In her 21 years at the helm of the Arizona State women's golf progam, the name "Linda Vollstedt" became synonymous with excellence in the world of women's golf. The five-time national coach of the year retired from Arizona State in June of 2001 after leading the Sun Devils to six NCAA championships in the 1990s. Twently of her former student-athletes have gone on to play at the elite level -- the LPGA Tour. She ended her ASU coaching career as just one of 11 head coaches to mentor Sun Devil programs for more than 20 years.
Arizona State women's golf captured its sixth NCAA championship title in 1998 and its fifth in six years (1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998). Under Vollstedt's direction, the Sun Devils own twice as many NCAA championships (6) as any other women's golf program in the nation.
Vollstedt took the Sun Devils on an incredible trip in her final decade as head coach, leading them to 10 straight trips to the NCAA Championships, the third longest streak in the nation, and Top 10 national finishes in 11 of her last 15 years. In fact, the Arizona State alum coached the Sun Devils to first- or second-place finishes in 57 of her last 99 tournaments, dating back more than seven years. What's more, the team finished lower than sixth only 10 times in that span.
As a result of her efforts, Vollstedt has been recognized by her colleagues with numerous coaching honors. Most recently she was named one of Golf World Magazine's Top 10 College Coaches of the 20th century (4th on the list). She was named Golfweek's 1997 National Collegiate Coach of the Year. She also swept the 1995 awards being named Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year, West Regional Coach of the Year, Golfweek National Coach of the Year and National Golf Coaches Association Co-Coach of the Year. Vollstedt claimed consensus national coaching honors in 1993 and 1994 and was named the 1989 National and Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
Throughout her career, Vollstedt guided 19 players to the professional ranks. Former collegiate All-Americans Danielle Ammaccapane, Brandie Burton, Michelle Estill, Emilee Klein and Wendy Ward all finished among the top 30 on the 1998 LPGA money winners' list. Several other Sun Devils have left their marks on the Tour as well, such as the late Heather Farr, Amy Fruhwirth, Nancy Harvey, Lauri Merten, Pia Nilsson, Pearl Sinn, Nancy Taylor, Tina Tombs and Pamela Wright.
The Sun Devil women's golf team traditionally ranks among the nation's best in both academics and athletics. In addition to producing several academic All-Americans within the sport, the Sun Devils reached collegiate golf's pinnacle by winning their first NCAA championship (eighth national title) with a 16-stroke triumph over UCLA in 1989-90. That squad captured five regular-season tournaments and won individual honors at six of the 11 tournaments in which it played. Burton, who won six tournaments and was named NCAA and Pac-10 Player of the Year as a freshman in 1990, went on to become the 1991 LPGA Rookie-of-the-Year.
In 1986, Vollstedt received a pair of outstanding honors, as she was named NCAA Regional Coach of the Year and the LPGA's Teaching Division Coach of the Year. A 17-year member of the LPGA, she has served as president of the Western Section Teaching Division and was a member of the NCAA women's golf committee.
In 2000, Vollstedt was honored by the Standard Register PING LPGA Tournament Board of Governors with the Linda Vollstedt Award for Service and Leadership in Women's Sports. The award is given annually to a person or organization who shows courage, commitment, passion for women's opportunities in sports, volunteerism and a desire to help youngsters be successful. That same year, Vollstedt was also awarded the 2000 PGA Anser Award which annually honors an individual whose positive efforts have influenced the history of golf in Arizona.
A much-heralded prep coach, Vollstedt coached the girls' team at Phoenix's Alhambra High School for a decade before coming to ASU. Her teams won a pair of state championships (1971, 1977), finished runner-up twice (1970, 1978) and posted four undefeated seasons.
A native of Portland, Ore., Vollstedt has been involved with Arizona State University for almost 40 years, earning her bachelor of arts degree in education in 1969 and her master's degree in math education in 1971. Her Sun Devil playing career began in 1964 and concluded in 1968. The 1994 National Golf Coaches Hall of Fame inductee is currently employed by ASU's Intercollegiate Athletic Department as the director of marketing and promotions for Sun Devil golf.
Vollstedt at ASU
* - Inaugural West Regional
A native of Portland, Oregon, Linda Vollstedt became involved with Arizona State University more than four decades ago as a member of the women’s golf team, earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education and her Master’s Degree in Math Education. She taught high school math for 10 years and in 1980 was named the ASU women’s golf coach. During her 21-year tenure, she led the Sun Devils to six NCAA Championships, nine Conference titles, coached 42 All-Americans, and sent 22 players to the LPGA Tour. Vollstedt’s outstanding efforts have been recognized by her colleagues with numerous honors, including being named one of the Top 10 College Coaches of the 20th Century. The eight-time Coach of the Year is a member of five Hall of Fames, including the ASU Hall of Fame, the Women’s Golf Coach Association Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Foundation Hall of Fame.
In 2001 Vollstedt retired from coaching and began working for the Sun Devil Club as a Development Director and Ambassador for Sun Devil Athletics. She enjoys reading, writing and mentoring. Her mission is to “continue to make a difference.” She is proud to be a Sun Devil!