Hickman golf coach finds job rewarding

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | 6:10 p.m. CDT; updated 7:08 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 12, 2009

COLUMBIA — Carol Kyd says she never expected to become the Kewpies' boys golf coach, making her one of three women coaches at Hickman.

Two years ago, Clark Swisher, who became friends with Kyd when they both taught math at Hickman, encouraged Kyd to become the girls golf coach.

“He knew that I played for awhile and that I loved it,” Kyd said.

Swisher was the boys golf coach at the time, and whenever he was away with the varsity players at a tournament, Kyd would take over the junior varsity practice. Swisher knew that Kyd knew how everything worked, so he thought she would be a good person to coach the girls.

“I agreed to coach the girls if he would be willing to help me and lead the way for me. He agreed and was very encouraging,” Kyd said.  “I had a great time coaching the girls, so when the boys season came around I agreed to help him out in return.”  

At the end of the school year last year, Swisher retired from teaching and coaching. He encouraged Kyd to talk to the athletic director about taking over the boys team as well.  

“It seemed like the logical thing to do, to coach the girls in the fall and the boys in the spring,” Kyd said.

Doug Mirts, Hickman's athletic director, said he thinks there is no difference between a woman and a man coaching a boys sport.

"The expertise in coaching and working with young adults is what matters, irregardless of what gender they are," Mirts said. "All of the rules are the same."

Kyd, a Columbia native, coached middle school gymnastics several years ago when her husband’s job brought them to Washington State, but coaching golf was a first for her. Kyd said being with the students is the best aspect of coaching.

“It is great to see them outside the classroom,” Kyd said. “You see a totally different side of them.”  

Kyd said she is glad she has been able to be a coach.

“One of my favorite memories is to see the look on a kid’s face when he shoots his best round ever,” Kyd said. “Or to see the face on all the members on the team when they win a match, especially if it is against our crosstown rival Rock Bridge.”  

Kyd has had girls qualify for the state championships last season and this season, which was also gratifying.

“Seeing the girls experiencing it is great, because not many get to, and it is a real thrill to see them achieve," Kyd said. “I love golf and it is great to be able to instill in others a desire to play."

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