Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Editor’s note: Greg Robertson is the son of Andy and Becky Robertson. He played golf in high school at New Mexico Military Institute for four years. His sister JoJo Robertson is the head golf coach at Texas Tech University. The Roswell Daily Record celebrates our local hero, as Greg Robertson was named Big 12 Coach of the Year Thursday.
Former New Mexico Military Institute golf champion and current Oklahoma State coach Greg Robertson lives life day by day. He does not look too far into the future but applies a championship mentality to his craft while honing other golf champions.
For Robertson, it didn’t take long for his influence to be felt. In only his second year at the helm of the Cowgirls, Robertson saw his team defeat No. 6-ranked Auburn in the quarterfinals and then destroy Duke 5-0 in match play at the semifinals in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“I’m just so happy for all of them,” Robertson said. “They all played well, and I was keeping up with the live scoring, a couple of them got down early, but they kept fighting and clawing their way back. Towards the end we started winning some holes, it’s just incredible.”
Robertson’s success as a coach can be traced back to his roots in Roswell. Robertson said the best thing that happened to him was that his parents trusted Ron Doan with his and his sister JoJo Robertson’s development as golfers.
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“We were fortunate,” Greg Robertson said. “Both of his two sons, Cameron Doan and Brandon Doan moved to Roswell. Both were standout golfers at Goddard. Ron was very instrumental for my sister and me, working with us throughout our junior golf, high school and college days.”
Looking back, Robertson understands the sacrifices his parents made for his sister and him. Robertson said he didn’t understand until he was older that his mother, Becky, would work an extra job at the golf course so he and his sister could play golf and work on their games, or have extra money to send them to tournaments so they could play.
Robertson said his parents were there for them, to give them support and take them to the tournaments and help them out when they needed it. He said he appreciates the sacrifices his parents made to get him where he is in life.
A tight family, one of the best times of Robertson’s life growing up was playing football for New Mexico Military Institute. Robertson was a quarterback in his junior and senior years. His dad, Andy Robertson, was the offensive coordinator.
After Greg Robertson was done playing for his dad in high school and college, he went back and coached football with him in Pennsylvania. Those are memories he still holds dear to his heart. Greg Robertson loved going to school at NMMI. He made lifelong friends and relished the academics and discipline that would help him throughout his life.
“I’m so glad I played football for my dad,” Greg Robertson said. “Those are some of the best memories and most fun I’ve ever had. Me and dad had a lot of fun that season. It was special to play and coach with him. It was a good time.”
An accomplished golfer in his own right, as a freshman, Greg Robertson lost in the high school state championship his freshman year to Notah Begay, and his sophomore year to Greg Wakefield before winning state his junior and senior years in 1992-’93.
“My junior year,” Robertson said. “I beat Ryan Murphy by a shot. In my senior year, I won it in a playoff. I gained from those experiences. I still remember a lot of those shots I hit back then.”
Robertson said that he was talking to Notah (Begay) and they were talking about how well the golfers from his high school years were doing. He said Ryan Murphy, who finished second to him, is the women’s head coach at the University of Texas. Begay played on the PGA tour and is a commentator on the Golf Channel. JoJo is the coach at Tech and Gerina Piller is on the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour.
“There are so many great things New Mexico golfers have done,” Robertson said, “especially back in that time. It’s pretty cool to see.”
Robertson parlayed his high school success into a golf scholarship to Oklahoma State to play for coach Mike Holder. He went to qualifying school twice and played on the Canadian Tour in 2000. He played in one Professional Golf Association Tour event, the Nissan Open back then, which today is known as the Genesis Invitational Open.
Robertson and his sister JoJo are the only brother-sister coaches in the Big 12. For the last two years, they have rooted for each other, except when they play each other. JoJo Robertson is the head coach at Texas Tech is accomplished in her own right. When she played in the U.S. Open in 1998, Greg remembers caddying for her. This year in the conference championship, Oklahoma State finished first and Tech finished second.
“We are really close,” Greg Robertson said. “We talk often and bounce coaching ideas off each other. There is no one I want to win more if I can’t win than JoJo.”
In 2017-18, when Greg Robertson was head coach at Kent State, his team made it to match play and lost in the first round in both of those years.
