Carroll first woman to lead men’s golf to NJCAA National Championship
Randall High grad coaches men and women’s golf at South Mountain Community College
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Randall alum and South Mountain Community College golf head coach Chelsea Carroll won her first National Junior College Athletic Association championship this spring. She also received the 2022 Dave Williams NJCAA National Coach of the Year honors for her efforts.
“Whenever we were on the 18th tee and I was like oh my gosh this is going to happen,” said Carroll. “We are going to win this. This is amazing.”
Carroll became the first woman to lead a men’s golf team in any JUCO division.
“Gender aside a coach is a coach, but I hope I’ve given them a different perspective of focusing on the details and just you know looking at the big picture instead of just having that one goal,” said Carroll.
She took over the Cougar’s 8-time National Champion men’s team on an interim basis in August while also coaching and rebuilding the women’s squad, but that was unsettling for a few incoming freshmen.
“Going into that role the guys weren’t exactly excited to have a female in that position and I understood that, but at the end of the day some of the players did leave,” said Carroll. “If you’re here for the players that are willing to work hard and at the end of the day you’re going to be successful with that team.”
Carroll began her golf career at Randall high school before playing for Division II Rogers State University in Oklahoma.
“This is where it all started. My dad was a big golfer. In high school Bart Cadenhead was the high school coach there and he needed another player,” said Carroll. “Just playing in the different tournaments that we had in high school, the friends that I was surrounded with and the teammates that helped build me up that really started my journey into golf.”
Carroll’s expectations for accountability and hard work prepared the golfers for more than the National Tournament.
“It’s an amazing game that I think relates a lot to life and you just got to keep going to get through those hard times and get the birdie at the end of the day,” said Carroll.
Carroll’s Career with Men’s Golf
- Carroll led the SMCC men’s and women’s golf teams in the 2021-22 season
- She took over the SMCC men’s team on an interim basis after the previous head coach left for head coaching job at UTEP
- SMCC won the NJCAA Division II National Championship at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club in Joplin, Mo., May 17-20.
- SMCC finished at +31 to defeat Mississippi Gulf Coast CC and Tyler Junior College by 19 strokes.
- The title was the eighth National Championship in the history of the SMCC men’s golf program.
- Sophomore Cecil Belisle won his second-straight National Championship.
- Belisle won the 2022 NJCAA Jack Nicklaus Award and received the recognition at The 2022 Memorial Tournament.
- SMCC won seven times over the spring before their trip to Missouri.
Carroll’s Career with Women’s Golf
- Carroll was named SMCC head coach before the start of the 2020 season.
- She restarted the program, and SMCC participated in three tournaments before Covid-19 forced its cancelation.
- In 2021, SMCC sent two student-athletes to the NJCAA National Championships: Miriam Verdugo and Jenna Lee.
- As a team, SMCC placed eighth at the 2022 NJCAA Southwest District Championships on April 18-19 at Hawks Creek Golf Club in Westworth Village, Texas.
- The team placed second at the Paradise Valley Invitational on April 11-12 at Wildfire Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz.
- SMCC defeated Pima CC in the Pima CC Fall Duel on Nov. 8-9 at El Conquistador Golf Course in Tucson, Ariz.
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