Head Women's Golf Coach - Pepperdine University
Recognized by her peers as one of the top collegiate women's golf coaches in the country, Laurie Gibbs is in her 25th season as head coach of the Pepperdine women's golf team in 2017-18.
During her tenure, Gibbs has taken a program that started out with limited resources and funding and turned it into one of national prominence. Through her tireless work ethic and diligent recruiting, Gibbs has Pepperdine contending for a national championship on a yearly basis.
The last 17 seasons have established Pepperdine as one of the nation's top golf programs. The Waves have appeared in the NCAA Championships 12 times, with eight top-10 finishes and four top-five showings, including a program-best second-place result in 2003. Her players have earned All-American honors 26 times.
Gibbs has led Pepperdine to West Coast Conference championships in 16 of the last 17 years, including a current streak of 13 titles that began in 2002. Over the course of her career, the Waves have won 47 team tournament titles and have had 45 individual medalist honors.
Gibbs was selected the 2004-05 National Coach of the Year by Golfweek, was tabbed the West Region Coach of the Year on two occasions (1999 and 2003) and has been honored 11 times as the WCC's Coach of the Year (1998, `99, `00, `02, `03, `05, `06, '07, '08, '10 and `12).
The Waves had their most successful season in school history. Pepperdine claimed a program-record five straight tournament titles at one point and finished second at the NCAA Championships in West Lafayette, Ind. The Waves finished second in the final Golfstat and Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, and also achieved a program first that season as they gained a #1 national ranking during the spring in both rankings.
Pepperdine was led by three-time All-American Katherine Hull in 2002-03. She enjoyed a remarkable senior campaign, culminating with her being named the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the National Golf Coaches Association. Hull won individual medalist honors four times during the season. Other honors Hull received that year included the WCC's co-Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Dinah Shore Award, sponsored by the Ladies Professional Golf Association Foundation. Hull earned her third All-American honor, while Lindsey Wright made it for the fourth time.
Pepperdine made its first-ever team appearance at the NCAA Championships in 1999 and posted a solid fifth-place showing in Tulsa, Okla. The Waves finished the 1999 season ranked #7 in the final MasterCard rankings. The Waves captured four tournament titles and finished no worse than sixth place in any of their 12 events.
The 1997-98 season proved to be a breakthrough year for Gibbs and the Pepperdine program as the Waves captured their first-ever WCC title. Pepperdine competed in 10 tournaments during and registered eight top 10 finishes. Jenny Glasgow became the second player in Pepperdine history to advance to the NCAA Regionals where she tied for 19th place.
During the 1994-95 season, Gibbs' second as head coach, she watched Candida Kim represent the Waves at the NCAA West Regional Championships -- a first-time accomplishment for the program.
Prior to being hired as the head women's golf coach at Pepperdine, Gibbs was a PGA teaching professional at the nearby Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles and competed on the Women's Western Professional Golf Tour. In addition to playing and teaching, Gibbs authored and marketed ProTips, a quick reference guide for golfers.
Gibbs attended and played collegiate golf at Long Beach State on an athletic scholarship and graduated from Santa Monica College.
Assistant Women's Golf Coach - Pepperdine University
Katie Mitchell, a standout for the Louisville women's golf team, was named Pepperdine's assistant coach in August 2016.
"We are excited to have Katie join our women's golf program," said Pepperdine Coach Laurie Gibbs at the time of Mitchell's hiring. "There was tremendous interest in the assistant coaching position from excellent candidates around the country and we appreciate everyone taking the time to be considered. Katie's combination of college golf experience and her energetic personality will help our players to continue to improve all aspects of their game in competition."
Mitchell graduated from Louisville in the spring of 2016 with a degree in communications. She played two seasons with the Cardinals and earned Atlantic Coast Conference All-Academic honors both seasons.
"I am excited for the opportunity to work with such a knowledgeable coach in Laurie Gibbs and learn from her many years of success and experience," Mitchell said. "I fell in love with Pepperdine the moment I visited. The people I will be working with already seem like family. I love the team atmosphere of college golf and I am thrilled to be able to use my collegiate experiences to help the program and to have an impactful influence on the players. The principles that Pepperdine's Athletic Department is built on captured me. Beginning my coaching career with Pepperdine and Laurie is a dream come true."
Mitchell has previous coaching experience working with the First Tee program in California and Kentucky and assisting at various camps and clinics throughout her college career.
As a 2015-16 senior, she had a scoring average of 73.97, second-best on the team and sixth-best in program history. Mitchell recorded four top-10 finishes. She had a team-best 13th-place finish at the ACC Championships, and then tied for 42nd place at the NCAA Bryan Regional Championship. She won the 2015 Fall Kickoff tournament at the Atlanta Athletic Club. As a 2014-15 junior, Mitchell led the team with a 74.18 stroke average, had five top-10 results, tied for 17th at the ACC Championships and tied for 14th at the NCAA South Bend Regional.
Mitchell also spent two years at Florida (where she had a 74.30 scoring average in 2013-14) and had her first year of college at Central Florida (where she was the 2012 Conference USA Freshman of the Year and an All-C-USA second team selection).
During all four of her collegiate seasons, Mitchell never missed a tournament.
In amateur golf, Mitchell won First Coast Women's Amateur titles in both 2014 and 2015. In 2015, she placed 15th in stroke play at the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship and tied for 10th at the North & South Amateur Championship, advancing to match play in both. In 2014, she led Florida's team to a first-place finish at the Southeast Challenge, and she also competed at the U.S. Women's Amateur.
Mitchell is a native of Jacksonville, Florida, and attended Fernandina Beach High School, where she was a three-time all-state selection.