This was the first time he has advanced past the first round as a coach. The third-seeded Cowgirl golf team came up short in its run at the NCAA Championship, losing the title match to fourth-seeded Ole Miss 4-1 at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“I’m so proud of them, everything our team did this whole year,” Robertson said. “They’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. They’re a great group of ladies. I love them all and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
The future remains promising for a Cowgirl squad that had two freshmen, two sophomores, and a junior in its starting lineup at the NCAA championships. Depending on if any of his players turn professional, look for the Cowgirls to make another run for their first NCAA title in school history.
Greg Robertson said the thing he has learned from his father is mental toughness. From his mother, she will send him inspirational messages before his team tees off. He will share those inspirational messages with his team as well. Both of his parents have taught him the value of hard work.
One of the best things about growing up in Roswell, Greg Robertson said — he had a good group of friends. His parents could drop him off at the golf course and let him and his friends play all day.
“That’s pretty cool how this has all happened,” he said. “I’m coaching at my alma mater and it has brought me closer to my family. I’m just a day’s drive to Roswell. It’s cool to come back and coach at a place that you love and went to school at. This is just a perfect situation, life is good.”
Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oklahoma State recognized for a successful season
Oklahoma State’s Maja Stark earned Big 12 Golfer of the Year, Rina Tatematsu was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Greg Robertson won Big 12 Coach of the Year, which gave the Cowgirl golf program a clean sweep of the league’s top prizes for the second time in school history.
In addition, OSU sophomore Isabella Fierro joined her two teammates on the 11-person All-Big 12 Conference Team. These are the first Big 12 postseason honors for this Cowgirl trio, and mark the 11th time Oklahoma State has had three or more representatives on the All-Big 12 squad.
This is the first time since 2008 that OSU swept the Big 12’s three major awards. That year, Pernilla Lindberg was named the Player of the Year, while Jaclyn Sweeny was the Newcomer of the Year and Laura Matthews won the Coach of the Year.
In what will likely go down as the best season in school history, the Cowgirls won five events in 2020-21, including the 2021 Big 12 Championship in record-breaking fashion. OSU advanced all the way to the NCAA Championship match for the first time in school history, and set new school records for team scoring average (286.74, -0.21 to par), par or better rounds (19), 54-hole score (830 at the Big 12 Championship) and par-3 (3.10), par-4 (4.12) and par-5 (4.82) scoring averages.
Stark was the Big 12’s lone WGCA First Team All-American and ended her sophomore season ranked No. 4 by GolfStat with a 49-2 record in head-to-head competition against top-100 players in the country.
The two-time event winner recorded a stroke average of 70.48 (-1.42 to par), which destroyed the previous school record set by 2010 WGCA National Player of the Year Caroline Hedwall (71.14, -0.71 to par). No player in program history ever recorded more birdies (139) or rounds of par or better (22) than Stark, and her par-3 (2.99) and par-4 (3.99) scoring averages set new school records as well.
This marks the 11th Big 12 Golfer of the Year award for Oklahoma State and the first since Julie Yang in 2014.
Tatematsu, a 2021 WGCA Honorable Mention All-American, is the 10th Cowgirl to bring home the Big 12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year award. She is ranked No. 42 by GolfStat, which makes her the highest-ranked freshman in the Big 12. The Bangkok, Thailand native set a new program record for par-5 scoring with a mark of 4.66, and her overall scoring average of 71.85 (0.12 to par) is the fifth-best ever by a Cowgirl golfer.
She recorded 20 rounds at par or better, which is the third-best clip in school history, and her 118 birdies are the sixth most ever by an OSU player. Tatematsu won the ICON Invitational after carding back-to-back rounds of 66, and her 14-under 202 at that event is the fourth-best 54-hole score ever by a Cowgirl. She earned All-Big 12 Championship Team honors after a T8 finish.
This is the fifth career conference coach of the year award for Robertson, who was a four-time recipient of this honor while he was the head coach at Kent State in the Mid-American Conference. He represents the seventh Big 12 Coach of the Year award winner from OSU since the league was formed in 1996-97 and the first since Courtney Jones in 2016.