Blog 264, 6/19/13 - Q&A with Steve Card

stevecardHow difficult a decision was choosing not to coach the golf team next season?
It wasn’t that difficult actually. My career goal has always been to become an Athletic Director. When the opportunity to be in that role was offered, I didn’t have to think long about taking it, despite the fact I knew I wouldn’t be able to coach. I really enjoy coaching, and I wouldn’t trade the past 20 years for anything, but I felt that this was a career decision.

How long do you suspect you will be the interim director of athletics? Are you applying for the role full-time, and is there a chance you will ever return to the golf coach position?
The interim role will last as long as it takes to identify a permanent Athletic Director. The search will begin in the fall. The length of the search cannot be determined. I do intend to be a candidate for the position. Whether I return to coaching or not will be determined after that, depending on who the next AD is.

The team didn't win the NCAA title recently, but finished higher than any Viking team ever has. What was your overiding emotion?
Pride. I was very proud of what this group of young men had accomplished. I also felt nostalgic, as I coached my last tournament and thought about where the program was 20 years ago, and where it is now. Thought a lot about all the players that had played for me during that time.

What state was the golf program in when you took over?
It was very different to how it is now. We only competed in the spring; there was no fall season. In addition, all the tournaments were in the Northwest. There were no scholarships, and the team hadn't been to a national championship in seven years.

Do you remember much about your first team?
It was comprised of 15 players, the largest team I ever had. We had some talent, but it was far too large a squad. I don't remember that year being a tremendous amount of fun. It did teach me a lot though, and changes were made the next year, when we went to Nationals for the first time.

What is your best single memory from 20 years as coach? 
I don’t know that I have one single memory. There have been a lot of great memories, but the one thing that I keep thinking of is all the great young men I have had a privilege to coach. It is the greatest joy for me to have former players stay in contact with me, many years after they have left Western.

Did you ever think you'd be coach of the WWU golf team for 20 years?
No I didn’t. I don’t think anyone plans on doing something for 20 years. But, it was an awesome ride, the best 20 years of my life.

I know this will be very difficult, but can you give me your best eclectic Viking team? 
I’m not sure I can. There have been so many great players. A few that come to mind are Tim Feenstra, Craig Welty, Jake Koppenberg, JD Rushton, Joel Skarbo, Josh Immordino, Sean Packer, Luke Bennett, Bo Stephan, Jake Webb, Nick Varelia, Dylan Goodwin, Jamie Kim. There are others as well, but we’ve had a great program with great players for 20 years, and each player that has carried the Viking bag has contributed to that success.

Congratulations on a great 20 years Steve, and all the best with your application for the Athletic Director's position.

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