Santa Clara, Calif. – Santa Clara University announced Friday that Bronco head women's golf coach Polly Schulze has decided to pursue other career opportunities and is stepping down as the women's golf coach effective Dec. 31, 2010.
"It has been an honor for the last 10 years to be associated with all the exceptional young women who have played for me. They helped me to build the women's golf program at SCU in to something very special. I thank Santa Clara University for the opportunity offered me ten years ago, it has been a memorable and priceless time," said Schulze.
"Polly Schulze made quite an impact on the lives of her each of the student-athletes who came through her program," said Santa Clara Athletic Director Dan Coonan. "She was such an ideal coach for Santa Clara - her athletes performed so well not only on the golf course but in the classroom and in the community. She really embraced the mission of the University and clearly demonstrated that in her approach to running her program. All who were fortunate enough to play for her are better because of it."
Coach Schulze saw many firsts during her 11-year tenure at Santa Clara. Under her leadership, the women's golf team won three team titles and three individual titles. Schulze was the first women's golf coach at Santa Clara to be named WCC Coach of the Year in 2004.
In 2009, then-sophomore Miki Ueoka tied for second at the WCC Championships on 4/13-14 with rounds of 83(+11), 71(-1), and 74(+2) and then was named to the All-WCC First Team. In next month she became the first-ever Santa Clara women's golfer to qualify for the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship Regionals and tied for ninth at the ASU Karsten Golf Course. She shot 72(E), 73(+1), and 70(-2). She tied for the last individual spot to advance to the NCAA Championships, but lost on the second playoff hole.
In 2007-08, the Broncos compiled a 3.66 grade-point average for the year and the program was recognized by the National Golf Coaches Association (N.G.C.A.) for posting the fourth-highest team GPA in the country, tying with Illinois Wesleyan University. The Broncos had the highest GPA in the West Coast Conference and joined Stanford as the only two teams from the West Coast in the top 25 nationally.
One of the things that made Schulze most proud of her program was the Birdies For Wishes campaign that the team has participated in for the past five years. At the beginning of each season, the team and the coach collect pledges for every birdie that the team makes in competition on the year. It can be anywhere from .25 per birdie to 5.00 per birdie, there is no set pledge amount. At the end of the year, Schulze collects all the pledges and the team donates 100% of the funds raised to the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation. To date, the team has raised over $25,000 for Make A Wish.
"If I can help the girls to understand the value of giving back and have that be a lifelong habit of theirs, then I feel that most of my job has been done. I want the girls to understand how fortunate they are and to always help those less fortunate," said Schulze.