The Youngstown State University (YSU) women’s golf team won the Horizon League Women’s Golf Championship for the first time since 2009 and for the third time in the history of the school. The win led the Penguins to their very first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Regional, fulfilling a goal of Mr. Nate Miklos, Penguins coach, who has been striving for his team to reach the Regionals since he started his career at YSU two years ago. Although the women were defeated at the South Bend Regionals held at the Warren Golf Course in Notre Dame, Ind., the team has pulled together to make school history and tackle some long-term goals.

In 2013, Miklos, a United States Sports Academy alumnus, spoke with the Academy about his goals for the future. At that time he said that he wanted to lead the Penguins to the Horizon League championship. Now that the team has accomplished that, Miklos’ focus is making sure that the team gets the right players who fit within their team culture and have the ability to play at an even higher level.

“The biggest challenge is still to help this program take that next step and start competing at the next level. We’ve made huge strides in the past two years but we still have a long ways to go,” he said.

Prior to his career with the YSU Penguins, Miklos played golf in high school and then at Grove City College. His college coach, Dr. Tim Rice, also an Academy Alumnus and current Academy Distance Learning Faculty (DLF) member, suggested that he pursue a career in coaching.

Miklos told the Academy, “I spent a year as a volunteer assistant with Coach Rice at Grove City before getting the head women’s golf position at Loyola of Chicago.”

While coaching at Loyola, Miklos began taking courses through the Academy in the pursuit of his Master of Sports Science Degree, ultimately graduating in 2005 with Highest Honors.

“I loved the online format. It definitely gave me the flexibility to get my degree while coaching and working other jobs. I don’t know when or how I would have been able to get my degree without the opportunity to complete it online.”

Miklos liked having the focus more on “coaching” classes instead of having to major in something like Sports Management, which did not appeal to him. He completed his degree by attending a summer session at the Academy which he also really enjoyed.

“It was nice to get to meet and learn from all the professors that I had previously only known through my online classes.”

The career path that Miklos has taken is all because of his introduction to golf many years ago. His devotion to the sport began in his early teens when his uncle gave him his first set of golf clubs and took him out golfing all the time.

“My love for the game really grew from there.”

Now he has the opportunity to share that passion with his athletes in the hopes that one day he will lead them to the NCAA Tournament and beyond.

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