Mike Seiffert was an All-Conference golfer and team captain for the SCSU Huskies in the late-1990s, and now, 17 years after graduating, he’s finishing up his first year as the men’s and women’s head golf coach. Seiffert says he’s currently a two-handicap on the golf course, a score that’s recently started to slide given his focus on coaching at SCSU and having two kids at home.
“It’s been a lot of fun being back and on the coaching side of things, getting a different perspective than when I was playing. I’ve seen a lot of programs ramp up their budgets and expectations since I graduated,” Seiffert said, during a phone interview.
Despite his busy schedule, he’s still been able to make some time for competing. He played in six tournaments this past year, one of which was the Minnesota State Open Championship, a tournament he qualified for during the season.
The Husky golf teams have enjoyed success this year, with the men’s and women’s teams currently sitting in 3 and 4 place in the NSIC Conference Tournament, respectfully. Seiffert has had to juggle coaching both teams, who practice at the same time but sometimes have conflicting tournaments.
“It’s been tough in terms of the scheduling. I haven’t been able to be at every ladies event, but my assistant Angela [Heisner] has done a great job taking over when I’m not available,” Seiffert said. “The coaching aspect has been fun, because they need different things and react to coaching differently. We’ve spent more time working on course management than the fundamentals, but the kids are about to get a few weeks off before winter training begins, which mostly consists of working out. We’ll then be getting into some hitting and really ramping up the training after the winter holidays.”
The current format for the NSIC Conference Tournament is a 72-hole championship that is separated by a five-month winter break, with play resuming for both squads in mid-April. Seiffert isn’t a fan of the current format, but he says changes are coming next year, which will turn it into a 54-hole contest played in the same week.
The men’s team is currently 13 strokes behind the leading Minnesota State University Mavericks, and freshman Troy Ryynanen is currently tied for the individual lead with a 36-hole score of 144 (+2).
“Troy had a great attitude and perspective coming in from Dassel-Cokato, which has a good program, but not great facilities like ours. He’s really taken advantage of those and is a really solid ball striker that hits his long irons well,” Seiffert said about Ryynanen, SCSU’s Male Student Athlete of the Month in September.
The woman’s team, currently in 4 place and 39 strokes back of the leading Augustana Vikings, are led by junior and 2 Team All-NSIC golfer Laurel Enstrom. Enstrom posted a two-round total of 158 (+13), and is just five strokes behind the current leader.