Aug. 28, 2006
Debby King, women’s golf coach at the University of Notre Dame for the past five seasons, has announced her resignation.
King was named the program’s first full-time coach, and third in the program’s history, on Aug. 21, 2001. During her tenure, she led the Irish to 11 team tournament victories, BIG EAST Championship crowns in 2003 and 2004 — and she guided her squads to two NCAA Tournament berths in ’04 and ’05 (the only appearances in program history).
“I enjoyed my five years of coaching at the University of Notre Dame, combined with my six years of coaching at the University of Memphis. After 11 years I felt it was time to pursue other career opportunities,” said King.
Notre Dame produced its most successful season in school history in 2004-05, as the Irish registered a school-record four tournament victories and four medalist finishes. The year ended with Notre Dame playing in the NCAA Central Regional for the second straight season and just the second time in program history. The Irish finished 18 shots better in the ’05 regional compared to the year before.
In five seasons under King, the Notre Dame team experienced dramatic improvements. Prior to her arrival, the Irish had a team stroke average of 323.26 in 2000-01; Notre Dame concluded the spring of 2006 with a school-record season average of 306.66.
Under King, Notre Dame teams established numerous school records. A King-led squad owns all 10 of the top 54-hole tournament scores and nine of the top 10 low-team rounds in school history. There also have been numerous individual records established during King’s tenure at Notre Dame, including the top nine career stroke averages and top 10 season stroke averages.
One of the biggest wins in the program’s history came at the Jeannine McHaneyInvitational/Central Regional Preview in October of ’04 — and following that victory the Irish debuted in the top 25 of the golfstat.com rankings in October of 2004 at 18th after winning the title. Katie Brophy, a 2006 graduate, took home medalist honors that day, one of seven times during King’s five seasons that an Irish golfer won a tournament title.
In 2002-03, Notre Dame closed out the year by winning the first-ever BIG EAST Women’s Golf Championship. The Irish had three freshmen in the scoring five at the conference championship and had four golfers finish in the top five to earn all-BIG EAST honors for ’02-’03, including Brophy who took co-medalist honors. In 2003-04, the Irish finished first at a record-setting eight tournaments, Notre Dame captured three tournament victories in the fall of 2003, tying the school record for tournament victories in an entire season. The Irish added to that total in the spring as they won their second straight BIG EAST title and saw three golfers (Noriko Nakazaki, Brophy, Karen Lotta) collect all-BIG EAST honors. A trip to the NCAA Central Regional capped off the greatest year in the history of the program to that point.
King came to Notre Dame after six seasons as the head golf coach at the University of Memphis where her teams won two Conference USA titles (1997, 2001), produced 16 all-conference players, one conference player of the year and two conference rookies of the year.
During her six years at Memphis, King guided her teams to five consecutive trips to the NCAA Golf Regionals from 1997 through 2001.
A former collegiate player at Florida Atlantic University, where she graduated from in 1984, King moved to the professional ranks as an assistant golf pro at St. Andrew’s Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla. In 1985 she attended the LPGA Qualifying School and for the next five years played on the Asian Tour, the Futures Golf Tour and worked as a teaching professional.
As a player, King won the 1991 Massachusetts Women’s Open, the 1993 West Tennessee Assistants Championship, and in 1995, the Tour America Championship.