Officials at Miami (Fla.) decided they wanted a Hurricane to replace legendary women's coach Lela Cannon upon her retirement at the end of this season. So it was that they picked Patti Rizzo, a former U of M golfer and 20-year LPGA Tour veteran as Cannon's successsor, announcing the selection earlier this afternoon.
Rizzo, 49, is currently in her fifth year as the women's coach at Division II Barry U. in Miami Shores, Fla., where her teams have finshed in the top 10 nationally the previous four seasons and are ranked No. 6 in the latest Golf World/NGCA coaches' poll.
"I'm extremely excited," Rizzo (right) said in a statement. "I've been dreaming of this opportunity. I started my career at the University of Miami and things have come full circle where I have the chacne to finish up where I started. I am so appreciative of the support from my family, friends and the people at Miami. I am just thrilled to be back."
During Rizzo's playing days at Miami, she won the individual title at the 1980 and 1981 AIWA Championship. the precursor for the NCAA Championship.
Cannon is retiring from the post after 27 seasons coaching the Hurricanes, having led them to the NCAA women's title in 1984 and earning a spot in the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame.