Head Men's Golf Coach Matt Thurmond
Husky men's golf coach Matt Thurmond just finished his 11th season at Washington in June, 2012 having accomplished so much in just over a decade it is hard to pinpoint just one key to his success. It's a variety of aspects that has led Washington to continually produce top-10 NCAA finishes, All-Americans and All-Pac-12 honorees in Thurmond's tenure.
A combination of recruiting talented golfers that work hard, play hard and enjoy the entire spectrum of being a student-athlete mixed with a competitive environment, top-notch training facilities and generous support - both at the university level and surrounding community - has made winning at Washington seemingly easy for Thurmond.
In his time at Washington, Thurmond has led his squad to seven top-10 team finishes at the NCAA Championship, two NCAA Regional team victory and three Pac-10 team championships. He has led Washington to NCAA Championship match play three times in four years -- equaling Oklahoma State for most match play appearnances. His players have won All-America honors 18 times, all-conference honors 23 times, one NCAA individual championship, two Pac-10 individual championships, Pac-10 Player of the Year honors twice, Phil Mickelson Freshman of the Year honors once and taken home college golf's most prestigious honor - The Ben Hogan Award - once. Thurmond has reaped the benefits on a personal level too, twice being named Pac-10 Coach of the Year (2005 & 2009).
While the team's results on the course proves the level of excellence Washington has reached, it is Thurmond's fun and hands-on approach to coaching that has guided the Huskies to become one of the premier golf programs in the country. Whether on the golf course, in a game of ping pong or cornhole competition, or a race on a Go Kart track, Thurmond and assistant coach Dan Potter are right there with the student-athletes competing and expecting to win.
Thurmond carries over his fun-loving nature when Washington hosts tournaments - whether it's the PING/Golfweek Invitational, a NCAA Regional or the Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational - teams that compete in a UW-hosted event have a unique tournament experience that transcends beyond the golf course.
It's not all fun and games at Washington, although there is always an emphasis on having fun while competing. Thurmond takes training and winning very seriously. He strives to have his golfers leave Washington not only with a college degree, but fully-prepared for a professional golf career.
As evidenced by the professional success of PGA Tour pro Alex Prugh, Troy Kelly and Richard Lee, plus Brock Mackenzie's second-place finish on the 2010 Canadian Tour's money list, the Hogan Award won by Nick Taylor, Thurmond-tutored players can succeed not only during their time at Washington, but afterwards.
Perhaps the best is yet to come. With a state-of-the-art golf training center on campus in the Hec Edmundson Pavilion, players can take a five minute walk from class on upper campus to the training facility and work on their game in rain or shine. Only three years old, Thurmond's Huskies have yet to fully reap the long-range benefits of having the best college golf training facility.
Besides the on campus facility, Thurmond's Huskies have access to some of the region's top golf courses - including their home course Washington National, the Seattle Golf Club, Aldaharra, Broadmoor CC, Overlake CC, Inglewood CC.
On the course, Thurmond has tasted his share of success as a player. He was a four-year letterman from 1993-99 at BYU and won WAC Freshman of the Year honors in 1994. Following his freshman season, he served as a missionary for his church in Venezuela and then returned home to earn recognition as a WAC Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-American in 1998.
Thurmond, a Burlington, Wash. native, graduated from BYU in 1999. He is married to two-time WAC champion triple jumper Kathy Sorenson, who also competed for the Cougars. They have three daughters, Elizabeth, Emily and Hinckley. At just 26 years old, Thurmond was named Washington's head coach in June of 2001 after spending one season as a Husky assistant.
Fully entrenched at Washington in what he feels is the best college golf coaching job at one of the top universities in the nation, Thurmond plans on keeping the Huskies fighting for Pac-12 and NCAA Championships for years to come. And all the while, he and his team will have fun striving to be the best.