Monday, November 23, 2020

SEC Coach of the Year Henkes Leads a Strong Ole Miss Women’s Golf Program

By Morgan Sellers
IMC Student

Kory Henkes led another record-breaking season for the Ole Miss women’s golf program. She was rewarded with Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year honors Thursday.

Henkes becomes the first Ole Miss women’s golf head coach to earn SEC Coach of the Year honors.

Securing their best final rankings in all major polls, the women ended their season ranked No. 11 in the WGCA Coaches poll, No. 12 in Golfstat’s team rankings, and No. 13 on Golfweek’s national rankings. They were also one of only two teams nationally to have four or more wins this season. 

From the beginning of her tenure at Ole Miss five years ago, Henkes has advanced the Ole Miss golf program. She arrived with the main goal of getting the program to the top SEC. 

“I saw it as a challenge,” Henkes said. “I had never been to Mississippi before coming here. We found it a good spot to raise children and start a family. We hope to have a lot longer here.”

Henkes and her husband, Kenneth, took a trip down to Mississippi and both agreed the state made a good impression. Along with their daughter, Parker, the Henkes family enjoys living in Oxford.

Henkes began her journey in the golf world at home in South Carolina. Her whole family shares a passion for the sport and that most likely ignited Henkes’ passion for golf as well. 

“For us, our whole family plays golf, and we just really have a love for the game,” Henkes said.

Henkes was a member of South Carolina’s 2002 SEC Championship team and a letter winner for the Gamecocks from 2002-04.

Henkes brought six years of experience as a head coach to Ole Miss. Prior to becoming head coach for Ole Miss women’s golf team, Henkes was head coach of the Augusta University women’s golf team for four years. Before that, two years head coaching for Charleston Southern. In her first season, the team won the Big South Championship.

Henkes foreshadowed nothing but success for the Ole Miss golf program. In her first season, Henkes led the squad to a seventh-place finish at the SEC Championship, the best finish for the Rebels since 2010 and third-best finish in program history. 

The spring of the 2017-18 season saw Ole Miss reach a new height in the women’s golf record books, securing the first NCAA Championship berth in program history. 

By her fourth season, the team brought home its first SEC championship title.

Henkes has successfully brought Ole Miss women’s golf closer and closer to the top. Their driven attitude and ambition has taken them very far, and it’s evident that comes from a head coach who has dedicated the time to the team and the game. 

“These girls have worked so hard and I’m very proud of them,” Henkes said. “It has been very rewarding to see the team get awards that they deserve. We all have different strengths that will help us get better as a team.”

Henkes mentions success for the team didn’t happen without the help from the players, staff and assistant coaches, as well as all the people she surrounds herself with. 

“I think I respect that the most,” she said “It doesn’t feel like work. It’s more of a family environment. And that’s what I truly love about Ole Miss.”