Maryknoll School's Girls Golf coach Ashlyn Kawasaki '11 was named Coach of the Year by the Interscholastic League of Honolulu. She is one of six coaches from Maryknoll who received the recognition during the 2016-2017 academic year.
Ashlyn has been playing golf for almost 17 years and played competitively while attending Maryknoll.
Why did you decide to become a coach?
While I was in high school, I would assist my golf instructor at clinics he held for younger kids. It was the perfect way for me to continue developing my passion for helping others improve at the sport that I love.
Why did you choose to coach at Maryknoll?
After graduating from college, a former teammate from the Maryknoll Golf team asked if I wanted to help the team out. I knew that I really wanted to help coach, but I was worried about the responsibility that comes with it. Soon after, I talked with my former Maryknoll Varsity I Golf Coach, Danny Lau and through his encouragement, I was convinced. As an added benefit I am able to be around the sport again and experience a whole new aspect of the game.
Why do you enjoy coaching at Maryknoll?
It is always fun reconnecting with former coaches, players, and teachers that I knew in high school and to see how much the golf program has improved over the years. I also enjoy seeing players who were in grade school when was in high school become top players in the ILH. I thought that coaching at Maryknoll would be a great way to give back to the school that has given me so much.
Tell us about one of your favorite memories or highlights from last season.
Some of my favorite memories are watching the kids improve as the season progresses. Being able to teach them new skills and having them put what they learn during practice into use during a tournament. I enjoy creating new challenges for them to complete during practice. I have no doubt that the kids are elated when they win a challenge because they know that I have to carry their golf bag for the hole as promised.
What are you looking forward to next season?
I’m looking forward to moving players from Varsity II to Varsity I. Most of the players have improved significantly since last year and I am hoping they will continue to put in the time and effort during the off-season so that they will be even better than they were this year. The goal is to get all the current Varsity II players into the ILH championships and then on to playing at the Varsity I level.