Western Kentucky University has announced that Ron Burchett, an assistant on the Lady Topper golf staff the past three seasons, has been named head coach of the WKU program.
Chuck Eison, who has guided Lady Topper golf fortunes for the past nine years, will remain on the staff as an assistant coach.
“We are all looking forward to working with Ron Burchett as head coach of our Lady Topper golf program,” said Associate Athletics Director Pam Herriford. “He has demonstrated his ability to lead our women’s golf program and we feel very comfortable turning the reins over to Coach Burchett. When Coach Eison expressed interest in curtailing his involvement in the program, it was only natural to turn to Ron. We are very pleased with the way this has worked out.”
Burchett assisted with the Lady Topper program on a volunteer basis for two seasons, before formally joining the staff as an assistant coach in 2007. He is manager and operator of the Otte Golf Center in Bowling Green, and assists in the coordination of golf clinics and camps for women and juniors in the area. An outstanding local golfer as well, Burchett won the championship of the 45th annual Par-Makers championship in Bowling Green.
“I have enjoyed working with Lady Topper golf for the last three years,” Burchett said. “Now that I will be taking over as head coach, I hope my drive and enthusiasm will help take the program to the next level. I look forward to being a part of, and am extremely excited about, the future of WKU women’s golf!.”
A 37-year-old native of nearby Glasgow, Ky., Burchett is a graduate of Glasgow High School and an alumnus of WKU, which he attended from 1990-94. He and his wife, Malinda, have two children, nine-year-old Kaitlyn and five-year-old Tyler.
“Taking care of a Division-I golf program requires considerable energy and at this stage in my life I felt it was time to ask Ron to take over,” Eison said. “He’s worked with our young women for three years and we have all been most pleased with his guidance. He has become an excellent student of the college game.
“Though the years, I have enjoyed working with the exceptional student-athletes who have come through our program and its hard to just quit,” he added. “So, I will stay be involved as an assistant and continue to work with our Lady Topper golfers.”
Eison took over as head coach of the Lady Topper golf program in the spring of 2000. His Topper teams have won eight tournaments in his nine years at the WKU helm.
After playing golf in high school and at Willamette University, Eison served a four-year stint in the Air Force before coming to WKU in 1968. He began his career on The Hill in the University's division of grants and contracts before becoming the director of sponsored programs. Later Dr. Eison later joined the Department of Psychology as a full-time faculty member. He served WKU for 30 years before retiring from the classroom and, in 2000, turning his skills to coaching.
The Lady Toppers open play in the five-tournament spring portion of their 2008-09 schedule March 16 and 17 at the Samford Women’s Intercollegiate in Birmingham.