Headline: Longtime College of the Holy Cross Men's Golf Coach Set to Retire; The Search is On to Find a Successor for a Program Rich in History
For Immediate Release: March 9, 2017
Editor Note: The College of Holy Cross is currently seeking a head’s men’s golf coach. Interested applicants can access the application by clicking here.
|Longtime Holy Cross Golf Coach Bob Molt (shown below left) will be retiring and leaving the door open for a new coach to take over the helm for a program that produced Hall of Famers such as Paul Harney (top left) and Willie Turnesa.|
Worcester, MA — Tucked amongst the hills of Worcester in the Bay State’s most centralized city is the campus of the College of the Holy Cross, a Jesuit liberal arts college with just shy of 3,000 enrolled students.
Known by its recognizable purple royal crest logo with the overlapping “HC” letters engraved across the middle, the Crusaders’ alumni base extends across the country and most of the world, fulfilling leadership roles in every aspect of the life – one of the many focal points that the Holy Cross undergraduate experience emphasizes.
For whichever path that each alumni chooses, and there are many, there are very few who will look back at their college experience and not be grateful for the opportunities that Holy Cross has provided.
For some, it was their field of study. Others, it was the faculty and staff.
But for many who had ties to golf, it was one Bob Molt – the Crusader’s longtime Men’s Golf coach who will retire at the end of the 2016-2017 season - in a short few months – that impacted their time the most. His retirement comes after the completion of his 41st season at the helm of the program, a program engraved deep in the history of golf – and deep into the Massachusetts golf history.
PGA Golf Professional Hall of Famer Paul Harney (Class of 2005) captained the purple and white in the early 50’s before pursuing his career as a full-time PGA Tour player before a successful run as an eventual club professional and later the founder of his own golf course in Falmouth that shared his namesake.
It was the same school that prepared Willie Turnesa, the youngest of the seven Turnesa brothers of America’s most famous golf family. The only sibling of the Turnesa septet who remained an amateur golfer, yet still was just as victorious, winning the 1938 and 1948 U.S. Amateur Championships, the ’47 British Open and played on three Walker Cup teams before serving as captain in 1951.
Even longtime Francis Ouimet Fund supporter and former Foundation president and board member Dick Connolly, class of 1961, served as a former team captain at Holy Cross.
Yes, there was golf at Holy Cross long before Molt wore the royal purple crest, but after nearly a half century as the program’s leader, it is safe to say that the program was forever changed by his presence.
One of those who knew Molt best was MGA President Tom Bagley, who joined the Holy Cross Golf Team in 1976, the same year that Molt took over the program and changed the landscape of Holy Cross golf in its entirety. Bagley was a three-year player and one of the first captains under Molt
“Coach Molt brought the Holy Cross golf program into the modern age – at least as it was in 1976” said Bagley, who is the 57th person to hold the position of MGA president since the association’s inception in 1903. “He gave everyone an opportunity to make the team and to play, by making us compete at stroke play. If you shot a good number, you would play.”
As a former player of a top-notch program like the University of Arizona, where he graduated in 1972, Molt also gave insight to his protégés on how to compete at the highest level, an insight that student-athletes at a small school like Holy Cross would have likely missed out on otherwise.
Rarely in New England would you find a coach that was also a head golf professional, who played in PGA Tour events and found time to coach students at the Division I level.
But that was Bob Molt.
Bagley’s sentiments matched that of many who had played for him, including Kernwood Country Club’s PGA Head Golf Professional Frank Dully, who was coached by Molt in Worcester from 1985 – 1988, including the final year when the HC grad Dully served as team captain.
“[Bob Molt] took me from a local high school kid to a pretty good New England Amateur player and then he took me from basically a golf professional to one of the better New England golf professional players,” stated Dully.
He credited his former collegiate coach with helping promote his own game to those in the golf industry, starting with the Ouimet and Hornblower Tournaments, events that Dully, a Connecticut native, said were “predominately Massachusetts-only tournaments.”
“He definitely goes above and beyond,” added Dully. “Molty was able to bring a broader experience to golf that I would have never ever dreamed was possible that went beyond the walls of Holy Cross.”
None of that should be surprising, considering Molt was responsible for bringing his team to two NCAA Tournament appearances in the 1980s and coached countless numbers of players who went on to find success on the links as both professional and amateurs. Since Holy Cross joined the Patriot League Conference in 1986, Molt’s golfers have also earned 13 spots on All-Patriot League teams.
Having Served as the Director of Golf at Sutton’s Pleasant Valley Country Club for 22 years, Molt also owns and operates Solomon Pond Golf Center in Berlin, Mass. – a driving range and golf instruction center located in the suburbs of Worcester.
While it will take a long time to mirror what Molt has done for the college and its men’s golf program, the attempt at filling the large shoes that he will leave behind is a step that Holy Cross has to take, to ensure the legacy he helped continue will prosper for years to come and to continue the rich history of the Crusader’s program.
Earlier this season, the school’s athletic department posted the job description for the position Molt will be leaving and encourages those with experience coaching at the Division I level and a knowledge of NCAA rules and regulations to apply. The complete job description and application can be found by clicking here.
The search to fill Molt’s soon to be vacant position is being led by Ryan Colton, Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance at Holy Cross.
When he announced his retirement last June, Molt said, “I am thankful for the opportunity to have served the College of the Holy Cross for the last four decades.” He added, “I have thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to coach so many outstanding student-athletes throughout my time here, and I am look forward to one final season at the helm and to going out on a high note into retirement.”
The process of ending his coaching career on a high note began this week when his team competed at the Fort Lauderdale Intercollegiate, a 36-hole tournament hosted by Loyola University (Md.) at Fort Lauderdale Country Club. Other stops on the spring 2017 schedule include the Lafayette Invitational, the Rhode Island Invitational and the Patriot League Championship.
The school will hold a retirement celebration on May 2 at the Worcester campus to honor Molt’s 41 years as head coach of the team.