Women’s golf coach Casey VanDamme strives for greatness in first season

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KSU Athletics

2022 Kent State women’s golf team

Noah Keeney, Reporter

Kent State women’s golf’s new head coach Casey VanDamme has quickly adjusted to the new team and the opportunity he has been given.

VanDamme coached for seven years at South Dakota State, but last year was offered the job at Kent State following the departure of coach Lisa Strom to Ohio State.

“Kent State reached out to me in August,” VanDamme said. “I immediately had to jump at the opportunity to join such a rich program with a successful and winning history. It is too hard to say no to coaching one of the best teams in the nation.”

VanDamme, the fourth head coach in program history, said he quickly picked up the team’s way of doing things but has had to adjust from how he coached at South Dakota State.

“The main struggle whenever you go somewhere new is learning the new system,” VanDamme said. “You have to be able to meet people in the middle and compromise for the better. Some stuff that I coached doesn’t apply here, but that goes both ways.”

The Flashes have won 22 straight Mid-American Conference titles and have no plans of stopping.

“People take for granted the program and what the previous coaches have accomplished here,” VanDamme said. “22 straight MAC championship wins is absolutely incredible, and not enough people truly understand how hard that is to achieve as a player and coach.”

Vandamme and the Flashes will travel to Columbus for their final regular-season tournament as they prepare for the MAC championship.

“I have enjoyed meeting all the people here at Kent State,” VanDamme said. “I really look forward to this upcoming summer, it’ll be my first as a coach here to meet alumni and make some new relationships. I want to take time to establish friendships with the supporters of our program and truly embrace my job here in Kent.”

When VanDamme was hired, athletic director Randale Richmond had nothing but encouraging words.

“VanDamme brings a strong track record of success as both a head coach at South Dakota State and as an assistant at Tennesse,” Richmond said. “I know that he has what it takes to continue the tradition of women’s golf excellence here at Kent State.”

The Flashes are currently once again the favorite to win the MAC. Proving VanDamme is doing exactly what he was brought here to do in August. He continues to adjust and bring his great coaching to new levels.

The team will travel to Columbus to compete in the Lady Buckeye Invitational this Friday and Saturday.

Noah Keeney is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected]