SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KWSN) - Jenny Coluccio has resigned as the head women's and men’s golf coach at the University of Sioux Falls and is expected to be named the assistant women’s golf coach at the University of Illinois.
"Jenny did a terrific job for us the last three years, and we are excited for her opportunity to coach at the Division I level," said USF Director of Athletics Kevin Hesser.
"Her success as a coach has created this opportunity for her," he added. "For that same reason, the program is in good position for future success and will be attractive as we begin our search for her replacement."
"USF gave me a great opportunity and I cannot thank the people here enough for the support and generosity," said Coluccio. "I am excited to begin a new chapter at the University of Illinois, and will certainly draw on all my experiences during my time here at USF."
Coluccio was named the fourth head golf coach (Sammy Hasegawa, Jim Lather, Ken “SID” Kortemeyer) at USF in July 2010, and most recently led the men’s team to a third place finish in the 2013 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Men’s Golf Championship. The women’s squad took fourth place overall and saw sophomore Tavia Rutherford become the first Cougar golfer to compete in the NCAA Central Region Tournament in USF’s NCAA Division II era.
This past season, the men’s and women’s teams logged a combined 22 top-10 finishes, while Tavia Rutherford received first team All-NSIC honors and five athletes were tabbed to the All-NSIC Academic squad.
In the spring of 2011, the Cougars’ last season as an NAIA institution, Coluccio steered the men's team to new heights with a second place finish in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) and earned the program's first-ever trip to the NAIA National Championship. The women's program also had a strong 2011 campaign, notching a third place GPAC finish."The success this program has seen is because of the student-athletes," said Coluccio. "Their hard work, dedication and heart have taken this program to the next level."
She added, "I have been so blessed to have coached these wonderful student-athletes, and my experiences with them will certainly stay with me forever."
Prior to taking the USF job, Coluccio spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach for both golf programs at Dakota Wesleyan University. During her tenure at DWU, both the men's and women's teams claimed the 2008-09 GPAC regular-season championship. In addition, the Lady Tigers made their sixth and seventh NAIA national championship appearance while the men made their first-ever trip to the national tournament.
The South Dakota Golf Association’s 2012 Female Golfer of the Year, Coluccio was a three-time All-Great Lakes Valley Conference player at Drury University. She tallied 12 top-15 tournament finishes for a Panthers squad that was ranked as high as no. six in the country during a stretch of three consecutive Great Lakes Valley Conference crowns.
"Many tears have been shed over this very difficult decision, but I feel it is the right path for me and my family,” Coluccio said. "I have had so many wonderful memories during my time here at USF."
"I feel that the program is in a great place right now, the players, parents and community surrounding this program is very strong, and that is what has made this decision so difficult," she said. "I have every confidence in Kevin and the department to continue supporting the programs, and continuing its legacy in good hands."
Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls