Eastern Mennonite University has announced the hiring of Andre Swartzentruber as the new Head Golf Coach. He has been a golf coach and mathematics teacher at nearby Spotswood High School the past five years.
"Firstly, I want to thank God for the opportunity that he has laid in front of me to coach college golf," said Swartzentruber. "I also want to thank my former high school players. They mean the world to me, and they have shaped the coach I am today. I probably learned more from them than they learned from me. I would also like to thank Director of Athletics Dave King and President Susan Huxman for trusting me and allowing me the opportunity to coach at this university."
As an athlete, Swartzentruber was an all-district player at Spotswood High School before helping to start the EMU golf program during his senior collegiate year in 2012-13. Now he will become the third coach for the Royals entering the eighth season in program history.
Swartzentruber is second EMU alumnus in less than a month to take over his former program, joining Head Baseball Coach Adam Posey, who was hired in May.
"I'm really excited to add Andre to our quality coaching staff," King said. "I'm pleased to be able to give another young alumnus an entrance into collegiate coaching. His knowledge of EMU and the local community, combined with his passion to give back to his alma mater make Andre the right person to continue moving the golf program forward. His connections to the high school golf community will help in his recruiting efforts."
Spotswood's teams qualified for the regional tournament every year under Swartzentruber's leadership while claiming numerous all-district and all-region awards. The Blazers earned a team low score of 296 during his tenure, while an individual golfer tied the school record with a round of 65 (-7). He coached a female player to back-to-back top-10 finishes in the state tournament, with a male golfer landing in the top-15.
After leading his high school alma mater, Swartzentruber said it is rewarding to coach collegiate golf, especially as a former player for the young EMU program.
"I had the opportunity to get this program started my senior year at EMU, so I feel responsible for this program in a way," he said. "The golf program at EMU is still in the early stages, but I feel with the great support of the university and the administration that we can get this program moving in a positive direction and gain some momentum as we move forward towards our goals."
King pointed out Swartzentruber's strengths to springboard the direction of the EMU program.
"While not having collegiate coaching experience, his understanding of recruiting from the other side will help him connect with high school golfers," said King. "It has taken longer than expected to establish our golf program, but I believe Andre's energy and enthusiasm for the work will result in positive growth for the men's and women's teams. I'm eager to help Andre grow as a collegiate coach and see the program develop to its fullest potential."
In his one year as a player on the Royals' team, Swartzentruber earned recognitions to the ODAC Sportsmanship Team and the All-Academic Team.
He said he was drawn to give back to Eastern Mennonite University.
"My time at EMU was and always will be a special time in my life," Swartzentruber explained. "Getting the opportunity to give back to that community that shaped me as a young adult is an exciting one that I am really looking forward to. I hope I can be a positive influence and develop young men and women as golfers but also as fine human beings in today's society."
Swartzentruber take over the reins of the EMU program immediately.