Cougars capture first team title in school history, freshman Megan Thothong wins medalist honor
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Bremer, freshman Emily Gilbreth finish with 75s Tuesday to lead Cougars
Courtney Ferguson tied for 10th with 73; Raegan Bremer tied for 16th at 74
Gerrod Chadwell became the first head coach in Houston Women's Golf history with his hiring in May 2013. In 2014-15, he will lead the Cougars into team competition for the first time.
A year ago, Chadwell guided Courtney Ferguson, Raegan Bremer and Emily Gilbreth as the members of the first Houston Women's Golf team in school history. While those three young women could only compete as individuals in tournament play per NCAA rules, they helped lay the foundation for the program.
Under Chadwell's leadership, Bremer posted four top-10 finishes and etched her name in the Houston records book forever after winning the HBU Husky Invitational individual title with a score of 221. She was named to the All-American Athletic Conference Team and was a two-time American Athletic Conference Golfer of the Week.
Ferguson posted four top-20 showings with Gilbreth adding a pair of two-20 finishes in their first seasons with the Cougars,
Chadwell came to Houston after spending the previous three seasons at Oklahoma. There, he helped lead Oklahoma to three straight appearances in the NCAA Regionals from 2011 to 2013, two straight NCAA Championships berths and a No. 2 national ranking from Golf World/Women's Golf Coaches Association in 2012-13.
"When we began the search process, we focused on selecting an individual who is highly regarded in the industry, an exceptional fit with our core values and operating principles, created a dynamic vision for building a nationally competitive program and has experienced great success as a coach, recruiter and mentor of student-athletes," Rhoades said. "Gerrod quickly rose to the top amongst a number of highly-talented individuals who were interested in this position.
"Early in his career, both as a head and assistant coach, Gerrod has successfully demonstrated the ability to identify, recruit and develop student-athletes both on and off the course. He has had a tremendously positive impact on all teams he has been associated with both as a player and coach, demonstrating great leadership and the ability to realize the full potential and more from his student-athletes. His previous coaching achievements on the course speak for themselves and equally impressive are the academic achievements his former student-athletes have accomplished. We are excited Coach Chadwell is joining the Houston Athletics Family.
Before joining the Sooners, Chadwell served as head coach at Redlands Community College in his hometown of El Reno, Okla., from 2008 to 2010.
In addition to their on-course accomplishments, Chadwell's student-athletes at Oklahoma and Redlands CC also were successful in the classroom. His Sooner teams posted a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or higher each year with a 3.7 mark in 2011-12. During his career, he mentored a combined 11 NCAA and NJCAA Academic All-Americans.
At Houston, Chadwell will work with incoming freshmen Emily Gilbreth and Kelli Rollo during the 2013-14 season before the program competes with full team membership in 2014-15.
In three years at Oklahoma, Chadwell helped lead the Sooners to top-five team finishes in more than half of their tournaments, including nine of 10 in 2012-13 alone. In their most recent event, the Sooners finished second at the NCAA Norman Regional on May 9-11 with three players placing among the top-six individual leaders.
During his time with the Sooners, he was a part of teams that advanced to three consecutive NCAA Regionals in 2011, 2012 and 2013, won the 2012 Big 12 championship and finished sixth at the 2012 NCAA Championships, tying for the best showing in school history.
In 2012, he mentored Oklahoma's first NCAA national champion in Chirapat Jao-Javanil, who won the title by four strokes with a 6-under-par effort in Franklin, Tenn.
As women's head coach at Redlands Community College. Chadwell led the Lady Cougars to the National Junior College Athletic Association national championships in 2008 and 2009 and a third-place showing in 2010 after winning the regional crown by an astounding 94 strokes.
He also guided Nicola Race, who captured the NJCAA individual national championships in 2008 and 2009. For his and his team's impressive efforts each season, he was named the National Coach of the Year in both 2008 and 2009.
Golf has been a part of Chadwell's life since the age of 14. As a student-athlete at El Reno, High, he led the Indians to a state runner-up finish as a senior and competed from 1997 to 2001 at East Central University in Ada, Okla.
As a collegian, he was honored as an All-American in 2001 and earned his bachelor's degree in exercise science in 2002. After receiving his master's degree in sports administration from East Central in 2003, he joined the staff at Redlands CC as assistant coach for the 2002-03 season. That year, he led the Lady Cougars to a third-place national finish.
From 2005 to 2007, Chadwell worked on the staff at Dave Pelz Golf, a nationally renowned school that has worked with numerous professionals, including Phil Mickleson, Vijay Singh and Annika Sorenstam. As an instructor there, he worked with all levels of players, from beginners to tour professionals.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
"I have no doubts Gerrod will be successful as a head coach. He has the ability to get the very best out of his players. He is a patient coach, and he gets to know his players on a personal level. Gerrod will be phenomenal, and I am so excited for him."
Amy Bond, Florida State Women's Golf Head Coach
"Gerrod is one of the great young coaches in women's college golf today. He is a tireless recruiter and is passionate about developing players. He will be a great fit for University of Houston and starting their women's program."