ASU women’s golf adds another award to historic program

Head coach Missy Farr-Kaye was honored with the Alumni Achievement Award

On March 21, ASU held its annual Founder’s Day Awards Dinner, and among the honorees was women's golf head coach Missy Farr-Kaye, who graduated from ASU in 1990. During the ceremony,  she received the Alumni Achievement Award.

Farr-Kaye has been a Sun Devil through and through as she has led the women’s team to its NCAA-leading eighth national championship last May. Farr-Kaye has won national championships as a player (1990), assistant coach (2009) and head coach (2017). 

The Alumni Achievement Award has been given annually since 1972 at ASU's Founders' Day. It highlights ASU faculty, philanthropists and alumni that have helped shape ASU. Farr-Kaye is the second coach ever to win the award, the only other being her own head coach, former women's golf head coach Linda Vollstedt, who won the award in 1998.

Farr-Kaye had the honor to receive the award in front of people that meant a lot to her in her golf career.

“Some of my mentors were there that night – both of my high school and college coaches Linda Vollstedt and Sister Lynn Winsor,” Farr-Kaye said. “I had some teammates there, and my family was there. It's really something that you never think about.”

Since being named the 10th head coach in program history in 2015, Farr-Kaye has won plenty of awards. Farr-Kaye was named the National Coach of the Year in 2017 by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association and Golfweek. She was also named the Pac-12 and West Region Coach of the Year.

“I’m so blessed to be able to have the job that I have – being given an award like that for something that I already love to do,” Farr-Kaye said. “I joke and say that I've got the best job around as a golf coach, and I'm on the golf course everyday with the sun shining.”

Senior Roberta Liti has been a part of the program since Farr-Kaye was an assistant coach. She said seeing her coach's progression in her four years at ASU has been special. 

“It was a very special day for us. We saw her as our assistant coach and her becoming our head coach,” Liti said. “It was very special for us to see how far she has come, and she truly deserved it.”

For Liti and her other international teammates, Farr-Kaye has been more than just a coach. She has also taken on the persona of a mother. 

“To be able to have a head coach that can be a mom at times and can be a coach and mentor, her ability to just weave between all these roles was very meaningful to the team,” Liti said. “We know that we don't only have a coach, but we have an actual person that we can go to, and we know that she's going to be there for us.”

Sophomore Olivia Mehaffey said it was a pleasant change for the spotlight to shift from the team to its leader. 

“It was really nice to take a night and be in the background and sit back and realize how amazing she really is,” Mehaffey said. “It was really touching to see how special that award was, and to see her up there on the podium was special for all of us.” 

Farr-Kaye said she was grateful to have her team there, and she that she will continue to be a role model for them.

“I think thats its just great for them to see you can be recognized for doing something you love,” Farr-Kaye said. “Giving it everything you got and working very hard at it ... I think that's the best lesson I can teach them.”

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