Updated: Sep 21
Longtime coach of the Belmont women’s golf team Lissa Bradford just announced her retirement after nearly 20 years as head of the program.
In a Belmont-affiliated Instagram post, Athletic Director Scott Corley had nothing but kind words to say as he summed up his thoughts on Bradford’s time at Belmont.
“I want to personally thank Lissa for her contributions to Belmont University and our athletic program over the last 19 years,” said Corley.
“During her tenure, she elevated our women’s golf program both on the course and in the classroom, served as a great role model for her players, and promoted the game with her work with the NCAA and the Women’s Golf Coaches Association. She was a great representative of our University and athletic program and we will miss her presence in the department.”
Beginning in 2001, Bradford transformed the program over into the powerhouse it is today — all while gaining recognition at local and national levels.
During her time coaching at Belmont, Bradford has produced six team titles as well as nine other top six finishes at the conference championships.
Nationally, Bradford is recognized for her tremendous efforts within a collegiate program. In 2010, she was awarded the Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award by the National Golf Coaches Association.
After another year as head coach, Bradford decided to take her student services to the next level by beginning a four- year term with the NCAA Women’s Golf Committee.
She continues to work with the NCAA to this day, serving as a rules official every year at regional and national tournaments.
In 2019, she received her latest award from the WGCA, the Kim Evans Award.
As listed on the WGCA website, this award is presented annually to “the college or high school coach, and Class A PGA Professional, whose support of the game through teaching, coaching and involvement in the community has helped ensure the continued growth of golf, and who represents the finest qualities the sport has to offer.”
In addition to many coaching and athletic achievements, Bradford is acclaimed for her efforts in ensuring her student athletes understand the importance of performing well academically. The 2019-2020 season marked the twelfth consecutive year her team received the NCAA Academic Progress Rate Award for her athletes’ academics.
During her tenure, she also led 49 golfers to earn academic honors in both the Ohio Valley and Atlantic Sun conferences; 15 of them were recognized nationally by the WGCA as All-American Scholars.
After her announcement, Bradford told the OVC how grateful she is for her time at Belmont, and how excited she is to watch the program’s growth under new direction in the future.
“Belmont is a special place and it has been a huge blessing for me to be a part of such an extraordinary group of student-athletes, coaches, faculty and staff. I will miss my daily interactions with these individuals, but I am excited about the future ahead for the university and the women’s golf program.”
This article written by Julieann Challacombe.