SMU men's golf coach, who lost wife to cancer, resigns amid family battle with tour player's wife

February 06, 2020
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SMU men's golf coach Jason Enloe announced on Thursday that he has stepped down from his position as the spring portion of the 2019-'20 is getting underway.

Enloe entered the national spotlight in 2018 when his wife, Katie, succumbed to leukemia. Through the heartbreak, which included now raising two young daughters without their mother, Enloe continued to coach, guiding his team to a surprising run in last year's NCAA Championship, ultimately losing to No. 1 Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals.

According to stories from the Golf Channel and Golfweek, the loss of Katie—coupled with an ongoing legal battle with his former in-laws—has become too much to bear for Enloe, forcing him to leave the team.

“This was an exceedingly hard decision for me to make,” Enloe said in a statement, “but it’s the decision that is best for me, for my family and for the SMU golf program. It’s time for me to start a new chapter in my life and it’s time to move on from being a college golf coach.

“I want to thank my current and former players, their parents, my friends, my family, the SMU administration and the countless others who have shown me such great support over the last few years. Coaching at my alma mater has been a dream come true, and I will always treasure the memories. I’d like to believe that I’ve left the program in a position to succeed, and I look forward to cheering the team on as an alum, knowing that they will remain among the elite college golf programs.”

Enloe played 14 years on golf's developmental circuits and won two Nationwide (now Korn Ferry) Tour events in his career, although he never reached the PGA Tour. In five-plus seasons with SMU, Enloe coached four All-Americans, including 2015 NCAA champion Bryson DeChambeau. Enloe lead the Mustangs to eight tournament wins and was named Regional Coach of the Year last season.

But last fall Enloe took a leave of absence from the school as he tried to deal with his personal life. Golf Channel and Golfweek report that Dallas court filings from November show Enloe is seeking monetary relief from his wife’s sister, Kandi Mahan—wife of PGA Tour player Hunter Mahan—and his wife’s mother, Debra Breaux, over a $500,000 life insurance policy. According to a report from the Golf Channel's Ryan Lavner, Enloe alleges that Mahan and Breaux changed the designation of the insurance policy that Enloe purchased to them, and that Mahan and Breaux took jewelry, watches and other valuables worth an estimated $60,000 from his house without his permission.

An attorney for Mahan and Breaux told the Golf Channel that, “This is a very personal matter to our family that involves small children [our nieces and granddaughters, respectively]. We do not think it is in the children’s best interests to comment beyond directing you to our pleadings in the case which we believe is supported by the evidence."

Chris Parra, who has served as an assistant coach since Enloe’s appointment in 2014, will take over as interim head coach.