Tulane's most successful athletic program has yet another new face.
On Friday, the Green Wave named Lorne Don its third coach in six years for the nationally competitive women's golf team, replacing Andrew Pratt who left in May to become the associate head coach at Auburn.
Don will inherit a team coming off a program-best ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, finishing the season ranked No. 13. The Green Wave also placed second in the NCAA East Regional and won the Conference USA championship last season.
Since halting the program between the fall of 2005 and 2008 due to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Green Wave has morphed into the preeminent C-USA program, first under the leadership of J.T. Horton (now head coach at Clemson) and then Pratt, by winning three league titles and earning five consecutive appearances in the NCAA Regionals.
"Tulane golf has a history of success, first under Sue Bower, and the five years since the program was re-instated," Don said in a Tulane press release. "The team plays at a high level and has four great players returning and two outstanding incoming freshmen. Tulane had everything I was looking for in becoming a first-time head coach. My family and I are very excited about living in New Orleans and becoming part of the community."
Now it's Don's responsibility to continue the string of success. It's something he also became accustomed to during his 10-year stint as an assistant coach at Michigan State.
Working under Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, Don aided the Spartans to six NCAA Championship appearances along with 10 NCAA Regionals and three Big 10 titles.
Tulane athletics director Rick Dickson is hoping Don will provide a similar stability to a Green Wave program which has undergone more turnover than its success would typically indicate. While both Horton and Pratt helped build upon success and propelled the program, Dickson mentioned his hope for a more prolonged tenure for Don, who is undertaking his first head coaching position.
"Throughout the search process, (Don's) impressive work in all phases of helping build his former program into a consistent national contender, along with his dedication and longevity were traits that stood above the rest," Dickson said. "We look forward to Lorne sustaining and enhancing the success of our golf program."
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