UM announces new head women's golf coach

Ole Miss Athletics Director Pete Boone has announced Michele Drinkard as the new women's golf coach at the University of Mississippi. Drinkard's appointment is pending approval of the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning.

"We are excited to be bringing in the caliber coach and teacher of golf that Michele is," said senior associate athletics director Lynnette Johnson. "She brings a vast amount of experience. We feel confident that Michele is going to elevate our program to compete with the top teams in the SEC."

Drinkard comes to Ole Miss from Birmingham Southern College, where she is in her sixth season with the women's golf program and fourth as head coach. BSC is currently in Baton Rouge, La., for the NCAA East Regional, hosted by LSU. This marks the team's second consecutive NCAA appearance in just their fourth season of Division I eligibility. BSC earned the automatic bid to the postseason by winning its second-straight Big South Conference women's golf crown.

"I am extremely excited about becoming a part of the Ole Miss family," Drinkard said. "It's a school with a great academic and athletics tradition. I am looking forward to bringing the women's golf program to national prominence."

The two-time Big South Coach of the Year directed the Panthers to their most successful season ever in 2006 as the team claimed the Big South Conference Championship and a trip to the NCAA Central Regional, both firsts for the program. Drinkard coached the Big South Player of the Year and four members were named to the All-Big South team. She also coached the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year and three of her players earned NGCA All-American Scholar honors.

Drinkard's efforts have seen the Birmingham-Southern women's golf program vault into national prominence, as Golf Digest tabbed BSC as the No. 42 program in the nation in its September 2006 Golf First list, which recognizes programs for facilities and competition for those junior golfers wishing to play professionally.

In 2005, Drinkard was named a "Top 50 Instructor" by Golf for Women magazine and has served as the teaching professional at Bent Brook Golf Course. She is also listed in the "Best Teachers in Alabama" by Golf Digest magazine and a "Top 50 Kids Teacher" by U.S. Kids Golf.

Drinkard played on the Futures Golf Tour, the European and Australian Tours from 1988-1990, and attended the LPGA Tour School from 1988-1990. She became a PGA member in 1994.

The Cullman, Ala., native has also served as the Director of the USGA-LPGA Girl's Golf Club in Birmingham which is one of the largest programs in the country with 100 girls ranging from 8 to 17 years of age.

Drinkard was the Girl's Alabama State High School Champion in 1980 and 1981 representing Cullman High School, and was a golf standout for the University of Alabama, where she earned her bachelor's degree in 1986.

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