YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – Eastern Michigan University Vice President and Director of Athletics Heather Lyke announced today, Aug. 4, that Pina Gentile (pronounced jen-TEAL) has been named the Eagles’ head women’s golf coach. Gentile comes to Ypsilanti after spending the previous eight seasons as an assistant coach at Iowa State University. She was promoted to associate head coach in June of 2015. Just the sixth head coach in program history, her first official day at Eastern Michigan will be Aug. 6.
“We are thrilled to welcome Pina Gentile to Eastern Michigan University,” Lyke said. “In Pina, we have found a talented coach who is prepared to lead our team, a competitive spirit who is driven to compete for championships and a great person who will build genuine relationships with our student-athletes and make a positive difference in their lives. The future of our women’s golf program is bright with Pina guiding our team!”
“I am excited to join the Eagle family,” Genitle said. I want to thank Heather Lyke and the interview committee for giving me the opportunity to lead the Eagle golf program. I also want to thank Iowa State University and Christie Martens for preparing me for the next step in my career. There is a great foundation of talent at Eastern Michigan and I am looking forward to helping these young ladies further develop their skills in the classroom, on the golf course, and in life.”
With nearly 15 years of NCAA Division I intercollegiate coaching experience, Gentile spent the last eight years working at Iowa State where she helped the Cyclones to six-straight NCAA Regional appearances, while recording its best finishes in the Big 12 Championships during her tenure. In 2014, the Cyclones advanced to their first-ever NCAA Championship, the first women’s program from the state of Iowa to make it to the NCAA finals since the regional format was introduced in 1993. Two Cyclones, Sasikarn On-iam and Chonlada Chayanun, were named All-Big 12 First-Team in 2014. Chayanun placed in the top-10 at the NCAA Championship, finishing in a tie for seventh. The Cyclones posted their highest ranking in school history (No. 15) and won three tournament titles in the 2010-11 campaign, as Iowa State earned the No. 1 seed at the 2011 Big 12 Championship. Gentile has also helped tutor 10 Cyclones who have earned All-Big 12 recognition 15 times during her tenure. She’s also coached 12 golfers who have went on to earn Academic All Big 12 accolades 21 times.
Gentile spent six seasons on the Illinois State staff before arriving in Ames. Gentile was hired full-time at Illinois State in 2005 after previously serving as a volunteer assistant. She helped guide the Redbirds to Missouri Valley Conference Tournament titles in men’s golf in 2005 and 2007 and in women’s golf in 2005. While at Illinois State, she coached Samantha Richdale, who was a 17-time player of the week and recorded 10 wins during her collegiate career. Richdale currently plays on the Symetra Tour. Gentile earned her Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Teaching and Club Professional Division card in 2000 and is a Class A member. She has worked as an assistant golf professional at Crestwicke Country Club in Bloomington, Ill., and Edgewood Valley Country Club in LaGrange, Ill.
Gentile earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Illinois State University in 1999 before going on to add her master’s in the same major, specializing in clinical-counseling. During her time at Illinois State, she was a four year letterwinner on the golf team, where she was a co-captain from 1997-99, a member of the Afni Honor Roll, the NGCA All-American Scholar Team and earned the Helen Cushmen Endowed Scholarship. In addition, she helped lead the Redbirds to a Missouri Valley Conference Championship during the 1997 campaign.