Janet Coles was hired in August of 2011 to serve as the head coach of the Big Green women’s golf team. Coles, listed as a Top 50 Teacher in America, has coached at the collegiate and high school levels for more than a decade after playing on the LPGA tour for 14 years.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled about having such an accomplished and experienced teacher of the game of golf to lead our women’s program,” Athletics Director Harry Sheehy commented. “Her enthusiasm for the game is palpable, and I know she will help our student-athletes reach their full potential on the golf course to challenge for Ivy League titles.”
Coles began her collegiate coaching as a swing coach for the University of San Francisco in 1999. While continuing her work at USF, she also spent time as a volunteer coach at UCLA, California and Santa Clara over an eight-year period. Following four years as the Dons swing coach, she filled in as the head coach in the spring of 2004, leading the team to top-three finishes in each tournament. In 2009-10, Coles served as the head coach of the girls golf team at Santa Catalina in Monterey, Calif., guiding the squad to a 12-2 mark in league play and a second-place finish at the league championship, one stroke behind the leader.
Most recently, Coles was training and coaching three top Northern California junior champions and 25 California Junior Tournament players and champions. Some of her successful juniors went on to play golf at the Division I level at Stanford, UCLA, Duke and Pepperdine. Recognized as a top teacher by The PGA of America, Golf Digest and California PGA, she has taught over 40,000 private lessons and taught on the physical education faculty at Stanford. Coles is an accomplished author having written “Three-Shot Golf for Women” (1999) and is currently working on a second book entitled “Practice to Win.”
Before entering the coaching realm, Coles was an accomplished professional golfer, playing on the LPGA Tour from 1977-90, competing in over 300 tournaments and 50 majors. Among those majors were 15 US Opens, including a fourth-place finish in 1985, and she claimed victories at the 1978 Lady Tara Classic and 1983 Lady Michelob, plus two more in Japan. The three-time award winner for low putts on the tour posted a low competitive round of 62 during her career and participated on three USA Pioneer Cup Teams against Japan.
“I am thrilled and deeply honored to join the Dartmouth athletics family,” said Coles. “I look forward to stepping right in and leading the Big Green up the leaderboard.”
The first scholarship golfer at UCLA, Coles won her first collegiate tournament by 13 strokes and played four years for the Bruins before earning her bachelor of science degree in kinesiology. As a junior and amateur player, she was a four-time Northern California Junior Champion, and played in five USGA Junior Championships along with four USGA Amateur Championships. Coles is a member of the National Golf Coaches Association Players Hall of Fame, the California Golf Hall of Fame and the Watsonville High School Hall of Fame.