2018 Honorary Chairperson - Therese Hession, Head Women's Golf Coach (The Ohio State University)
Therese Hession has served as head women's golf coach at The Ohio State University for the past 27 seasons before being promoted to director of golf for both the men's and women's program in 2018. The Indianapolis native has built the strong OSU golf tradition to even greater heights. In her 27 seasons, Hession has guided the Buckeyes to 10 Big Ten championships, including back-to-back-to-back from 2014-16, 17 NCAA Championships appearances and 25 NCAA Regionals. The seven-time Big Ten Coach of the Year has led the Buckeyes to an appearance in the NCAA Championships in six of the last eight years, including a trip to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2017.
In August 2017, Hession was named a coach for the United States team at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Cup, where she coached alongside Oklahoma's Ryan Hybl for the United States in a victory over the international side in Évian-les-Bains, France.
Hession's efforts and impressive results have not gone unnoticed. She was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in the Class of 2015 and has been named the National Coach of the Year twice (2014 by Golfweek and 1997 by the National Golf Coaches Association). She's been tabbed as Big Ten Coach of the Year on seven occasions (1993, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2014).
Student-athletes have earned many prestigious awards on the course and in the classroom under Hession's tutelage. During her tenure, Buckeye golfers have been honored with 12 All-America and 64 All-Big Ten selections, six Big Ten Player of the Year and seven Big Ten Freshman of the Year laurels. A strong proponent of education, Hession's student-athletes have racked up academic awards as well. She has mentored 46 All-American Scholars, 170 OSU Scholar-Athletes and a total of 119 Academic All-Big Ten honorees.
Hession, a former president of the National Golf Coaches Association, was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2004. That organization also tabbed her as a Region Coach of the Year three consecutive seasons (1996-98), the 2010 Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award and 2005 Founders Award recipient.
This past season, Hession's Buckeyes advanced to the NCAA Championships for the 17th time overall and sixth since 2011. Junior Jaclyn Lee garnered second team All-America honors, tying for fifth at NCAA Championships, after earning medalist honors at Big Ten Championships.
Ohio State extended its 2017 season into the NCAA quarterfinals as Hession's Buckeyes advanced to match play as the No. 4 seed. Ohio State's fourth-place stroke play standing tied for the highest in school history at the NCAA Championships.
The Scarlet & Gray rode a three-year winning streak at the Big Ten Championships (2014-16) under the watchful eye of Hession. The latest marked a conference-best 14th Big Ten title since 1982. The 2015-16 Buckeyes also reached the NCAA Championships, paced by Rio Watanabe earning a share of 16th place overall on the individual leaderboard. Ohio State averaged 293.72 in 39 team rounds played, crushing the previous school record by nearly three strokes.
The 2014-15 Buckeyes were crowned champions of the Big Ten for the second consecutive season. The 2015 crown was a monumental victory, marking the 100th tournament title in program history. Hession has been at the helm for 46 of the 101 all-time tournament triumphs by Ohio State.
In 2013-14, Hession directed Ohio State to a share of seventh place at the NCAA Championships (fourth-highest NCAA finish in school history) with a trio of freshmen atop the lineup. Her second career National Coach of the Year campaign also included a three-round total of 838 at the Westbrook Spring Invitational to shatter the program's 54-hole record by 18 strokes previously set in May 2005. The 2013-14 Buckeyes continued to rewrite the record books in the postseason as the team's 1,158-stroke total at the NCAA Championships also is an all-time OSU mark, the best 72-hole score posted by the Buckeyes. Hession's charges won three spring tournaments, including a co-Big Ten Championship. All this from a team ranked outside the Top 30 in the Golfweek preseason rankings.
The Buckeyes enjoyed perhaps their best season in school history in 2002-03. Hession guided the team to fourth place at the NCAA championships, the highest finish in the program's history. In addition, Ohio State captured its eighth overall and second-consecutive Big Ten championship. Three Buckeyes were honored with First Team All-Big Ten selections and Hession was named the conference's coach of the year. The season also marked the first time in school history Ohio State boasted two All-Americans in one season in Lindsay Knowlton and Kristen White.
Hession, a former LPGA Tour professional, became the seventh head coach in the program's history in 1991. In her inaugural season, she led the Buckeyes to a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten championships–three places better than the previous year. In just her second season, Hession struck gold, winning five regular season tournaments and claiming the 1993 conference title, Ohio State's first championship since 1988. The Buckeyes would go on to place fifth at the NCAA East Regional, advancing them to their first NCAA Championship appearance in five years.
A full-time professional golfer for 11 years, Hession competed in more than 250 LPGA tournaments during her illustrious career. She was among the Top 150 in all-time LPGA career money-winners when she concluded her career in 1991. Hession also willingly gave her time to charity during her playing career, participating in more than 150 pro-celebrity charitable events.
As a collegiate player for Southern Methodist University, Hession led the Mustangs to a national championship in 1979 while earning All-America laurels. She graduated with honors, acquiring a bachelor's degree in business administration. In January of 1980, after just three months on the Women's Professional Golf Tour, she earned her LPGA tour card.
An Indianapolis native, Hession is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Golf Ministry advisory staff. An avid participant in charity programs, she was the recipient of the 1989 LPGA Tour Samaritan Award.
Past Honorary Chairs