Scott Hansen took over the Colorado Mesa women’s golf program in 2008, figuring he’d coach for a few years and then move on to the next thing.
Thirteen years later, Hansen announced his retirement Wednesday as the longest-tenured and most successful coach in program history. Under his tutelage, the Mavericks went to four regionals and one national tournament.
He and a friend started a business several years ago and it’s taking more and more of his time, Hansen said. With a veteran team returning this season, Hansen figured it was time to step away.
“The last couple of years has been really hard to do both,” Hansen said. “To do the job right and give the team the time and energy they deserve has been harder and harder. I was thinking about it last year but with everything going on it wasn’t a good time to throw somebody else in the mix. Now the team’s in a good place.
“Probably the hardest part is knowing when to walk away because you’re always excited to see the new recruits and you’re attached to the ones you brought in. I don’t know that there’s a good time to step down.”
Hansen’s teams won 22 tournament titles, and nine players in CMU’s top 10 in scoring average played for him, including 2016 RMAC individual medalist Taylor Walters. The top 10 teams in scoring average were his, with the 2015-16 squad No. 1 at 310.25.
In 2012, the Mavericks reached the Division II national tournament after placing second in the Super Region 3 tournament, with Jennifer Hilts tying for regional medalist honors. The Mavericks placed 11th at nationals.
The Mavericks have seven players returning from last season, including two of their top three in scoring average, junior Elly Walters (77.9) and sophomore Crystle Querol (78.1). Walters had four top-10 finishes and Querol three last season, both playing in all eight tournaments in the coronavirus-shortened season. The Mavericks placed third in last spring’s RMAC Championship.
Although days off were few and far between with two jobs, Hansen said he enjoyed the pace, working with the players and all of the road trips.
“No regrets,” he said.
The new coach — a national search has begun, CMU said in a release announcing Hansen’s retirement — will inherit that solid nucleus and a couple of new recruits, including former Grand Junction High School player Brittlynn O’Dell, whose family moved to New Mexico, where she was an all-state player this past season, placing fourth in the Class 5A state tournament.
Giving up coaching will give Hansen more time to spend with his parents in Colorado Springs, and visit his daughters, who are both in college in Arizona. And yes, his golf clubs will be well-used.
“It’s no secret I like to get down there in the winter to play golf,” he said with a chuckle. “Just having the freedom to do those things.”