By Maegan White
Elm Staff Writer
On April 17, Washington College officially announced that the College would be restarting their varsity men’s and women’s golf team to compete in the Centennial Conference. This is the first time the college will be competing in the sport in over 60 years. The team will officially start in the Fall of 2023 and will use the Chester River Yacht and Country Club as their home field.
Director of Athletics Thad Moore said that the addition of the golf team was part of a strategic plan for the athletics department.
“In 2017 the Board asked the athletic department to develop a strategic plan that would lead to an exceptional and thriving athletic department,” Moore said. “We had four main pillars in the plan, one of those was expansion. We were tasked with not only looking at expanding the rosters of our current teams, but to look at adding sports that would fit within the college and the department. Golf was one of the sports that made sense for several reasons.”
Moore said that the existing partnership with the CRYCC and the recent growth in popularity of the sport among division three schools, especially with womens programs, were all factors in the decision.
The College named Dan Philippon head coach for the new teams in August. Philippon has been the Professional Golfers’ Association head golf professional at the CRYCC and will remain in that position as he coaches the Shoremen and shorewomen.
Philippon’s resume includes experience at clubs up and down the East Coast from Florida to Vermont. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Maine, where he played golf. He then went to The Golf Academy of Arizona and earned an A.A.B. in Golf Complex Managment and Operations.
He is the two-time winner of the Fishers Island Club Pro-Pro tournament. Additionally he holds a course record of 63 at the Misquamicut Club in Westerly, RI.
According to an interview coordinated by the WC Athletics department, Philippon said his goal is to create a well rounded team on and off the green. “My goal is to develop a golf program that emphasizes teaching, teamwork, and collaboration to ensure our players are put in the best position to be successful,” he said. “This applies not only on the fairways and greens but in the classroom and community as well. I am excited for this great opportunity and to be a part of the WC athletics family.”
Until the season starts, Philippon will be assisting with club golf on campus which, according to an email on Sept. 8, is open to any student regardless of skill level or experience.
Moore expressed excitement about Philippon’s appointment as head coach. He said that with Philippon’s leadership and the addition of the college’s latest sports teams, the WC athletic department is fulfilling its goals.
“I believe the addition of golf is another step in the right direction to reach our goal of becoming an exceptional and thriving department. It also helps us offer a very well-rounded number of varsity sports for prospective student-athletes,” Moore said.
The varsity teams will officially start competing in fall of 2023 in the Conference.