In 1997, Susan Rosenstiel had just finished her collegiate golf career, and at the time was undecided about her future. She decided to return to the University of Florida and pursue a master’s degree in exercise and sports sciences and sports management. Rosenstiel had dreamed of becoming a coach and was one step closer when she graduated with the degree.
Life took Rosenstiel in a different direction. She spent time at two golf clubs as an assistant golf pro. Soon though that would change. It was a regular day of work at Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club, when she finally got the job she had dreamed of, one she has now held for 13 years.
“When my husband ended up taking a job here in Tuscaloosa [As a doctor], the first thing I did was I called Marie Robbins [Alabama assistant athletic director] up,” Rosenstiel said. “I met with her wanting to get into college athletics, but it was kind of interesting at the time it didn’t look like there was an opening for the assistant women’s golf position, but as fate would have it, I ended up running into Betty Palmer [former Alabama head women’s golf coach] on the golf course one day. She said ‘Well I’m interested, I don’t have an assistant this year, and would you be interested.’ And literally that is how that happened.”
Rosenstiel was back working with college athletics, which is what she said she truly always wanted. Alabama hired her as the assistant women’s golf coach in 2003, and she has been a part of the program since. Alabama is traveling to California for its first tournament of the spring on Sunday, and Rosenstiel, after all these years, is still excited to begin another spring season.
“Let me just say she is the best assistant in the country. There is not any doubt in my mind, hands down,” head coach Mic Potter said. “I can’t nominate her for assistant of the year, every single year so. I wouldn’t trade her for anybody.”
Rosenstiel coached under Palmer for two seasons, before Palmer finally decided it was time to retire. With Alabama deciding to bring in Potter, Rosenstiel’s future was up in the air again.
“I interviewed Susan on the phone. I didn’t really know her very well when I came here. The job interview was about five minutes long. I said ‘So what do you like to do?’ and she said ‘I like the administration and I like tournament operations,” and I said ‘You’re hired.’ Those are all the things I hate,” Potter said. “She obviously goes way beyond that. Our families are close. We get along well. We kind of see eye-to-eye on every issue. I can’t really think of any arguments or disagreements we have ever had.”
Potter went on to say that she showed him the ropes when he first arrived to Tuscaloosa and that she was invaluable. He also said that she is a mother away from home for the players.
“I guess when you come to college, you never really know how coaches are going to be, but Mic and especially Susan have just been like parents for us,” junior Cammie Gray said. “Susan is one of the most loving people I have ever met. She is here to really just help us succeed in life whether that’s golf, school or just as a person.”
Rosenstiel has also received a few accolades during her tenure at Alabama, one of which was the 2010 National Assistant Coach of the Year, which Potter nominated her for.
“Mic was the one who nominated me. So to hear read to me what he thought the job I was doing and the role I play was very humbling and heartfelt,” Rosenstiel said. “Let’s face it, I coach everyday against top coaches in the country and to be noticed among them for this award was amazing.”
Rosenstiel said here favorite part about coaching is the development process of the women that come through Alabama’s program, and she pointed out that the process starts earlier now. They start recruiting players early in high school, and she loves the whole process.
“Emma [Talley] is going to graduate here in a couple months and to remember when she came here on an unofficial visit in eighth grade, and to know where she has gotten to as a person, not just on the golf side of it is just rewarding and fun,” Rosenstiel said.
Rosenstiel said that she has loved the past 13 seasons at the university, and she was quick to respond when she was asked about her favorite part.
“The number one word that comes to my mind is family,” Rosenstiel said. “The family atmosphere here it is in every bit of the culture we have here. That goes from our team to the administration and also to the university as a whole.”
She has a couple of philosophies that she wants every girl to not only take to the golf course this weekend, but also leave with once they graduate.
“I hope they become aware of the impact they can have on others, just simply daily. They have such an ability to reach people and they don’t even realize it. Even the simplest things can mean so much to someone that they’ve never met before,” Rosenstiel said. “If they get up every day and say ‘What can I do a little bit better today?’ throughout their life, I think it’s going to be pretty good.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports