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New women’s golf head coach wins Coach of the Year following 3 tournament wins

Alicia Um Holmes looks further onto the green. During only her first year as head coach, she brought the Bruins to contend for the national championship title, earning her Golfweek’s Women’s Coach of the Year. (Joseph Crosby/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Sabrina Messiha

June 8, 2024 10:55 a.m.

Three first-place tournament wins.

Three individual wins from junior Zoe Antoinette Campos — the second most in program history.

Three strokes short of a national championship.

Alicia Um Holmes transformed UCLA women’s golf in her first year as head coach.

“I think her level of understanding that golf is not a game of perfect. … As much as you put in the work, you’re still going to make mistakes and mess up,” said sophomore Meghan Royal. “She will never make you feel like something’s wrong with you for making a mistake.”

For the 2013-2014 season, Um Holmes was named the Women’s Golf Coaches Association’s Assistant Coach of the Year. Ten seasons later, she was given Golfweek’s Women’s Coach of the Year following a national championship-contending season.

“(I) totally wasn’t expecting this to happen. … I’m happy for my team and our coaching staff because I feel like it validates the hard work that they put in all throughout the year,” Um Holmes said. “I just share this honor with them. Without them, this wouldn’t have happened.”

While the Bruins couldn’t bring the title back to Westwood, the year was filled with other successes — placing first at the Windy City Collegiate Classic, The Match in the Desert and the Nanea Pac-12 Preview.

Individually, Campos placed first at the Nanea Pac-12 Preview, The Show and the PING/ASU Invitational. She was the only Bruin to place first this season, along with second-place finishes from Royal and redshirt junior Alessia Nobilio at the Windy City Collegiate Classic and The Match in the Desert, respectively.

“She told us throughout the whole season to just stick to our processes and just have fun doing it,” Campos said. “That’s just what led us to a great season this past season. Her positivity and motivation has really helped us.”

Um Holmes — who spent the previous 17 years as an assistant and associate head coach for the Bruins — took the head coach role following the retirement of coach Carrie Forsyth. Forsyth’s farewell season ended in an eighth-place finish for the Pac-12 title – the Bruins’ lowest under the former coach.

But head coach was not the only roster change this past season. Five of the eight players on the team were new to the Bruin lineup, with four transfer students and one freshman.

“It was kind of a pivotal moment in the program,” said Royal, an Arkansas transfer. “It wasn’t the same for anyone, and we all kind of had to readjust together, and it created this bond that really helped us get as far as we did.”

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