Written by Maggie Samples // Photo provided by Jeff Montgomery
Harding alumnus Travis Lauterbach began this fall as the University’s head golf coach after 15 years of Dustin Howell coaching the team.
Lauterbach has coached golf at Faulkner University, Old Dominion University and Lyon College. He previously worked for Harding University as athletics compliance officer and assistant coach for the golf team. He was on the Harding golf team during his time as a student in 2002 and 2003.
“It has been amazing to watch the program grow and [see] some of the talented players that have come through Harding,” Lauterbach said. “Coach Howell did a great job of recruiting and building the program to what it is today. I am definitely stepping into a winning situation with all the hard work he and the previous players have put into this program.”
Lauterbach said a high-level performance was one of his goals for the season, but he also wants to focus on building relationships in the team.
“I will hopefully push them to be the best players that they can be but not lose sight of what really matters in life,” Lauterbach said. “I hope when they leave Harding, they have a better relationship with God and make friendships with their teammates that will last them the rest of their lives. College athletics is a very unique time in these athletes’ lives, and we hope to make that the best experience it can be.”
Junior golf player Wilmer Haakansson noticed Lauterbach’s passion for golf.
“He’s served as head coach and assistant coach at a couple universities before and has worked as a full-time caddie at incredibly prestigious courses such as Augusta and Whistling Straits,” Haakansson said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what this impressive record of experience can bring to help us get to the next level.”
Junior golf player Finlay Cummings said he appreciates the bond the members of the Harding golf team have.
“A team is what you make of it, and I have created some great friendships with my teammates since I arrived here in my freshman year,” Cummings said.
Cummings said his teammates push each other to their limits in order to reach their full potential.“I have been lucky to spend lots of time with Coach L before his appointment to head coach this year, and he’ll for sure bring a new energy to the team,” Cummings said. “I’m very much looking forward to the semester and years ahead with Coach L in charge. The sky is our limit, and we have the program and players to reach it.”