“It’s the right program at the right time for Ohio Wesleyan,” Ingles said. “The sport has taken off at the high school and college levels, there is a demand and an ability to schedule, and there is a championship offered.”
The addition of women’s golf increases Ohio Wesleyan’s complement of varsity sports to 23, with 12 for women and 11 for men. Women’s golf is the first varsity sport to be added at Ohio Wesleyan since 1998, when softball was elevated to varsity status for the 2000 season.
Ohio Wesleyan becomes the sixth North Coast Athletic Conference institution to sponsor women’s golf, joining Allegheny College, Denison University, Hiram College, Wittenberg University, and the College of Wooster, and the NCAC will conduct its first women’s golf championship in 2010-11.
“We pride ourselves on offering every sport the NCAC sponsors,” Ingles said.
The fledgling Ohio Wesleyan women’s golf team will have the unique benefit of drawing on the rich tradition of the Ohio Wesleyan men’s golf program, which has won 23 conference championships—including 7 of the last 8 NCAC titles—and recorded 18 national top-10 finishes, including 6 in the last 8 seasons.
Ohio Wesleyan men’s golf coach Ian Miller has been assisting in recruiting for the Battling Bishops’ inaugural women’s golf team.
In addition to continuing as head coach of the men’s golf team, Miller will become director of golf operations, overseeing scheduling and travel schedules for both teams, and will continue to aid in recruiting for the women’s team.
This summer, Ingles anticipates hiring a head coach for women’s golf who will oversee the practices and tournaments of the women’s team.
“We are fortunate to have a men’s coach with Ian’s background and expertise,” Ingles said. “That will help the women’s team grow quickly. Ian is very enthusiastic about adding women’s golf.”
“We want to make sure that we add a women’s program that rises to the level of the men’s program and does not take anything away. We feel that we can offer a quality golf program in both genders.”
Oakhaven Golf Club, Delaware Golf Club, Mill Creek Golf Club, and Glenross Golf Club will serve as home courses for both the Bishop men’s and women’s golf teams.
“We are very fortunate to have outstanding golf facilities at our back door which will allow us to accommodate two programs and are willing to work with us to help make this happen,” Ingles said. “This gives us unique scheduling opportunities and facility options.”