Former Duck golfer and softball player Heather Holte returns for her third season as an assistant coach.
Holte, who served as an assistant men’s and women’s golf coach at Washington State prior to her return to Eugene, is a 1997 graduate of Oregon and played for the Ducks’ 1996 NCAA regional qualifying team.
The Springfield, Ore., native rejoined the Ducks as a coach in November of 2004, and helped the women's squad to top-five team finishes in the Oregon Duck Invitational (second), Pinehurst Challenge (third) and Kent Youel Invite (fourth). Individually during the regular season, the Ducks also carded eight top-10 efforts, courtesy of Johnna Nealy (5), Kim McCready (2) and Erin Andrews (1). In the postseason, Nealy shot a two-over 73 in the final round of her NCAA Championships debut in Sunriver, Ore., and ended 85th overall. The Grants Pass, Ore., native earned an NCAA invite after she tied for sixth in the West Regional on the New Mexico State University G.C. and won a two-hole playoff, while the Ducks took 10th as a team - only two places and five shots from the final NCAA team bid. In the Pacific-10 Conference Championships at Ruby Hill in Pleasonton, Calif., Nealy posted her third straight top-20 league finish (18th, 11-over 227), while UO took took eighth in a field that featured seven top 25 teams and another eventual NCAA qualifier. McCready added the Oregon amateur title in June at Pumpkin Ridge near Portland after she edged Nealy 3 & 2 in their semifinal.
Holte helped the Duck squad to one of its best fall campaigns ever in 2005-06, and ranked 28th (74.32) nationally in the Golf Week rankings, while the squad posted its lowest fall scoring average in head coach Shannon Rouillard's tenure (75.4 / 301.0, 12 rounds, 3,612 strokes). Freshman pupil Cathryn Bristow won the individual title in the season opener, the Oregon State Invitational, then added another title later in the year in the Illini Spring Classic - both by one stroke thanks to strong final day scores. Injuries slowed the team in the second half of the campaign, but optimism runs high again in 2006-07 with the return of five letterwinners, three of which have NCAA West Regional experience.
While with the Cougars, Holte coached two-time All-American Kim Welch as WSU made three consecutive NCAA regional appearances and, in 2003, advanced to the NCAA Championships for the first time ever.
Still an active amateur player, Holte won the Southern Oregon Championship, the largest match play tournament in the United States, in 1996, ‘97 and 2000. She finished third in the 2003 Oregon Public Links championships and fifth in both the 2003 Oregon Stroke Play championships and the 2002 Oregon Mid-Amateur tournament.
Holte’s golfing exploits were sandwiched by her successful UO softball career. A three-year letterwinner, Holte was a two-time all-Pac-10 second team selection, once in 1994 as a designated player and again in 1997 at catcher. She was also a two-time Pac-10 all-academic first team honoree and set an Oregon record with 12 home runs as a senior. She also led the Ducks in RBI (36) and hits (60) in 1997 and was a member of Oregon’s 1994 NCAA regional team. She still ranks 10th at Oregon with 18 career home runs.
Following her graduation in 1997 with a degree in exercise and movement science, Holte became head softball coach at West Albany High School (Albany, Ore.) where she coached the team to the school’s first-ever league title. She then moved on as an assistant softball coach at Texas State for three seasons where she helped guide the Bobcats to a 54-12 mark and a No. 16 national ranking in 2001 prior to her stint at Washington State.