It didn't take long for South Carolina to find a new women's coach--all of 10 days actually. Kalen Anderson, a former Duke player who has served as an assistant to Blue Devil women's coach Dan Brooks since spring 2006, will take over the position after last week's resignation by Kristi Coggins. The 29-year-old native of Edina, Minn., is scheduled to begin her duties March 1.
"We are ecstatic to have someone with Kalen's credentials become our golf coach," said South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman in a release today. "She has been part of a championship program as both a player and coach, and we believe our women's golf program will really take off under her direction."
Couple quick thoughts:
It will be interesting to see what kind of immediate impact Anderson can make on the Lady Gamecocks, who have four seniors on their roster but struggled this fall, posting just two top-10 finishes in five tournaments. Anderson's worked closely with the players on the Duke squad, often competing with them during practices. Duke junior Amanda Blumenherst told me last summer how Anderson would hold contests where players on the team had to practice out of difficult lies and strange circumstances, helping build their all-around games as well as a little team chemistry. Creating that close interaction with her new squad could provide a missing spark.
Similarly, it will be interesting to see what impact Anderson's departure has on the top-ranked Blue Devils. Will players feel a void? Given the competition powers Arizona State, UCLA and USC are likely to apply this spring as the Blue Devils go for a historic fourth straight NCAA title, could this be a negative for Duke?