Kim Haddow – A Coach, A Friend by Kristie Fowler
I first got to know Kim when she was the Women’s Golf Coach at the University of Arizona. I have a lot of great memories of my college golf days; some of “what happens on the road, stays on the road”. Kim developed teams with not only good student-athletes but good people as well. That’s probably why so many of the players are still friends today after nearly thirty years. Kim has a great deal to be proud of after accomplishing so many career and personal goals. It’s my honor to introduce you to Kim Haddow; my coach for a while, my friend for life.
Kim Haddow grew up in Clear Lake, Iowa on a 9-hole golf course. Although she played college basketball, she always knew golf would be a big part of her life. She was teaching science and coaching the men’s golf team at Wickenburg High School when she met her husband. Mike was coaching golf at a rival High School at the time. Soon after, they moved to Tucson where her husband had a basketball coaching opportunity at the University of Arizona. Kim worked 3 jobs that first year; substitute science teacher, aerobics instructor and Assistant Golf Professional. During that first year she also met Mary Roby. Kim’s Mother was the most important woman in her life and Mary Roby became the second. I remember Dr. Roby. She was like EF Hutton. When she spoke, you listened. She was well respected and always had good advice.
Mary Roby saw potential and hired Kim as the Women’s Golf Coach at the University of Arizona. After 5 years Kim finally asked Mary why she hired her and she gave Kim 5 reasons. She came to the interview in a suit, she had previously coached men’s and women’s golf, she was an LPGA Apprentice, she had raised money as a fund raiser, and she had a college degree. All are great goals for aspiring coaches.
She coached Division I for 15 years and had tremendous success. She had amazing experiences with wonderful young women at a time when college golf was emerging in a large way. She led her teams to 9 NCAA Championships appearances, finishing in the Top-10 in 7 of those tournaments. Her 1992 U of A team finished 2nd overall, and two of her Wildcat golfers claimed NCAA titles during her tenure. Coach Haddow had 22 of her golfers named NCAA All-American, 9 who were Academic All-Americans, and one who was named National Player of the Year. During Haddow’s time at Arizona, 15 golfers received All Pac-10 honors, and 11 received All SEC honors while she coached at Florida. In 1995, her entire University of Florida playing 5 earned All-SEC honors, a feat that had never been accomplished before in the league. Coach Haddow had numerous former student-athletes go on to illustrious careers in professional golf, including Annika Sorenstam. She received many personal accolades herself, including being named NCAA Coach of the year in 1992, Pac-10 Coach of the year in 1992, as well as 3 times being named as the Far West Region Coach of the year. In 1997, Coach Haddow was inducted into the NCAA Coaches Hall of Fame.
In 1998 she and Mike decided to return to High School teaching and coaching to be home more with their two young daughters. They moved to Chino Valley near Prescott, Arizona. She said it was one of the best decisions they ever made since they were able to teach science and coach soccer, basketball and golf with their own girls.
During that time she was also able to have an LPGA USGA Girls Golf Club in the tri-city area. Working at Antelope Hills Golf Club she helped buils junior golf programs as well as women’s golf. As a charter board member of the MATTForce coalition in Yavapai County she was part of an exciting grass roots effort to eradicate drugs and underage drinking in the county.
In 2011 she was hired at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott to start both men’s and women’s golf programs. She felt it was a tremendous opportunity to be back in college golf at the NAIA level, and at a highly recognized academic institution in science and math. She and her husband Mike are coaching the teams together and making it a real family affair.
Since starting the team she has been awarded 3 consecutive California Pacific Conference Coach of the Year Awards from 2013-2015. Her teams have consistently shined on the course and in the classroom. The women’s team won 4 tournaments in 2015 including the Cal Pac/GSAC National Qualifying tournament and the men’s team won 2 events. The men’s team received the award of highest team GPA in men’s golf for all collegiate divisions. This is the first such honor received by an NAIA team.
Internationally Kim has coached the USA Team and USA Individual Team in the Shisedo Cup Matches in Tokyo, Japan. In the summer of 2010 she was selected to coach the US Women’s Team for the World University Golf Championships in Antequera, Spain, where 4 of her golfers earned medals. In 2008 she was selected to coach the USA Team for the World Championships in Sun City, South Africa, guiding them to a Gold Medal Finish. With all her global travel opportunity through golf she wanted to bring that to the Embry Riddle teams. Through connections in her family she was able to present an opportunity to the teams to travel to China in the summer of 2014 and reciprocate with the Chinese team to come to Prescott and compete in their intercollegiate event in March 2015. She commented about what a special friendly competition they had in both countries as well as opportunity to experience each other’s cultures.
Kim says that golf has truly been her life blood next to her belief in God. It gave her many opportunities to meet incredible people and have many fulfilling experiences. What a wonderful inspiration she has been to so many people. Life can be very rewarding when you reach goals and fulfill your dreams by means of this wonderful game of golf. I was lucky to have her as my coach but even more so to have her as my friend!