By Antonio Hebert
After a successful previous season, the women’s golf team recently welcomed Nancy Taylor-Capps, a long-time professional golfer as its new head coach. Taylor-Capps replaced Darla Kirby after Kirby accepted a promotion to UMHB associate athletic director.
Taylor-Capps is excited to see what the season holds.
She said, “I am walking into a great program to begin with. Darla Kirby has done very well. We need to stay focused and pursue the process, and the results will come.”
Taylor-Capps began golfing when she was 16. At the time, she lived in Hawaii where her father was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. She finished high school in South Korea and then proceeded to Arizona State where she received a degree in physical education. In college she was a walk-on golfer for two years before making the team.
She played in the Futures Tour for three years and then progressed to the Ladies Professional Golf Association where she was ranked second in 1986.
Taylor-Capps comes to UMHB from Rock Hill, S.C., where she was the assistant coach for the women’s golf team at Winthrop University from 2010 to 2012. Before coaching at Winthrop, she was assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s golf teams at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C., where they finished second at the Carolinas Conference.
As a Christian, her faith has played a major role in her career. According to a UMHB press release, Taylor-Capps said she was looking forward to being a part of the Christian environment on campus.
From 1998 to 2000, she was the associate director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ golf ministry in Ponte Verde, Fla. During her involvement with the organization, she organized and led Bible studies for players on the Futures Tour as well as offered them guidance.
She is also impressed with the university’s excellence and its goal of being the best in the Southwest.
She said, “I believe Dr. O’Rear has a great vision for the university and is doing it right. All the people at the university are quality people and professional.”
Kirby, the former head coach who began the women’s golf program more than 16 years ago, is eager to see the team continue its success and is confident that Taylor-Capps will do well.
She said, “I think she’ll be a very good coach. She’ll do a great job with the girls. I think we’ll see great things for that team.”
Kirby said she will miss golf tremendously but thinks an administrative role is what God has for her at the moment.
Two golfers, sophomore sport management major Victoria Thane and sophomore nursing major Taylor O’Rear, are anticipating the upcoming season.
Thane, who has been golfing since her freshman year of high school, said, “I feel Coach Taylor-Capps and her knowledge and experience from having taught and played professionally for a number of years will only add to the fire we hope to continue this year.”
O’Rear has been playing golf seriously since she was in the eighth grade.
She said, “I have met Coach. I really liked her. I like how excited she seemed about our program.”
O’Rear thinks the team members are ready to learn from their new mentor.
She said, “My teammates and I are very excited about this new chapter. Coach Taylor-Capps was a player on tour as well as a swing instructor, so we are all really eager to learn from her.”