The men’s golf team is gearing up for another season of success by adding assistant coach Rich Gilkey to the Long Beach State golf staff.
Gilkey has experience in the collegiate golf scene with Fresno State and also in the pro’s, but not as a player like most would assume.
Gilkey’s father, Rich Gilkey Sr., played in professional tournaments, while junior caddied for him.
“Learning how to prep for tournaments when you’re a caddy, you’re trying to prep your player, learn the course your best to help the player out, and it’s almost the same thing in coaching,” Gilkey said. “You’re pretty much caddying, [and] the same kind of knowledge [is] needed.”
Having this experience under his belt will help the team’s preparation and understanding of the courses they will play.
“I hope to bring a good understanding of golf,” Gilkey said. “I’ve been at nationwide tournaments since I was five or six. I’ve been around it for 20 years, been playing for about 10. I’ve been around it since I was in diapers.”
Head coach Michael Wilson said he hired Gilkey for more than just the experience he can bring to the team.
“His energy, enthusiasm and passion for the game of golf and to help better others, I think that’s such a big thing. You gotta have that and Rich has got that in spades. ” Wilson said. “He’s kind of done everything within golf. He’s kind of just got the [makings] of a coach.”
Retiring from the green in 2013 after his senior season with the Bulldogs, Gilkey’s youthful presence on staff at Long Beach may also prove to be helpful to the team.
“I think it’s great … just having someone young and fresh and relatable,” Wilson said. I think that’s massive, and with so much young energy on the team, I think it’s good to have that in our coaching staff.”
The men’s golf team will travel to the University of Washington for the Husky Invitational Sept. 16. for their first tournament of the season.