Tom Beidleman was introduced as the head coach of the new women’s golf program Wednesday afternoon.
But there is still a lot to do before Beidleman and the Chippewas hit the links for the first time in the fall of 2014.
“I am excited,” Beidleman said. “There is a lot of work to do.”
Beidleman, whose contract is five years and $48,000 per year, now is faced with the challenge of building a program from scratch and becoming the 10th team in the Mid-American Conference along with Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Ohio, Bowling Green, Toledo, Ball State, Kent State, Akron and Northern Illinois.
“This is certainly a unique process,” said Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. “From ground zero … and starting over essentially. At the same time, starting a program that will be competitive and strive to be a championship caliber program.”
To start, Beidleman needs a team, and the program will have six full-scholarships to divvy up between 10 to 12 golfers.
“With the selection of Tom we begin that process of building another championship caliber program,” said Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. “We’re excited to add to the roster of programs.”
The recruiting process to find those 10 to 12 women that will make up CMU’s first ever Division I program begins right away for Beidleman, and he doesn’t plan on wasting any time.
“We’ll start the process right here,” Beidleman said. “We’ll then move to the state of Michigan and try to control the state. Regardless of where we go, the quality of person will stay the same. They’ll have a good character, academic background and finally the drive and commitment we look for to be successful.”
The goal for the program is to connect with the local courses and compete around Mount Pleasant, so it will not have a ‘home course.’
More than three decades ago the women’s golf team, which last competed in 1982, played in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, where it won 30 top-five finishes in individual and team tournament play, as well as a 1978 fourth-place finish in the Midwest Regional. Back then, Gertrude Gillaspy was the head coach and in 1982 sophomore Laurie Rederstorf shot a program-low 75.
Women’s golf has been in the MAC since 1999 and Kent State has never lost the championship.