2005: M.S.S. Sports Coaching

After experiencing much success in the Horizon League as an assistant golf coach, Nathan Miklos is finally getting his chance to lead a team again in the conference.

Miklos was recently named head women’s golf coach at Youngstown State University, following more than six seasons as an assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s golf programs at Cleveland State University.

Miklos, who earned his master’s in sports coaching from the United States Sports Academy in 2005 and his bachelor’s in art from Grove City College in 2002, helped the Cleveland State men’s program to Horizon League championships in 2008, 2009 and 2011. Meanwhile, the women’s team placed second in 2009 and last season finished third.

This is not the first time Miklos, a native of Hermitage, Pa., has served as head coach. He led the women’s golf team at Loyola University Chicago in 2004. That team captured the Horizon League Championship title and Miklos was named co-coach of the year.

During his career, he has also served as an assistant golf coach at Shawnee High School in Lima, Ohio, and at his alma mater, Grove City College in Pennsylvania, Miklos, who earned his PGA membership in 2009 and is a Class A PGA Professional, also worked as the assistant golf professional at Shawnee Country Club in Lima.

During his first college coaching stint, he helped lead the Grove City women’s team to the conference championship, as the team set a new conference scoring record (587) and two players placed in the top-five. As a golfer on the men’s team at Grove City, Miklos led the team to a pair of conference championships and was named the conference MVP in 2001.

The new Youngstown State women’s golf coach spoke with the Alumni Network about the dominance of international players in women’s golf, his challenges at Youngstown and his experiences as an Academy student.

Alumni Network: As you know, Inbee Park of South Korea, and Yani Tseng of Taiwan have been the LPGA’s top players. Many female players from oversees have dominated the LPGA tour lately. What do you think is the reason for this?

Nathan Miklos: I think the biggest reason that we’ve seen international players dominate is their focus on golf. Many other countries invest more in golf schools and academies to help their young amateurs and professionals become successful. We have our college system, but once a player turns professional, they are essentially on their own. I think there is a more singular focus overseas and a greater push by parents to be successful in one sport, instead of playing several sports, which is encouraged more in the United States.

While there have been a lot of very good Asian players including Yani Tseng and Inbee Park, the two most dominant players in my opinion over the last 15 years have been Annika Sorenstam of Sweden and Lorena Ochoa of Mexico. Although international players on the women’s side have dominated the LPGA, the same cannot be said on the PGA Tour, as least with respect to Asian players, but that’s a discussion for another time.

Alumni Network: As a male coach, what is it like coaching female athletes? Do you prefer coaching men or women?

Nathan Miklos: I enjoy coaching both the female and male athletes, but I prefer coaching the women. The women seem to have an ability to keep things in perspective better. The women can compete hard, yet also seem to be more relaxed and have more fun in competition compared to the men.

Women have more room to grow in the sport of golf. The competition depth for women playing golf has increased over the years. It’s fun playing a part in this evolution, as golf is historically played more by men. Some states are further along in encouraging participation in golf by both women and men. Ohio does a great job at encouraging students to play golf at the high school and the state level. Being from Pennsylvania, I can personally say this state still has a long way to go in encouraging female players to be more involved in the sport.

Alumni Network: What do you see as your main challenges at Youngstown? What are your goals?

Nathan Miklos: Our first goal is to win the Horizon League conference tournament, which would give us an automatic bid to play at the NCAA regionals. I want to help the team move to the next level as a program on the golf course.

My second goal is to encourage our players, not only to be successful on the golf course, but to also be successful in the classroom. We need to remind our athletes about the importance of their education.

Alumni Network: If someone asked you about your degree from the Academy, what would you say?

Nathan Miklos: I really enjoyed the master’s degree program at the Academy. The flexibility of the program was great, since I was working full-time, while taking the majority of my classes online.

I also really liked that the Academy offers a degree specifically in sports coaching. It’s awesome to have the option to get a degree in something that you truly want to be, rather than bundling your coursework for a degree in something like sports management. You have more educational and professional options with the Academy.