On Wednesday (July 10) afternoon, Ashland University Director of Athletics Al King announced the hire of Gene Grabiec as the Eagles' new head women's golf coach.
"When you talk to Gene, it becomes apparent early on his love for teaching and his desire to give something back to the game of golf," King said. "He's coached on numerous levels throughout his career, but this is the first time he's had the opportunity to coach college golf.
"One of the first things Gene said to me is that there's a reason student comes first in the term student-athlete. He's committed to teaching golf lessons and life lessons."
Grabiec brings four decades of golf teaching experience, most recently at Silver Lake Country Club as Director of Golf Instruction for the last four years. His past work also includes offseason individual lessons, as well as at golf and country clubs in Michigan, Ohio and Florida.
"Working for a scouting service in the past, I feel I am qualified in getting us some good student-athletes. My goal would be to promote student-athletes," Grabiec said. "I like to win. That's my goal. I want young people who are dedicated to being winning student-athletes and work hard.
"I like to see student-athletes exceed their expectations, then ask them if they can do that, what else are they capable of?"
Ashland's women's golf program recently went on a streak of 10 consecutive seasons reaching the NCAA Division II regionals (2009-18). In 2019, the Eagles finished ninth at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships.
"We've had some great players in the past," said Grabiec. "My job is to take the existing team I have and make it better."
Grabiec credited Ashland head men's golf coach Dennis North for helping him with the transition. North was the Eagles' interim head women's golf coach as well in the spring of 2019.
"Dennis has been a lot of help. He's been tremendous, very instrumental," Grabiec said. "We need to take what we have and take my core group and concentrate on them playing at a much higher level."
"As Gene knows, these next few weeks he's going to be taking a crash course in college athletics, the NCAA manual and recruiting," said King. "But he doesn't have to acquaint himself about how we conduct business at Ashland. He has a daughter who's an AU graduate. He understands our mission and the Accent on the Individual philosophy very well."