CHICO, Calif. – The most poetic way to make an exit in the sports world is to go out on top. Longtime Chico State head coach Kathy Dais has made the decision to do just that.
Dais has announced her retirement after 13 years with the ’Cats – the last seven as head coach – after guiding the Wildcats to an NCAA championships appearance and the program’s lowest season strokes-per-round average.
An integral part of the Chico State women’s golf program since its inception in 2001, Dais led the Wildcats to three NCAA tournament appearances, including the NCAA championship finals in 2008-09. Chico State was ranked in the top 25 national rankings four times during her tenure.
“It’s been a wonderful job; always challenging and never boring,” Dais said Monday. “The best part was seeing my student-athletes graduate and make the transition into becoming responsible adults right in front of my eyes. I want to thank all the players who competed for me over the years. I’ve enjoyed every one of them. I also want to express my appreciation to the community for all its support of the Wildcat women’s golf program.”
Dais cherished the opportunity to coach at her alma mater. “Being a Chico State alum, from undergraduate to master’s to coaching, has been the best time of my life. I wouldn’t change one minute of my time as a student or a coach. I’ve always been and always will be a Wildcat!”
Dais helped initiate, establish, develop, and coordinate the Chico State women’s golf program while recruiting dozens of successful athletes, beginning with 2003 All-Americans Shelbie Jasper and Morgan Peterson.
“I’d like to thank Kathy for her years of service to our student-athletes and the athletic program,” Chico State Director of Athletics Anita Barker said. “She built the Chico State women’s golf program from the ground up, and her leadership has been essential to the success of the program. Kathy has always been an advocate for women’s golf and women’s sports, in general. We wish her well as she enters the next exciting chapter of her life!”
Dais served as the Wildcats’ interim head coach before being named assistant to Keith Thomas for six seasons, helping Chico State reach the NCAA West Regional in 2006. Dais was promoted to head coach in 2007, and in her second season at the helm, guided Chico State to the NCAA finals. This past season the Wildcats set a school record with an average of 316.8 strokes per round on the way to a berth in the NCAA Super Regional. Chico State finished the 2013-14 campaign ranked fifth in the West Region and No. 18 in the nation.
Dais helped her players excel in the classroom as well. Denise Canadas was named the National Golf Coaches’ Association (NGCA) Division II Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2007. She and her sister, Katie, were NGCA All-America Scholar Golf Team selections, along with two-time honorees Shelby Hooper and Erin Sears. Hooper was also named to the 2011-12 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)/Capital One Academic All-America Team.
Plans for Dais’ replacement will be announced in the coming weeks.