In her 13th year at the helm of the South Carolina women's golf program, Kristi Coggins has directed the Gamecocks to 11 trips to the post-season as a team, highlighted by eight NCAA Championship appearances and an SEC title in 2002. For her efforts, Coggins was honored as the 2002 SEC Coach of the Year.
In addition to the team's success during the Coggins era, three of her players have qualified for the NCAA Championships as individuals.
With a cumulative grade point average of 3.752 for the 2004-05 academic year, Coggins' team was recognized as the inaugural recipient of the National Golf Coaches Association All-Scholar Team G.P.A. Award. The team came back to win the same award again in 2005-06.
Under Coggins, academic excellence has become a staple of the Gamecock women's golf program. The women's golf team finished the 2004 fall semester with a 3.671 overall GPA, which marked the highest team GPA since the Carolina athletic department began charting the figure on team-by-team basis in 1996, then turned in a combined 3.832 GPA in the spring semester to shatter the record it had just set. More than half of the student-athletes on the 2004-05 roster earned a spot on the President's List (perfect 4.0 GPA for a semester). Never before has any team in the South Carolina athletic department combined for such academic success.
Coggins has coached two different players who went on to win the prestigious Dinah Shore Trophy, as Adrienne Gautreaux received the honor in 2004 and Erica Battle was the 2006 recipient. The Dinah Shore Trophy honors the top women's golfer in the nation who combines success on the golf course with success in the classroom, service to the community and extraordinary leadership.
In addition, Coggins also coached the 2006 SEC Women's Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year in Whitney Simons.
Recognized by her peers as one of the top coaches in the country, Coggins was named as the head coach at South Carolina on July 8, 1994.
In her 22nd year of collegiate coaching, Coggins believes that you can only improve if you play the best teams on a consistent basis. Her Gamecock teams see the best week-in and week-out in the highly-competitive SEC. In fact, Carolina played one of the top-five most challenging schedules of any team in the country in 2004-05, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings. That tough competition has translated into postseason appearances for Coggins' teams during her entire career, as she has led 15 of her teams to postseason action, including nine to the NCAA Championships.
Coggins has coached 12 individuals over the years who have gone on to professional golfing careers, including Kris Tschetter, Ellie Gibson, Siew Ai Lim and Clarissa Childs, who are currently on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. Her list of "Who's Who" could soon be extended by two as 2003 SEC Player of the Year Kristy McPherson and Adrienne Gautreaux are both close to earning spots on the Tour. All totalled, Coggins has tutored six All-Americans and 11 different individuals who have garnered 20 All-SEC and All-Southwest Conference honors.
Emphasizing the total student-athlete concept in her coaching career, 19 individuals she has coached have earned Academic All-America honors - including 13 at South Carolina - while the graduation rate of Coggins' teams has been 100 percent. Adrienne Gautreaux was named a CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American in 2004 and Erica Battle was a CoSIDA District All-America honoree in 2006.
Kristy McPherson earned her third All-American honor in 2003 and was named as the 2003 SEC Player of the Year. In 1995, Siew Ai Lim was also named as the SEC's best golfer under Coggins' watchful eye.
"Everything is in place here at South Carolina for us to be successful," says Coggins. "Our facilities, the academic excellence and our administration's support. It is all geared towards our success. The attitude is directed towards the student-athletes here and that has been a key to our success in attracting quality student-athletes and seeing them through to solid accomplishments on the course and in the classroom."
In 2002, South Carolina accomplished something never before done in USC's women's or men's golf history: win a Southeastern Conference title. In fact, the women's golf team is one of five Gamecock teams with an SEC title to its credit. South Carolina broke both the school and conference scoring record in capturing the crown while one of Coggins' players, Kristy McPherson, captured her second-straight individual title.
In 2001, the Gamecocks put together a solid late-season run, finished third in the SEC Championships, sixth in the NCAA Regional and qualified for the NCAA Championship. In 1999, after South Carolina's consistent top five finishes and a 14th-place showing at the NCAA Championships, Coggins was recognized as the SEC Coach of the Year, her second such coach of the year honor.
Coggins led USC to its highest ranking ever --seventh -- near the end of the 1995 season and a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championship, marking a school best. South Carolina finished in the top five in nine tournaments during Coggins' first year after accomplishing the feat only twice the previous season.
Coming to South Carolina following nine highly-successful seasons at Texas Christian University, Coggins took over a program which had finished in the lower division of the Southwest Conference in 1985, and proceeded to guide the Lady Frogs to nine consecutive upper-division finishes in the SWC. Coggins led TCU to three runner-up finishes in the Southwest Conference Championships (1988, 1989, 1993), with the squad finishing third place or better in all but one season.
Coggins led TCU to five NCAA appearances, with three of her squads advancing to the NCAA finals. Her 1989 team ranked as high as third in the nation at midseason, earning Coggins Southwest Conference Coach of the Year honors. All of Coggins' TCU squads finished the season ranked 26th or better in the nation.
Coggins received her bachelor of science degree in recreational administration from Southwest Texas State University in 1984. Prior to taking the head coaching post at TCU, Coggins was a teaching professional at Brookhaven Country Club in Dallas, Texas, from 1984-86.
Coggins is currently the secretary for the National Golf Coaches Association after serving as Director At-Large in 2003-04. She has served on the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee for Women's Golf and was appointed to the NGCA Awards Committee for four years. She and her husband, Buck, were married June 8, 1997. They have three children: Daniel, 21, and twins Charlie and Melanie, 15. The family also has two chocolate labs, Sunny and Cache.