November 25, 2002
Whitworth Adds Women's, Men's Golf to Athletics Program
Whitworth College will field women's and men's golf teams beginning in fall 2003, ending the Pirates' 21-year hiatus from intercollegiate golf competition and adding Whitworth to the list of eight out of nine Northwest Conference schools that offer varsity golf programs.
Whitworth Director of Athletics Scott McQuilkin says the move enables Whitworth to respond to growing student interest in competitive golf and to support the goals of the college and the NCAA to improve gender equity in intercollegiate athletics programs.
"Golf is sponsored by most of the local and state high schools and by all but one other school in the Northwest Conference," says McQuilkin, the 2001-2002 athletics director of the year for NCAA Division III West Region. "In previous interest surveys of our female students, golf was noted as a sport for which many Whitworth women have both competitive experience and ability. So, we're thrilled to be able to add golf to our athletics program and we expect to be competitive."
The Spokane Country Club will be Whitworth's home course, thanks to a generous contribution covering a significant portion of the membership initiation fee from Vern and Mary Ziegler, owners of Ziggy's Building Centers and longtime Whitworth supporters. The Crimson Club, a booster organization for Pirate Athletics, also has made a $5,000 contribution to cover costs associated with launching the program. These arrangements make it very cost-effective for the college to field both men's and the women's teams, McQuilkin said.
The golf season will include fall and spring tournaments to be held at some of the most challenging and acclaimed courses in the country, says McQuilkin. Warren Friedrichs, professor of kinesiology and former head basketball coach, will coach both the women's and men's teams. Friedrichs, who stepped down as head basketball coach after the 2000-2001 season, was named NAIA Division II Coach of the Year in 1996 and Northwest Coach of the Year four times, during his 16-year tenure.
"While I've devoted most of my career to coaching basketball, golf has been my avocation," says Friedrichs, who has taught golf at the high-school and college level for more than 30 years. "I love the sport and I'm glad to see the program returning to Whitworth. Spokane Country Club is an exceptional golf course very close to campus, so we'll be practicing on a very good course and we'll have a great venue for home matches."
Friedrichs says tryouts will be held this spring to identify current students with the interest and ability to compete at the collegiate level. He also will actively recruit in the region to fill out the 10-player rosters for the men's and women's teams.
"There's been an interest in starting this program for some time, so we've had our eyes on some high school golfers in the region and look forward to recruiting students who will be great fits for Whitworth academically and athletically" he says. "I want a competitive team as fast as we can get it."
Whitworth Athletics, affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) at the division III level and a member of the Northwest Conference, offers 20 varsity sports. In addition to golf, men can participate in football, soccer, cross country, basketball, swimming, baseball, tennis, and track and field (indoor and outdoor). Women's sports include volleyball, soccer, cross country, basketball, swimming, softball, tennis, and track and field (indoor and outdoor).
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The college enrolls about 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.
Scott McQuilkin, director of athletics, (509) 777-4392 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warren Friedrichs, head golf coach (509) 777-4375 or email@example.com.
Steve Flegel, sports information director, (509) 777-3239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greg Orwig, director of communications, (509) 777-4580 or email@example.com.
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