John Handrigan, who has served as the head coach of Notre Dame men’s golf for the past five seasons, has been named the first Director of Golf and will assume a leadership role over both the men’s and women’s golf programs at the University.
“The success of our men’s program has enjoyed under John’s leadership gives us every confidence that he can help our women achieve a comparable level of success,” said University Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. “As importantly, however, our use of this management model in fencing, track & field, swimming & diving and now golf is designed to ensure a comparable experience for our female and male student-athletes participating in the same sport.”
Handrigan finished his fifth season with the Irish last year and it was, across the board, the most successful in the modern history of the program. Notre Dame was a top-20 ranked team for the entire 2021-22 season, finished a program-best fifth at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship and earned the team’s highest seed ever – third – in the NCAA Regional.
Notre Dame posted 10 consecutive tournaments finishing in the top five in 2021-22, including victories at the prestigious Stephens Cup and a tie for first place at the Gopher Invitational. Handrigan has recruited and developed the top three golfers, in terms of stroke average, in program history – graduated senior Davis Chatfield (second, 71.63), rising graduate student Taichi Kho (third, 72.56) and rising senior All-American Palmer Jackson (first , 70.89).
“I’m thankful for Jack’s vision for the future of Notre Dame Golf and for his belief in me to have continued success on the men’s side, while also leading our women’s team to compete for championships,” Handrigan said. “We are two teams joining to become one program that will support and push each other to become our best version of Notre Dame Golf.”
“At Notre Dame we are fortunate to be able to attract elite student-athletes and coaches. I am confident and we will put together a staff of the best coaches in the country that will lead our student-athletes to success on and off the course.”
Susan Holt, who led the Irish women’s program for 16 seasons and developed the Irish into a BIG EAST Champion and NCAA Regional regular attendee, announced her retirement in April of 2022. That move allowed the Notre Dame administration to reassess the best way forward for both golf programs.
“When we started to envision the future success of Notre Dame Golf, it was easy to see the way forward with John at the helm of both programs,” Deputy Athletic Director Jim Fraleigh, who serves as the sports administrator for both programs, said.
“He has transformed the men’s program into a rising power and we have full confidence his vision can help elevate the women’s program from its solid foundation.”
A national search will begin immediately for the head coach of the women’s golf program, while Zac Zedrick will continue to serve as the associate head coach for the men’s team.