Estes named national assistant golf coach of the year

FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas assistant golf coach Shauna Estes was named National Assistant Golf Coach of the Year the National Golf Coaches Association announced today. Estes just competed her fifth season with the Lady Razorbacks guiding the team to four consecutive NCAA Regional appearances, a pair of NCAA Championship appearances and coached Lady Razorback Stacy Lewis en route to her 2007 NCAA Championship. In addition, Estes assumed sole responsibility for the nationally-ranked Lady Razorbacks during the spring season while head coach Kelley Hester was out of the office on maternity leave. "It’s an honor to be recognized by other coaches for doing a good job," said Estes. "I really feel prepared to lead a golf team. My goal from the beginning was to gain the experience necessary to become a head coach. Kelley has given me this great opportunity to grow as a person and to develop into a coach. I feel this award is another great stepping stone towards my ultimate goal of becoming a head coach." "I think that, without a doubt, Shauna is the top assistant in the nation," said Hester. "This year, she was a huge asset as I was out with the baby and I never worried about whether or not the team was taken care of. Shauna is very deserving of the honor and I’m thankful that the awards committee agreed." A key ingredient in Arkansas’ success, Estes fills a variety of roles for the Lady Razorbacks. She has assumed a full plate of recruiting duties as well as coordinating the recruiting trips and visits from prospective student-athletes. In addition, she handles video and inquiries about the program. A skilled course manager, Estes assists Arkansas in event preparation and the mental aspect of the game. In addition, she serves as tournament director for the Tyson/Embassy Suites Invitational and the FORE Arkansas Golf, the team’s annual fund raiser each spring. "I believe my experience as an assistant has been unique," said Estes. "Kelley and I have such a great relationship that right off the bat I was given some responsibilities that most assistants would never have had. These experiences have prepared me to become a head coach." At Georgia, Estes became the first-ever four-time NCAA All-American for the Bulldog golf team from 1997-2000. She was the 1997 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year and a two-time SEC Player of the Year in 1997 and 2000 on her way to four all-conference honors. Estes won seven collegiate tournaments, was the 1994 Optimist Junior World Championship winner and won the 1996 AJGA Myrtle Beach Championship. When she graduated, Estes ranked second in Bulldog history for the lowest round with a 66 on day two of the 1998 Mercedes-Benz Classic and held three of the top 10 low rounds. In addition, she ranked third for low tournament with a six-under at the 1999 SEC Championship. Estes ranked sixth all-time for low season average with a 73.73 mark set in 1998-99 and held three of the top nine marks in Georgia history. Her mark of seven career titles still ranks first. Born in Orangeburg, S.C., April 4, 1978, Estes was a 2000 graduate of Georgia with a degree in turfgrass management. After graduation, Estes tried her luck on the LPGA FUTURES Tour for three seasons. In her first year, she played in 10 events making eight cuts. Her best finish was a tie for eighth overall as she finished with a 74.19 stroke average. The 2001 season saw Estes compete in 19 events making 12 cuts. Her best finish was a tie for third and she finished the year ranked in the top 40. Her 2002 season again saw Estes compete in 10 events with her top finish coming in a tie for 14th at the Isleta Casino & Resort Golf Classic in Albuquerque, N.M.