Therese Hession, who coached Ohio State’s women’s golf team to 11 Big Ten titles, 17 NCAA Championships appearances and 25 NCAA Regionals and also served as the director of OSU’s men’s and women’s programs, will retire on Jan. 7.
Hession began coaching the Buckeyes in 1991. Lisa Strom took over as coach of the women’s team in July. Hession was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.
“I am so grateful to the many student-athletes of both the men and women’s golf teams for their tireless work and dedication to our programs both academically as well as athletically,” Hession said in a statement released by the school. “It was a privilege to be a small part of your life both on and off the golf course.”
Prior to her coaching career, Hession played on the LPGA Tour from 1980-91, competing in seven U.S. Women’s Opens.
“Words cannot express how much coach means to Ohio State golf,” Strom said in a statement. “From my first interaction with her as a recruit to being chosen to lead the Ohio State women’s golf team, I have deeply admired coach’s desire to show up every single day and help others be their best and to never stop learning.”
Ohio State promoted Hession to its newly created director of golf position for both the men’s and women’s programs back in 2018. She wasn’t the first woman to ever be named director of golf at a Division I school – Patty Post held the position at Delaware – she was the first at a Power Five Conference.
Early on at Ohio State, Hession remembers thinking if she could just get a computer she could really make something happen. Same with adding an assistant coach. Another hurdle involved getting an indoor practice facility designed and built for $6 million.
“We had to raise all the money before they’d put a shovel in the ground,” she said.
She eventually grew into a position to build models for the men’s program, passing along knowledge learned from decades of success.
With so few females coaching men at any level of college golf, Hession’s promotion represented a break in the barrier.