FAYETTEVILLE – Shauna Estes was named the head women’s golf coach at the University of Arkansas, Women’s Athletics Director Bev Lewis announced today.
Estes served as the assistant coach for the Lady Razorbacks the past five years, and was the interim head coach since Kelley Hester’s return to her alma mater at Georgia earlier this month.
“After careful consideration and speaking with persons across the country, I determined that the best candidate was already on campus,” Lewis said.
Named the national assistant coach of the year in May, Estes becomes the fourth head coach in the history of the Lady’Back program.
“I would first like to thank Chancellor White and Bev for the opportunity to continue building on the foundation that Kelley and I started here five years ago,” Estes said. “Arkansas is a special place and I am excited to lead this program to even greater heights. This team, community and University are very dear to my heart and I feel fortunate to take over this program.”
“Shauna is well liked by student-athletes and parents, she has a relationship with our recruiting base and has the highest respect among the golf community, both here in Arkansas and across the country,” Lewis added. “I have confidence in her to carry on the success of the program.”
Former Lady’Back coach Hester agreed.
“Together Shauna and I have built this program over the last five years and I am thrilled that she will have the opportunity to take over the reigns,” Hester said. “It is my belief that the transition will be seamless for the players and for Shauna.”
Along with her national honors, Estes had the unique opportunity to prove her skills directing the program for several months this past season. She served as the acting head coach for the Lady’Backs with Hester on maternity leave, helping guide Arkansas to its fifth straight NCAA Regional appearance.
“As the athletic director, you want to reward assistant coaches in successful programs,” Lewis said. “A coach like Shauna knows how to get it done and has been a part of the winning tradition.”
A key ingredient in Arkansas’ success, Estes joined Arkansas as an assistant coach five years ago. During that time, the Lady’Back golf program has grown into a national contender with two top 10 finishes as a team and the NCAA individual champion this past spring with Stacy Lewis.
Prior to joining the Arkansas program, Estes made a name for herself at the University of Georgia as the first four-time NCAA all-American for the Bulldogs from 1997-2000. She was the 1997 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year and a two-time SEC Player of the Year in 1997 and 2000 on her way to four all-conference honors.
Born in Orangeburg, S.C., April 4, 1978, Estes was a 2000 graduate of Georgia with a degree in turf grass management. After graduation, Estes tried her luck on the LPGA FUTURES Tour for three seasons. During that time she played in nearly 40 events, making more than 20 cuts and finishing with a 74.19 stroke average. She had a high finish of eighth in her first year and during her three years posted a top three and completed her second season as one of the top 40 golfers overall.
For more information about Lady Razorback golf or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.