Missy Farr-Kaye named ASU golf interim head coach

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                </div>  Looks like Auburn University has just made another raid into Sun Devil territory. Exactly two years ago, the Auburn Tigers lured Arizona State softball coach Clint Myers away from […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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Looks like Auburn University has just made another raid into Sun Devil territory.

Exactly two years ago, the Auburn Tigers lured Arizona State softball coach Clint Myers away from Tempe after Myers brought home two national titles in his eight years at the helm of the storied program.

This year, Myers led the Auburn program to perhaps its best season on record, winning the SEC title and taking them to the Women’s College World Series.  The Tigers were among the four schools playing for the national title, beating two of them before eventually losing to No. 1 Florida in nine innings.

Meanwhile, ASU has failed to get out of the regionals the last two seasons since he left.

Now the Tigers are back again for another talent-drain.

Auburn is adding another ASU head coach to its program.  The school announced the hire of Melissa Luellen earlier this week to be the new head coach for their women’s golf program.

Luellen, a member of the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame, spent her last 13 years in maroon and gold, bringing the most recent national championship to the ASU program in 2009.  The Sun Devil women lead the nation with their seven NCAA championships and five individual NCAA titles.

Last season the team recorded seven top-10 tournament finishes, including four in the top five.  The Devils wrapped up the regular season as the No. 19 team in the country.

But another significant record was broken when ASU failed to win its 24th straight NCAA appearance.  The team didn’t make it out of the regionals, where it was seeded No. 5.

Luellen gave Missy Farr-Kaye her first coaching job, adding the former Sun Devil player to her staff when she took over the ASU job.  Now Farr-Kaye will replace Luellen and serve as the interim head coach while Ray Anderson begins the search process for the sixth new head coach since he was hired as the Vice President for Athletics 18 months ago.

“Missy Farr-Kaye’s successful partnership with Melissa Luellen is well known in the golfing community and held in high regard,” said Anderson in announcing the interim appointment.  “Therefore, it was an obvious choice to appoint Missy as interim head coach.”

Missy’s sister, Heather Farr, has a more recognizable name in women’s golf.  Heather was an All-American during her years playing for ASU and then went on to the professional game, where she was a rising young star before breast cancer took her life in 1993 at the age of 28.  The year after her death, the LPGA created the Heather Farr Player Award to celebrate her life and recognize other golfers who display determination and dedication to the game.

Missy, too, was diagnosed with the disease in 1997, beat it, and then had to fight it off again a decade later. Through it all, she has managed to make her mark as one of the better coaches in the college game.

Senior Associate Athletics Director Don Bocchi calls her “one of the best coaches and teachers out there today.”

“She is a consummate Sun Devil through and through,” he said in commenting on her elevation.  “Not only did she compete for Arizona as a student-athlete and bring home an NCAA championship, she helped bring home an NCAA championship as a coach.  She understands and embodies the core values of what it means to be a Sun Devil.”

Based on that, it sounds like Anderson may already have the best person to replace Luellen.

(Photo: Tracy Wilcox)