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Men’s golf team welcomes new coach to the greens

The Westminster University men’s golf team poses after winning a tournament at the Golf Club at Red Rock in Rapid City, South Dakota on Sept. 20. Zach Dallimore, a member of the men‘s golf team and double major in marketing and management, said the new coach is another step in the right direction. Photo courtesy of Shannon Brennan. Photo description: The men’s gold team stands lined up on green grass on a golf course. They are wearing light purple/grey polos with black pants. One member is holding an award and two members of the team are wearing medals.

Westminster University Griffins Athletics announced David Tottori as the new men’s golf team coach Oct. 12, according to a press release by Griffins Athletics. 

Tottori is the latest hire since Denise Larson, director of golf, was elected to oversee both the men’s and women’s team, according to a separate press release on Aug. 18 by Griffins Athletics. 

The men’s golf team at Westminster was experiencing coaching changes when their coach from the last two years resigned, leaving them without a full-time coach. 

Zach Dallimore, a member of the men’s golf team and double major in marketing and management, said Denise Larson, the women’s golf coach, took responsibility to oversee both teams. He talked about the team’s attitude during this transition. 

“It seemed like everyone kind of stepped up and took on a bigger role and was willing to take on more responsibility.” Dallimore said. “So yeah, I actually feel like it was a good thing.”

Other members of the team also had positive things to say about not having a coach.

“[Being] without [a] coach has been nice because we’ve all kind of got tighter as a unit,” said Andrew Ahlstrom, a junior applied mathematics major and member of the golf team. “We’ve had to work together, we’ve had to communicate more with ourselves.”

Dallimore said that he’s already seen positive changes and improvement with the team’s attitude and that the new coach is another step in the right direction.

Shelley Jarrard, the Associate Athletic Director said that the university takes hiring seriously.

“We never want to rush a process,” Jarrard said. “We want to make sure we get a good fit.” 

Although Jarrard said she mainly has part-time employees, she still values employee retention.

Jarrard also said that there are qualifications on the applicant page that they have to meet, such as adequate release time from their other jobs. Jarrard also said that accountability to the school is a huge part of it.

“You want someone who’s positive, who’s available, and understands the time commitment,” Jarrard said.

Zach Dallimore dials in an approach shot during the Westminster University Men’s golf team’s tournament in Rapid City. The team won its first event of 2023 and has enjoyed a strong start. Photo courtesy of Shannon Brennan. Photo description: Zach Dallimore is pictured swinging and looking forward across the green grass on a golf course.

In an announcement made by the Westminster Griffins, Jarrard said that she is, “confident [the new coach, David Tottori] will bring immense value to our student-athletes.”

Jarrard also praised the team for how well they handled the changes.

“Our golf team is wonderful,” Jarrard said. “They’re great guys. A couple of them have [already] gone through coaching changes. Coaches don’t stay at schools forever and ever. There’s changes inevitable, but they’ve been wonderful.”

Dallimore and Ahlstrom are two of the players that have seen the silver lining and talked about learning some valuable lessons. One of these lessons is how to navigate change. 

“I think as with anything in life, nothing’s gonna go exactly how it’s initially planned, and this was just another piece of adversity that we’re gonna have to overcome.” Dallimore said. 

Hard work and unity was another lesson that was highlighted by Ahlstrom. He said that the team was always willing to work hard and cheer each other on, even though golf can be viewed as an individual sport.

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James Knight (he, him) currently studies communication at Westminster University. He enjoys all things sports. His favorite sport is basketball, even though he usually only participates as a passionate fan. He enjoys seeking out all forms of adventure no matter where it takes him. When not buried in academia, he loves spending time with family and friends, watching YouTube, playing video games and traversing new horizons on vacations.

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