Head Coach 1st season
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Graham Hoffman was named the head coach of the Pioneers' men's and women's golf teams on Aug. 24, 2017.
Hoffman, a native of Bridgeville, Pa., takes over the program from Gabe Bubon, who was the head coach the last eight years but has moved on to be Point Park men's basketball head coach full-time.
"We are excited to have Graham Hoffman as part of our athletics team," said Point Park Director of Athletics Dan Swalga. "He brings a wealth of experience, teaching capability and connections in the community. It will be great for us to have a coach dedicated to the golf programs and expect improvement and future success."
"I am grateful and excited for this opportunity to coach the Point Park golf teams," said Hoffman. "I want to thank everyone at Point Park for hiring me, especially Vice President of Student Affairs Keith Paylo and Director of Athletics Dan Swalga. And I have to thank the many people along the way who have helped me in my career in golf. Also to my mother Mary Ann Hoffman and sister Tara Faust for being so supportive of me."
Hoffman brings many years of experience in golf. Since 2010, he has been an assistant golf professional at Hickory Heights Golf Club, the host site of the Point Park Athletics Golf Outing and a nearby course to Downtown Pittsburgh.
Hoffman has been involved with golf the last many years as either a player or his current role as assistant at Hickory Heights. His duties at the club include day-to-day operations related to the course and the retail pro shop, coordinating tournaments and events, instruction in groups and private lessons and club fitting.
Hoffman is also involved with the Tri-State PGA and the West Penn Golf Association (WPGA) working on tournament setups and handicaps.
Hoffman is just the second Pioneers golf head coach since 2009, the year Point Park brought back its men's golf team for the first time in 37 years and the first time ever it instituted a women's golf program.
Since then, the Point Park men's golf team has won five conference championships and made four appearances in the NAIA National Championship. The women's golf team has finished as high as third in the conference in 2015 and had an individual qualify for the NAIA national tournament, which was Karina Palmberg in 2014.
The men's program has been to five NAIA national tournaments in all, including a fourth-place finish in 1969. Point Park debuted its men's golf program in 1967-68, but the program was discontinued in 1972.
The following is a Q & A with coach Hoffman. He sat down with PointParkSports.com for the following conversation:
Q & A with GRAHAM HOFFMAN, POINT PARK MEN'S & WOMEN'S GOLF HEAD COACH:
What is your vision of Point Park Men's & Women's Golf?
--"My vision is to build a successful program. One where we bring in young men and women who are successful in the classroom first and also out on the golf course. And then hopefully they go on to be successful on their own and support the next batch of kids coming through the ranks."
How do you define success for a golf team?
--"The whole purpose of competing is to win. But I think success is competing as hard as you can. There is no point in teeing it up if we are not trying to win. But it's those days when things aren't going well, how are you fighting through those days to be successful?
"Your best round may be 72, but you somehow gutted out a 75 because you didn't let a bad shot get you down from three holes prior. Hopefully we can win some events. But if not, I want them to be competitive and show some grit out there and compete."
What is your philosophy on teaching the game of golf?
--"I've always viewed golf as you have to know what you do well. To be able to rely on certain things. Maybe you are a good driver of the golf ball or a good putter or good at irons. We will be constantly reinforcing those and when trying to work on the lesser parts of our games, we need to be patient with the learning curve. We will spend time on trying to improve those areas that are deficient but to begin and end our practice with what we do well."
What are you looking forward to most as a head coach?
--"The opportunity to have a positive impact on these young people for four years and send them out in the world is very intriguing. Hopefully their experience here helps them later down the road in life."
What is your favorite lesson on life that golf teaches?
--"Golf is not always easy. It is not a game of being perfect. The game of golf is "how good is your imperfect?" How good is your bad shot or mishit? In life, when you apply that, it's how well do you handle adversity?"
What is the thing that most golfers neglect that is hurting their game?
--"The basics. If you start to reach a certain level of play but then neglect the basics, you are going to go back to where you were before. We will spend a lot of time on the fundamentals like setup and things like that."