By Blanca Izquierdo —
Isabel Jimenez has completed her first Fall season as the head coach of the Tarleton State University Golf team, finishing 13th at the Rollins Legends Invitational in Orlando, Florida.
“We want to start the spring in good shape, so we can play against the top teams of our region and the NCAA rankings,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez, a native of Spain, joined the Tarleton Golf team as a freshman six years ago. She earned an undergraduate degree in kinesiology (2016) and a Master of Science (2018) at Tarleton. During her time at Tarleton, Jimenez has led the team to three Lone Star Conference Championships and three NCAA West Regional Championships.
“This job means everything right now. I have always wanted to be a coach and be able to teach young and talented girls,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez and the Texans claimed their first win of the season at the Oklahoma Intercollegiate at the Lawton Country Club.
“It was my first win as a coach, so it was very special. The girls played great and I am very proud of them,” Jimenez added.
Tarleton shot a 594 (+26) to win by three strokes over Oklahoma Christian. The Texans shot a 297 in both rounds. Casey Leatherman, junior golf player, defined this triumph as the “beginning of a new era”.
“The win was also a confidence builder for a young team having no senior on it,” Leatherman added.
Jimenez is the only player named four consecutive times LSC Player of the Year in the conference history. She was also a finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year her senior year. The Spaniard plans on continuing the success that the Tarleton Golf team has had in the past years.
“I have the opportunity to pass my knowledge and help develop young and talented athletes like I was once helped,” Jimenez said.
However, coaching is challenging and helping the players achieving the right mindset is fundamental for coach Jimenez.
“The worst part is seeing the frustration in my players faces. It is never easy to see that, but as a coach all we try is to keep their spirits up and keep motivating them towards success,” Jimenez said.
“Our motto is just practice, practice and practice. Every team out there wants to win, wants to be the best, and I believe that is only achievable through good practice habits,” Jimenez concluded.