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New USF men’s golf coach has hole-in-one; now Chris Malloy has own team

Posted Jul 2, 2010 by Scott Carter

Updated Jul 2, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Once upon a time, new USF men’s golf coach Chris Malloy envisioned walking toward the 18th green in front of a swollen gallery, needing a birdie putt to win a tournament title.

He still does, but rather than taking the putt himself, Malloy hopes that his coaching makes a difference for the player gripping the putter.

“I was going to pursue a professional playing career,’’ said Malloy, who starred at Ole Miss in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. “That was certainly the plan. The one thing I pride myself on is that I am a realist. I was a realist about my chances about making millions on tour.’’

Malloy’s change of plans – opting to pursue a college coaching career instead – paid off nicely earlier this week when USF hired him to replace former coach Jim Fee.

Malloy has spent the past four seasons working as an assistant under Florida State coach Trey Jones. The Seminoles made it all the way to the Final Four last season, and Malloy is determined to build USF’s program into one that has Final Four ability. His contract pays him $60,000 annually plus incentives.

Here is our Q&A with the 32-year-old Malloy:

Q: Once you decided to get into coaching, how important was taking over your own program one day?

A: It’s the reason you get into coaching in the first place. It’s the reason that I was an assistant coach and came to a place like Florida State to work for a guy like Trey Jones, to have an opportunity to take over a program like this. This is just a dream come true.

Q: Was USF’s program one you kept a close eye on?

A: There’s no doubt about it. The day I heard about it, I was on the phone 10 minutes later to ask Coach Fee if the rumor was true and asked what I needed to do to get into the mix. I just gave it everything I had to get involved.

Q: What makes the USF program appealing as a head coach?

A: It’s a program that you’ve looked at for a while as an assistant coach and you target. What programs do you think you can be very successful in? There are a lot of programs that have head-coaching positions come open, but there are only a select few that are very good ones that you want to pursue. I believe in my heart that I could have been successful coaching at a California school, or a Midwest school. The connections that I’ve made [at FSU], you almost waste them if you go to another area. You want to stay in the Southeast and Florida if possible. It’s absolutely the perfect fit. I think we can be successful a lot sooner than a lot of people think.

Q: What got you into golf in the first place?

A: You know, I just wanted to follow my dad out to the golf course. We were members at a country club in Northern Virginia. He would go play with his friends, and I would tag along in the mornings. It was always fun to me—that’s what originally got me into it. I’ve always been competitive to a fault. It was just another way to be competitive.’’

Q: What is your most memorable day on a golf course?

A: I would still to this day … winning our first-round match this past year at the NCAA championship to advance to the Final Four. I know it’s fresh in my mind, but it’s something I will never forget. The electricity, just everything about it, was so special.

Q: You ever made a hole-in-one?

A: I have. I hit an 8-iron from 162 yards at a course called Kirkwood right outside Ole Miss. I’ve had the ball fly in and come out numerous times. I’ve been around quite a few times, but I did get one. I haven’t been shut out.

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