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Posted 25 Jun 2001   For week ended June 22, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 21Jun01

By Kent Larsen

RM to Coach University of Washington Men's Golf

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- University of Washington Athletic Director Barbara Hedges announced Monday that former BYU golfer Matt Thurmond has been named head coach of the University's golf program. Thurmond, who turned pro after graduating from BYU in 1998, spent just 1 year as an assistant coach at BYU and 1 year as an assistant at the University of Washington. "I definitely was in the right spot at the right time, but hopefully I did the right things, did a good job," said Thurmond.

A Washington state native who won the 1993 Class AA state golf championship while a student at Burlington-Edison High School, Thurmond led his high school team to four straight team state titles. He then played a year at BYU, lettered in golf and was named the Western Athletic Conference's Freshman of the Year, all before serving an LDS mission to Venezuela. On his return he lettered again, three years in a row, and during his senior year was team captain, a WAC Scholar-Athlete and an Academic All-American.

With those credentials, a pro career would seem only natural, so Thurmond turned pro and started working toward the PGA our. But he soon found that it wasn't quite what he expected, "I don't know what exactly happened. I got an opportunity from (BYU coach Bruce Brockbank) to work as an assistant, which would give me an opportunity to work on my game. But I ended up enjoying coaching more than the playing part. The professional golfer can be a lonely and selfish profession and I get more satisfaction on getting (a golfer's) game good than working on mine. It's more fun to work with others than to work for yourself. The opportunity was presented to me, so I jumped on it."

Thurmond worked at BYU for a year, and then joined the University of Washington's program, working under men's coach O.D. Vincent and as an assistant coach for the woman's program. Then Vincent decided to try his hand at the pro tour himself, giving Thurmond an opening, To Thurmond's credit, the University of Washington didn't look very far for a replacement. "I've got a year's experience here, so I know the ins and outs of the program, and I feel comfortable here," Thurmond said. "I figured either they would hire me or go on a national search for a coach and they hired me without doing the search."

Now, Thurmond is very excited about his future, "Obviously I'm very, very excited. I love being in the Northwest and I've always loved the University of Washington. I'm excited to be a part of both ... living in the community and working with the golf team at Washington." He admits he doesn't have much experience in years, "I'm very young, but I've been fortunate with the contacts that I have made and I've been taught well by two of the best coaches in the country at two great golf universities. I've got great experience, although I may not be long on time."

And he has great plans for the team. Last season Washington finished fourth in the Pac-10 and ranked 25th in the final national poll. The team has made nationals for the last three years. But Thurmond thinks he can maintain that level and maybe improve it. "Competitively I want to not only make it to nationals, but have a chance to win," he said. "I want to win the Pac-10 championship and I want this golf team to be more involved in the community and help make Seattle a golf town and Washington a golf state."


Thurmond named men's golf coach at UW
Mt Vernon WA Skagit Valley Herald 20Jun01 S2
By Richard Anderson

Thurmond earns UW golf promotion
Seattle WA Times 19Jun01 S2
Seattle Times news services


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