PLAINVIEW – Veteran Wayland Baptist volleyball coach Jim Giacomazzi will take on the added duties of coaching the Pioneer women’s golf team.
“Coach Giacomazzi is an experienced motivator and coach of volleyball and golf at the collegiate level. We are fortunate to have a coach that can move into this golf position who understands the sport and the program,” said Dr. Claude Lusk, WBU senior vice president of operations and student life. “Coach Giacomazzi will pursue excellence with a passion and our team will be better for it.”
Giacomazzi, who has more than 400 career volleyball victories and will begin his 15th season coaching WBU volleyball in the fall, also is no stranger to coaching golf, having overseen the Pioneer women’s program on two previous occasions, most recently in 2017-18.
An avid golfer for the past 25 years, Giacomazzi owns a 2.1 handicap and has won the championship at Canyon Country Club “seven or eight times.” He formerly played USGA events.
Giacomazzi said he is looking forward to sharing his knowledge of the game.
“I enjoy golf, and I enjoy teaching it. I especially enjoy the mental part of the game. Once you have the skills, it’s how you can handle the pressure you put on yourself so you can perform to your abilities.”
He added, “The challenge always is to get a team to work as one. In golf, individual hard work matters and then you have to have enough concern and care for your teammates to encourage them to be successful, too.”
Giacomazzi, who replaces Andy Ellis after he accepting a coaching position at NCAA Division II Angelo State, has guided the WBU women’s golf team to three of its five NAIA National Championships appearances, including an all-time best eighth-place showing in 2013. Also under Giacomazzi, Wayland finished 19th in 2011 and 10th in 2012.
The 2015 Pioneers matched the program’s all-time best eighth-place nationals finish then tied for 11th the following year. Wayland just missed qualifying for nationals in 2019 and again this past spring when the Pioneers finished third in the Sooner Athletic Conference and were ranked the equivalent of 27th in the NAIA. (The 2020 NAIA National Championships were cancelled due to COVID-19.)
Wayland returns three golfers from last year’s squad, including senior Chante van Zyl, an all-conference player. She’ll be joined by junior Brooklyn Nix and sophomore Morgan Rutledge.
“We have a solid core that gives us a chance to go back to nationals again,” Giacomazzi said.
The coach said he is “heavy on the recruiting trail.
“I’m working hard to find that fourth and fifth players on our team that can get us to the national championships.”
Wayland’s women’s golf program began in 2008-09. That season, Charlotte Guilleux tied for third place at nationals, the best individual showing at the national tournament for a Wayland golfer.