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Original Issue

My Shot I'm shocked that Arizona State would hire a man to coach the women's team

I take pride in my alma mater, Arizona State, but I am
disappointed that the university has hired a man to replace
Linda Vollstedt as women's golf coach. I don't have anything
against men or Mickey Yokoi personally; it's just that I don't
understand why a plum job like the Sun Devils' would go to a man
with no head-coaching experience when so many better-qualified
women were available.

I played at Arizona State for three years, from 1984 through
'86, and, after graduating, was Linda's assistant for three
seasons. During her 21 years in Tempe, Linda, a five-time
national coach of the year who retired in June, turned the Sun
Devils into a powerhouse, winning six NCAA titles. Arizona State
should have had its pick of coaches but settled for an assistant
on its men's team. That's like hiring a high school coach to run
the Notre Dame football program, and we all know what happened

All my friends in the women's golf community--tour players,
teaching pros and industry executives--were shocked when they
heard the news. Unfortunately, hiring a man to replace a woman
has become a trend in collegiate golf. In the last few years
respected programs like those at Arizona and Southern Methodist
University have bypassed qualified women to bring in a
less-qualified man.

What made Linda such a great coach was that she could
communicate with her players. She told us that to be successful
in golf, we needed to work hard in school and keep our personal
lives on an even keel. She encouraged us to come to her with our
smallest problems. When I was 19, I don't think I would have
gone to a man for advice after breaking up with a boyfriend, but
I felt perfectly comfortable confiding in Linda. I dearly want
to see more top coaching jobs go to women, but in the meantime,
I hope I'm wrong about Mickey. I hope that he'll defy the odds
and maintain the exceptionally high standards set by Linda.

Estill, 38, is one of 15 Arizona State alumnae on the LPGA tour.