Hall of Fame.

    In her 15 years as a golf professional, Annika Sorenstam achieved legendary status and transcended her sport to become a prominent mainstream athlete and celebrity. Throughout her storied career, she has rewritten the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, won countless awards and events, and brought unprecedented attention to women’s golf. Her career has changed how women’s golf is played, watched and covered, and she continues to have a positive impact on all of women’s sports. Sorenstam enrolled at the University of Arizona in the fall of 1990 and won seven titles during her collegiate career. She was the first foreign born and first freshman to win the individual NCAA Championship. She also was the co-recipient of the 1991 PING WGCA Player of the Year Award, was the 1992 Pac-10 Champion and was named to the 1991-1992 WGCA All-American team. In 1992, she was a runner up for the Player of the Year Award and finished second to Vicki Goetze at the United States Women’s Amateur Golf Championship.

    Michiko Hattori was among the most decorated amateur and collegiate golfers in history. At age 16 in 1985 she became the third youngest, and only Japanese born, champion of the U.S. Women's Amateur, and in 1986 became the first golfer to win medalist honors at the U.S. Women's Amateur and U.S. Girls' Junior in the same year. Her storied collegiate career at the University of Texas included 10 individual titles. Hattori was named the PING WGCA Player of the Year in 1989. She was the 1990 recipient of the Honda-Broderick Award for Golf. Among her achievements included finishing in the top ten in 38 of 40 events in which she competed during her four years at Texas. Hattori had three individual top-ten finishes at the NCAA Women's Golf Championship, was a four time first-team WGCA All-American, and four time Southwest Conference Player of the Year.

  • Commander Mark McGinnis Keynote Speaker at WGCA Convention

    Mark McGinnis, U.S. Navy SEAL commander, will be the keynote speaker at the WGCA and GCAA national conventions held Dec. 7-9 in Las Vegas.

    "The WGCA is honored to have Commander McGinnis speak at our National Convention in December,” stated WGCA President Amy Bond. "His background and experience as both an athlete and Navy SEAL will serve as an exciting kickoff to our convention."

    “A high priority for the member coaches of the GCAA is developing the ability to build, organize and inspire teams through effective leadership,” said GCAA President Conrad Ray. “We are excited to have Commander Mark McGinnis join us this year at our national convention to share his expertise in these areas. His background in college athletics, as well as with the Navy SEALS, gives him a very interesting platform to share experiences and teaching. We are honored to have him as our keynote speaker.”

    Originally from Monroe, North Carolina, Commander Mark McGinnis began his celebrated military career at the United States Naval Academy where he was a four-year member of the varsity football team. After graduating from the USNA in 1993, Commander McGinnis went on to achieve a decorated 17-year career defending his country as a U.S. Navy SEAL. During his time as a SEAL, Commander McGinnis held all manner of leadership positions in what is considered the most highly trained and dedicated force in the field of global special operations.

    Following his time in the service, Commander McGinnis moved into the public sector working as a regional sales director for a Fortune 500 medical company. Drawing on his experiences from the military, athletics and the corporate world, he founded SEAL Leadership LLC, through which he advocates a message of communication, accountability, and teamwork to his many clients. Recognized as an expert in the field of leadership and team-building, Commander McGinnis’ experience allows him to lead his clients through the process of attaining a SEAL-like level of elite performance that is equal parts inspiring, captivating, and challenging.

    - WGCA/GCAA -

    The Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA), founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization representing women’s collegiate golf coaches. The WGCA was formed to encourage the playing of college golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education and in accordance with the highest tradition of intercollegiate competition. Today, the WGCA represents over 500 coaches throughout the U.S. and is dedicated to educating, promoting and recognizing both its members and the student-athletes they represent.

    Established in 1958, the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) is the professional organization of golf coaches. The GCAA's mission is to support its member coaches by creating educational opportunities, providing resources, and promoting its members with the purpose of enhancing their overall performance as coaches, mentors, and teachers. The GCAA also recognizes the excellence and achievements of its members and their student-athletes in academic, athletic and civic endeavors.

  • WGCA Announces All-Scholar Team GPA Award Recipients

    The University of New Mexico Women’s Golf Team has been honored as the recipient of the 2014-2015 WGCA All-Scholar Team GPA Award. The award recognizes the women’s collegiate golf program with the highest collective average team GPA which includes all of the team’s student-athletes for the 14-15 season. New Mexico’s six team members had an average GPA of 3.799.

    The WGCA also announced the top 25 teams with the highest Team GPA. They are as follows:

    Place University Team GPA
    1st University of New Mexico 3.799
    2nd Concordia University - St. Paul 3.783
    3rd Florida Gulf Coast University 3.781
    4th Creighton University 3.778
    5th Concordia University, Nebraska 3.774
    6th Upper Iowa University 3.773
    7th St. John's University 3.771
    T-8th East Tennessee State University 3.731
    T-8th Houston Baptist University 3.731
    10th University of Findlay 3.730
    11th University of Memphis 3.729
    12th University of Louisville 3.720
    13th Cleveland State University 3.708
    14th Keiser University 3.693
    15th Vanderbilt University 3.687
    16th University of Detroit Mercy 3.684
    T-17th Jacksonville University 3.680
    T-17th Northeastern State University 3.680
    19th Eastern Michigan University 3.673
    20th Wittenberg University 3.672
    21st Baylor University 3.661
    22nd Rockhurst University 3.657
    23rd Coastal Carolina University 3.648
    24th New Mexico State University 3.644
    25th Butler University 3.641

  • WGCA Announces 2014-15 All-American Scholar Receipients

    The Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-American Scholars were announced today with a total of 758 women’s collegiate golfers recognized with this prestigious honor. The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.50.