Men's Golf Assistant Coach
After spending four years as a player helping the Notre Dame men[apos]s golf program to succeed, Chris Whitten is set to begin his second season as an assistant coach for the Irish, looking to guide the Irish to even greater heights.
In his first season as an assistant at Notre Dame, Whitten helped the Irish to a pair of tournament titles, including the school[apos]s first BIG EAST Conference championship since 1997. He also played a part in Notre Dame[apos]s first NCAA postseason berth since 1966, a No. 92 ranking in the final Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, and the eighth-lowest season stroke average in school history (301.03).
On May 7, 2003, Notre Dame head coach John Jasinski announced that Whitten had been hired as the first full-time assistant coach in the program[apos]s 75-year history.
With the Irish, the 24-year old Whitten oversees recruiting and is involved in every aspect of coaching the Notre Dame golf program. He also helped organize the formation of the Irish Golf School, which debuted in the spring of 2004.
In making the announcement, Jasinski said, [quote]We are pleased to have Chris join the Notre Dame golf coaching staff. He brings a great deal of experience as a varsity golfer and monogram winner with the Irish and has been around the game of golf his entire life. Chris has a deep interest in instruction with golfers at a higher level. His skills will be a great asset to our program.[quote]
A 2002 graduate of Notre Dame, Whitten was a four-year member of the Irish golf team, earning a monogram in his final season. During his career, he played in 13 tournaments with a 78.00 average for 34 rounds of play. His best season came in 2001-02, when he played in nine of the team[apos]s 10 tournaments with a 77.43 average. He got his final year off to a strong start as he led the Irish at the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational with a 222 total, including the best round of his career, an even-par 72 in the second round. He also finished 18th at the BIG EAST Championship, helping the Irish to a second-place finish.
In the classroom, Whitten was a superb student at Notre Dame, graduating with degrees in English and computer applications. A Dean[apos]s List student in his last four semesters, he was named to the 2002 National Collegiate Golf Coaches Association[apos]s All-Scholar Team.
A native of Rockford, Mich., Whitten has been involved in the game of golf his entire life. Currently, he is an apprentice in the Professional Golfers[apos] Association (PGA) of America. He also remains an active competitor, most recently taking part in the Indiana PGA Assistants[apos] Championship in July 2004, finishing tied for 12th place with a score of 218. In addition, Whitten[apos]s father, Buddy, is a club professional at the Blythefield Country Club in Rockford, and he played on the PGA Senior Tour in 1997 with Chris serving as his caddy.
Born Sept. 29, 1979, in Grand Rapids, Mich., Whitten is married to the former Amy White, a 2002 Notre Dame graduate and third-year medical student at the University of Michigan. The couple resides in Mishawaka.