Mailloux named National Coach of the Year

Courtesy /
GVSU Womens Golf Head Coach Rebecca Mailloux

Courtesy photo

Courtesy / GVSU Womens Golf Head Coach Rebecca Mailloux

Melanie Huhn

If you were to ask Grand Valley State University’s women’s golf head coach Rebecca Mailloux how she feels about where the last four years have taken her, she would have told you she is “shocked.”

It was only four years ago, that Mailloux accepted the job as head coach of the Lakers and this year she was named the National Golf Coaches’ Association National Coach of the Year.

This was Mailloux’s first time receiving this award. Over the past season, the Lakers won seven tournaments and placed seventh at the NCAA Division II championships, recording the second-best season in GVSU history. Other Lakers receiving honors from the NGCA, was senior Sarah Hoffman, who was name as an NGCA Division II All-American. This was her third year receiving All-American honor.
Prior to GVSU, Mailloux was head coach at the Division II program at St. Leo University in Florida. During a convention, she ran into the Lakers former coach Lori Stinson, who eventually referred her for the job a couple months later.

After a little persuading from a friend, Mailloux decided to look into the job offer and the rest is history.
“Grand Valley provided the amount of support and opportunities I need to hopefully one day win a national championship,” Mailloux said. “With the program being fully funded and overall just from an excellent athlete-academic stand point, everything seemed to be the right fit for what I was looking for.”
The right fit indeed it was. This was not Mailloux’s first year being a nominee for the award. She was also honored as the NGCA East Region Coach of the Year, this was the third year she has won the award in her career. She contributes much of her success to GVSU’s support.

“Any coach would say that at Grand Valley, you’re being pushed by your peers,” Mailloux said. “We compare ourselves with the other programs at this institution and it pushed us everyday to get better. That is one of the biggest reasons I have been so successful.”

When the news came that Mailloux had won the award, she was a little shocked that she had been chosen. It was only one day after the Lakers had finished seventh at the championships, which helped the team look at the bigger picture in the long run.

“The honor helped onset the blow of underperforming on the last day of nationals,” Mailloux said. “It helped put a little bit of excitement onto the end of the year.”

The honor didn’t surprise others; Hoffman described her coach as “loyal” and “dedicated” and always seemed to have their back when needed.

“She works harder than any other coach I have seen,” Hoffman said. “You can tell how invested she is in her program and really want us to succeed.”

With Mailloux’s coaching philosophy, she plans for success expecting each athlete to give a 110 percent everyday and to take the bigger picture into consideration. But it is really the competition that the Lakers strive for, inspiring them to become an even better program.

“Some coaches say they love practices because that is where they get better,” Mailloux said. “That is true, but you know what drives us is the competition and getting there. All of the preparation leading up to the event is great, but the thrill that we get from competing is what drives us to get better everyday.”

[email protected]