|Title:||Head Coach (2006-)|
In the space of six years, MaryJo McCloskey, the 2009-10 NCAA Division III West Region Coach of the Year and 2010-11 Northwest Conference Coach of the Year, has turned a non-existent George Fox University program into one of the top women’s golf teams on the conference, regional, and national levels.
McCloskey initiated the George Fox program for the 2006-07 season with the bare minimum of four players and went 5-24-1 against all opponents with a seventh-place finish in the Northwest Conference. In their second season, the Bruins went 37-18, finished fifth in the NWC, and won their first matches, including one dual match and three multi-team tournaments. The 2008-09 team posted a 37-15 against all competition, including four multi-team tournaments wins, and even secured a brief listing in the NCAA Division III national ratings. The Bruins climbed to fourth in the conference standings as well.
George Fox finally made its presence known on the national scene in 2009-10 as the Bruins went 65-9, shared their first NWC championship with Whitworth University, and were ranked No. 7 in the final regular season national ratings by Golf World magazine and the National Golf Coaches Association. Receiving their first bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships as an at-large entry, the Bruins finished eighth out of 20 teams at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., and McCloskey was named the West Region Coach of the Year by the NGCA.
In 2010-11, George Fox went 74-22, winning seven tournaments and capturing their second straight Northwest Conference title, this time outright, with McCloskey receiving the NWC Coach of the Year award. The Bruins were ranked No. 7 by Golf World and the NGCA in the final regular-season ratings before placing 12th out of 19 teams in their second straight NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament at Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
In the final 2010-11 statistics release from Golftstat.com, the official statistical service of the NCAA, George Fox was ranked No. 1 in the Division III Region 5 (West) and No. 5 in the nation in score vs. par (38.64), No. 1 in the region and No. 4 in the nation in adjusted score (38.69), and No. 1 in the region and No. 11 nationally in overall ranking. The Bruins’ four-player team stroke average of 327.12 in 13 tournaments was fourth-best in the nation behind DePauw University (318.33), national champion Methodist University (318.91), and Gustavus Adolphus College (327.09).
Kelsey Morrison became the second Bruin women’s golfer to earn All-America honors in 2010-11, being named to the Second Team by the NCGA. She joined Brianna Nap, a Second Team selection in 2009-10. Morrison and Nap earned All-West Region honors, while Morrison, Nap, and Jill Westendorf made the All-NWC team, with Nap being named the NWC Player of the Year. Mandy Cameron became a four-time selection to the NCAA Division III Women’s All-American Scholar Team, and was voted to the Capital One / CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII College Division Women’s At-Large First Team for the second time.
Last year, the Bruins compiled a 74-23 record, giving McCloskey an overall record at George Fox of 292-111-1 (.724). The team captured six tournament titles, finished second twice, and won the Northwest Conference championship for the third year in a row, sharing top honors with Whitman College. Again earning an at-large bid to the NCAA National Tournament, the Bruins posted their best showing yet in the national championships by finishing seventh out of 25 teams in the event at Angola, Ind. They were ranked No. 7 in the nation in the final Golf World / NGCA Division III poll.
In the final NCAA national statistics from Golfstat.com, George Fox was ranked fifth nationally in Division III in scoring average (317.92) and in score vs. par (29.28), while ranking first in the West Region in both scoring average and score vs. par. The Bruins’ adjusted scoring average of 79.48 was also tops in the region and fifth in the nation.
Kelsey Morrison again earned All-America status, this time First Team, and was runner-up for National Player of the Year honors to Olivia Lugar of Washington University- St. Louis. She and Megan McGrew both earned All-West Region and All-NWC First Team honors, with Morrison being named NWC Player of the Year. Jill Westendorf was a First Team All-NWC selection and Abby Mann made Second Team.
McCloskey joined the Bruin staff in the spring of 2006 after eight years building a strong women’s team at Lewis & Clark College. Under her guidance, the Pioneers placed second in the NWC championship for three consecutive seasons from 2003-05. The program produced one NWC individual champion, two NWC Fall Classic individual champions, one Academic All-American, and numerous All-Conference players. In 2002, she coached the NCAA Division III Freshman of the Year. She also has served for several years on the NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championship Selection Committee.
A graduate of St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Ore., where she played varsity golf for four years, McCloskey went on to play in the collegiate ranks at the University of Oregon. She joined Lewis & Clark as an assistant golf coach in 1996, becoming head coach the following year.
A member of the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore., McCloskey has competed in several amateur tournaments in the Pacific Northwest, including the Oregon Amateur, the Oregon Coast Invitational, and the Pacific Northwest Amateur. A three-time club champion, she maintains a single-digit handicap.
McCloskey serves on the board of directors for the Children’s Course, a non-profit golf course affiliated with the First Tee program, which is dedicated to providing golfing opportunities for youth. She is a member of Tournament Golf Foundation, Inc., which brings the LPGA Safeway Classic to Portland each year, raising thousands of dollars for local charities. She also worked for Peter Jacobsen’s Fred Meyer Challenge golfing event for 12 years.
McCloskey has a bachelor of arts in marketing from the University of Oregon, and a master’s of business administration from the University of Portland. In addition to coaching, she works as a consultant in marketing, primarily helping small businesses with image development and printed materials for their customers, sales and advertising strategies, identifying target markets, and public relations. She and her husband Rick, also an avid golfer, reside in Tualatin, Ore.
"I was very excited about the tremendous opportunity to build a women's golf program here," said McCloskey upon being offered the position at George Fox. “I believe golf teaches so many life skills, and it is rewarding to combine it with the values that George Fox upholds and provide women student-athletes with the chance to play and compete."
2009-10 NCAA Division III Region 5 (West) Coach of the Year
2010-11 Northwest Conference Coach of the Year