Nancy McDaniel, the founding coach of the California women's golf team, enters her 21st season in 2015-16 directing one of the most nationally regarded golf programs in the country.
During Cal's rise to the upper echelon of the collegiate women's golf landscape, McDaniel has led the Golden Bears to compete at eight NCAA Championships, highlighted by three top five showings from 2004-06, capped by 2004's program-best finish of fourth at the NCAA Championships. That year, Sarah Huarte won Cal's first NCAA individual title. Duke was the only other school during that span to register three straight top five national finishes. After the 2005-06 season, McDaniel was selected the LPGA Teaching Division Western Section Coach of the Year. Following four top five 2007 fall finishes, McDaniel was recognized as Golf World's Midseason Coach of the Year.
The Bears have 16 consecutive NCAA regional berths to their credit under McDaniel, including a team first-place finish at the Central Regional in 2003 and coaching an individual medalist, Sophia Sheridan, at the West Regional in 2005.
Cal is currently one of six Pac-12 teams to have advanced to each of the last two NCAA Championships after McDaniel’s teams in 2014 and 2015 both earned appearances at the national final. Her 2015 team advanced to nationals with zero seniors in the lineup.
Under McDaniel's leadership, Cal has garnered 37 All-Pac-10/12, 15 All-Region, 17 All-America and 22 NGCA All-American Scholar honors. She also guided Pia Halbig to being named the Pac-10 Toyo Tires Scholar Athlete of the Year and the Dinah Shore Trophy award winner. In 2002-03, the Bears achieved a program-high six all-conference citations and received their first-ever All-America picks. Huarte is Cal's only three-time first-team All-Pac-10 recipient, while Sofie Andersson (Aagard) is the Bears' only three-time All-American. In the 2012-13 season, the Bears had a program-best four NGCA All-American Scholars, the most stringent academic honor given out in all of collegiate athletics.
The 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and 2002 West Regional Coach of the Year also has coached the Bears to first-place finishes at 28 tournaments, including eight since the 2009-10 season.
Cal finished 19th at NCAAs in 2001 in its first appearance, 15th in 2002 and tied for 14th in 2003 prior to its best-ever performance in 2004. In 2003-04, the Bears established a school record for season stroke average at 298.1 and finished the year ranked No. 3 by Golfweek (best ever by the publication.)
During the 2002-03 season, McDaniel directed Cal to a nation's-best seven tournament titles, including the Bears' first Pac-10 and NCAA regional (Central) crowns, propelling them to an all-time best national ranking of No. 2 by Golfstat heading into the NCAA Championships. The program's 2002-03 accomplishments earned McDaniel a collection of prestigious awards - National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) Coach of the Year, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Teaching and Club Professional Coach of the Year and Golfweek magazine's Coach of the Year. She also garnered her second Pac-10 Coach of the Year and NGCA Western Regional Co-Coach of the Year selections and was honored as California's Athletic Alumni Association's Big C Society Coach of the Year.
One of the most successful players ever to compete at Washington, McDaniel was team captain as a senior in 1988 and earned one All-America and two Pac-10 All-Star team selections. During her career, she won individual titles at the 1987 Washington and BYU tournaments and finished in the top 10 at seven additional events. McDaniel recorded a 74.3 average her senior year with the Huskies, posting a personal-best round of 69 in the fall of 1987. She was named to Washington's Pac-10 All-Decade team (1986-96) for women's golf and received her bachelor's degree in speech communications in 1988.
McDaniel came to Cal with five years of professional experience on the Women's European, Ladies Asian and Players West golf tours. One of the top players on the Ladies Asian Tour, she finished 13th out of 153 participants in 1993 and ranked 20th during her final season in 1994. Prior to that, McDaniel won the Players West title at the 1992 Las Vegas Classic and won the LPGA sectional qualifier in Mission Hills later that year. She currently is a member of the LPGA Teaching Division.
McDaniel spent three years as a touring golf professional, playing out of Brookside Country Club in Stockton, Calif., before accepting the position at Cal in October of 1994. Originally from Portland, Ore., Nancy and her husband, Jay, the head golf professional at Claremont Country Club, have a 18-year-old son, Tyler, and a 16-year-old daughter, Molly.