|Inside Athletics » Staff Directory||VALPOATHLETICS.COM|
Mat Blair was named Valparaiso University's head women’s golf coach in June of 2011. He enters his third season at the helm of the program in 2013-2014.
Last season, Blair led the Crusaders to their best season since the program's inception, as the team posted a stroke average eight shots improved from the previous season. Along the way, Valpo won its first tournament in program history - the Crusader Spring Invitational - to go with a pair of second-place finishes and a program-best fourth-place finish at the Horizon League Championship.
Individually, Kelly Voigt and Michelle Kleckner both earned All-Horizon League honors, the former also earning All-Tournament honors at the Horizon League Championship after a second-place finish. Voigt also captured individual medalist honors on two occasions as well en route to setting the program's single-season scoring average record, while Kleckner posted the second-best scoring average in program history.
During Blair's first season with the Crusaders, he led the Brown and Gold to a runner-up finish at the Tennessee State Fall Classic, where Kleckner took individual medalist honors. Erik Pfaender also earned Horizon League Golfer of the Week honors during his first season at the helm.
Blair's golfers have also experienced success in the classroom during his first two years as head coach, as Kleckner (two times) and Voigt have earned Academic All-Horizon League honors, while Kleckner and Pfaender have both twice been named WGCA Division I All-American Scholars. Blair also orchestrated the first home event in program history, the Valpo Invitational, in September of 2011.
Blair has been the teaching professional at Briar Leaf Golf Club in LaPorte, Ind. for the last five years. With his private instruction, he has taught numerous All-State and All-Conference athletes, including the 2001 and 2006 Indiana High School state champions.
A Second Team All-State selection for Michigan City Rogers High School in 1990, Blair was a junior college All-American one year later at Anderson College in South Carolina. He then went on to play three years at Ball State University. He played on the Hooters Tour for three years and qualified for the Virginia Beach Open on the Nationwide Tour in 2005.
Mat and his wife Tia have three children: MaKenna born in 1997, Kara born in 1999, and Tessa born in 2005.