May 2, 2007
Charlottesville, VA -
Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage announced today that Kim Lewellen has been named the Cavaliers new women's golf coach. She succeeds Jan Mann who announced her retirement in February. Mann directed the program for its first four seasons, including berths to NCAA Regional Championships the past three years and a 13th-place finish at the 2005 NCAA Championships.
Lewellen comes to Virginia after spending the past two seasons as the head women's coach at East Carolina. She led the Pirates to the program's first ever Conference USA Championship in 2006 and a runner-up finish this season. Her 2006 squad qualified for the NCAA East Regional, the third time a team from ECU had reached NCAA postseason play. This year's Pirate squad qualified an individual competitor for the NCAA East Regional.
Before taking over the program at East Carolina, Lewellen served as both the head men's and women's coach at The Citadel for the 2003-04 season.
"We are excited to have attracted a proven head coach like Kim Lewellen to take over the reins of our women's golf program," Littlepage said. "Coach Lewellen is a perfect fit to resume the work Jan Mann put in which established program. She has the energy and love for the game that is infectious. She will be a great colleague and role model for our student-athletes."
"It will be an honor and privilege to be part of such a prestigious university," Lewellen said. "I am very much looking forward to the opportunity of competing again in the ACC. Jan Mann has done a terrific job of starting from scratch and quickly making Virginia one of the best programs in the nation. It will be an exciting challenge to carry on the great tradition she has started. I know there are some terrific young ladies in the program who have many outstanding accomplishments as golfers. I am eager to start working with them and helping them improve and continue to build the Virginia program's legacy."
Kim Lewellen competing during "The Big Break: Hawaii" (courtsey The Golf Channel)
Lewellen, who competed at North Carolina from 1990-93 under her maiden name of Byham, was a two-time All-ACC performer during her junior and senior seasons. In 1993 she earned first-team All-America honors from the National Golf Coaches Association, only the second Tar Heel golfer to achieve that honor. As a senior she won medalist honors at the NCAA East Regional Championships and helped North Carolina to its second straight eighth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Her score of 3-under 213 at the NCAA East Regional still ranks as one of the 10 lowest tournament scores in Tar Heel history.
During her collegiate career Lewellen won a total of three tournaments, including the Lady Tar Heel Classic in 1992 and the Woodbridge Collegiate in 1993. In 2003 she was honored as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference 50th Anniversary Women's Golf Team. She was mentored at UNC by legendary coach Dot Gunnells.
Lewellen earned a bachelor's degree in speech communications and psychology from North Carolina in 1993.
After graduation, Lewellen spent one season on the Women's European Professional Golf Tour (1994-95) before gaining full membership status on the Future's Professional Golf Tour from 1997 to 1999. She claimed her first tour victory at the Briarwood Invitational in 1997. She has also competed in events on the LPGA tour from 1993 to 1997.
Lewellen's role as a golf instructor dates back to her undergraduate days when she worked as a teacher and counselor at North Carolina's Golf School from 1992 to 1994. From 1995 to 1997 she worked as the teaching professional at Carmel Country Club in Charlotte, N.C. In 1997, she was nominated as North Carolina's Favorite Golf Teacher in Golf For Women Magazine. Lewellen served as the tournament director for the 2001 Carolina Celebrity Classic in Raleigh, N.C.,
Lewellen was named East Carolina's women's head coach on Jan. 10, 2006, after Pirate coach Kevin Williams resigned at mid-season to become the head professional at Walnut Creek Country Club in Goldsboro, N.C.
In her first year at ECU Lewellen coached a pair of all-conference selections in Lene Krog (first-team) and Heidi Helliesen (third-team). Krog won the C-USA individual championship that season while also picking up conference Freshman-of-the-Year honors. Krog was a second-team all-conference selection this year while Abby Bools and Ana Maria Puche received third-team honors. Krog will compete as an individual at the 2007 NCAA East Regional at LSU from May 10-12.
During the 2006 spring semester, the Pirates claimed four top-six finishes in six events including a second-place finish in her first tournament at the Papa Johns Miami Intercollegiate and earned ECU's third NCAA East Regional berth with the C-USA Championship win. The NCAA recognized the East Carolina women's golf program in 2006 for its high Academic Progress Rate scores.
Lewellen has appeared on The Golf Channel's reality shot "The Big Break" twice. The series allows competitors the chance to play in an LPGA tournament. In 2006 she was a member of the cast for "Big Break V: Hawaii" that was played at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu. This year she participated in "Big Break: The Reunion" which began airing in February.
A was born in Salisbury, Md. and grew up in Raleigh, N.C., She won back-to-back North Carolina State girls junior championships. While attending Broughton High School, she earned all-conference honors while competing for the boys team.
She and her husband John, an Episcopal minister, have two sons, Jack and Simon. Lewellen will assume her responsibilities as Virginia's head coach on July 1.