ASHLAND, VA -- Randolph-Macon President Robert Lindgren announced on Thursday that the College will be adding women's golf as an intercollegiate sport. The Yellow Jackets will begin recruiting immediately with the intention to start competition in the fall of 2012.
Women's Golf is the 17th sport sponsored by R-MC and will be led by PGA Professional Leighann Albaugh, who is currently the Head Golf Professional at the nearby Hollows Golf Club and has previous head coaching experience at the University of Richmond.
"I am thrilled to have someone with Coach Albaugh's track record and philosophy about Division III sports lead our athletes in this new program which we are inaugurating this fall," said Lindgren. "The addition of women's golf brings even greater opportunities for our students to participate in our stellar athletic program . We wish Coach Albaugh and her team every success."
Albaugh helped UR to unprecedented success, leading the Spiders to a fourth-place finish at the 2009 CAA Championship. In 2008-09, the Spiders posted five top-5 finishes, the most in program history. Under the direction of Albaugh, Richmond took third-place at the 2007 Colonial Athletic Association Championship and, with three freshmen in the lineup, guided the 2006 squad to a fourth-place finish in the conference.
"I could not be more excited to start a new tradition of women's golf at Randolph-Macon," said Albaugh. "R-MC's commitment to academics and the development of the whole student athlete makes this and ideal fit for a successful Division III women's golf program. I only hope that my future student athletes and I can experience the same success in the classroom and on the course as the other programs at R-MC have year in and year out"
In her first year, Albaugh took the Spiders into the top-100 of Golfstat's national rankings for the first time in program history. Richmond posted seven top-10 finishes in 11 tournaments in 2005-06, including four top-five finishes, and three times taking third in a tournament.
The former Methodist College All-American came to Richmond after serving as an assistant coach for Penn State. She is one of only a handful of female Class A PGA teaching professionals in the country.
Albaugh joined the Penn State women's program as assistant coach in 2003. While at PSU, Albaugh was an assistant under head coach Denise St. Pierre. She also served as a head instructor at the Penn State Golf Camps and as an instructor at the Penn State Alumni golf schools.
Before arriving at Penn State, Albaugh taught at the Dana Rader Golf School in Charlotte, N.C., a Golf Magazine Top-25 Golf School. While there, she mentored under Dana Rader and Julie Cole, who are two of the top LPGA teaching professionals in the nation. She also served as a teaching assistant for Dr. Jim Suttie, who is ranked among Golf Digest's Top-15 Greatest Teachers and is the 2000 National PGA Teacher of the Year.
"I believe a women's golf program is the next logical step in the growth of the Randolph-Macon College Athletic Department," said Burns. "With the support of our administration and a coach with the experience of Leighann, I have no doubt we will attract the highest caliber of student-athlete that will result in success on and off the course."
R-MC is the third ODAC school to start a women's golf program over the last few months. Bridgewater and Washington & Lee have announced their intentions to start a program, while Hollins already has a nationally ranked program.