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Video interviews with head men's coach Joe Jensen and head women's coach Josey Stender about the 2011-12 Wyoming golf season.
2012 Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate at The Classic Club in Palm Desert, Calif.
Josey Stender enters her ninth season at the helm for the University of Wyoming women's golf team in 2013-14. Stender has served as head coach of the Cowgirls and assistant director of Wyoming golf since August of 2005.
The UW program has grown in leaps and bounds on the golf course during Stender's tenure, while also continuing its tradition of achievements in the academic realm. Much of the success comes from Stender's coaching philosophy, which exemplifies her compassion for molding young adults.
"I value the idea that members of our Wyoming golf team have a great college experience on and off the course," she said of her athletes. "I look for well-rounded student-athletes who are willing to work hard to accomplish their goals athletically, while also striving to excel in the classroom for their future."
Stender's list of achievements while directing the Cowgirls include helping the program rewrite the Wyoming record book and garnering multiple team and individual honors. Under her tutelage, the Cowgirls have posted their top six lowest team event scores and team round scores, including setting the best marks in both categories at the 2008 CU/Heather Farr Memorial. In the final round UW shot a 291 (+3), which gave them a score of 891 (+27) for the tournament. The Wyoming women also picked up their first team win in 10 years with a title at the Bronco Fall Invitational in 2008, while posting their first back-to-back, top-three team finishes during the 2011-12 season.
Individually, several members of the UW women's golf team have shined with the help of Stender. Most recently, Juanita Rico set the Cowgirl record for lowest individual season stroke average at 75.5 during 2011-12, as she also became just the second UW woman to earn Mountain West Golfer of the Month accolades. Five of UW's top six golfers in stroke average competed under Stender, while UW's top three lowest individual rounds and top six lowest individual event scores have come with her guidance. Stender also coached Jonelle Martinez, who was one of the most accomplished golfers in Wyoming history. Martinez became the second Cowgirl to win an individual Mountain West Championship by claiming the title in 2009 and was named to the First Team All-Conference squad as well.
In the classroom, the Cowgirls have earned a total of 31 Academic All-Mountain West honors and 12 MW Scholar-Athlete Awards during Stender's tenure. Eight student-athletes have also been named All-American Scholars by the National Golf Coaches Association under Stender.
Stender has also helped broaden the name of Wyoming golf by hosting several big-name tournaments. The program hosted the sixth-annual Wyoming Cowgirl Classic at the Ocotillo Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., during the spring of 2012 and held the first-annual Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate at The Classic Club in Palm Desert, Calif., during the fall of 2011.
Stender came to UW from Boise, Idaho, where she had been the communications director for the Idaho Golf Association. A collegiate golfer at the University of Memphis from 1998-2003, she served as a graduate assistant intern in the fall of 2003. Formerly Josey Edwards, she married Jeff Stender on Aug. 20, 2005. Josey and Jeff, an assistant principal at Laramie Junior High, have a son named Griffin, born in July 2008, and twins Jovee and Porter, born in March 2010.
The Wyoming's men's and women's golf programs were restructured in 2005, as Joe Jensen was elevated from his position of head men's coach and was named director of both the UW men's and women's programs. Jensen remains the Cowboy head coach and oversees all aspects of Wyoming's golf teams, while Stender primarily works with the UW women's squad but also serves as the assistant director under Jensen. As the assistant director, Stender is involved in multiple aspects of Wyoming golf, including outreach, recruiting, practice, putting together the home events hosted by both teams and scheduling with both squads.
"She's always striving to get better," Jensen said. "We're trying to compete on a national level. I think that's our expectation and she's on board with that. She just does an amazing job.
"It's how she connects with the players and her honesty. It's her coaching style. She doesn't say too much, but she says enough. Our players are very fortunate. She just has a great way of adapting to the players and the players trust her."
Stender earned her bachelor's degree in education, with an emphasis on sports and leisure studies/sports management from Memphis in 2001, and then earned her Master's of Science in sports and leisure commerce from Memphis in 2004. An accomplished student, she received numerous academic honors during her playing career, including being named to the National Golf Coaches Association All-Scholar Athlete team three times; 1999-2000, 2001-02 and 2002-03.
Stender, originally is from Idaho, and there, had a successful amateur golf career.
She won three state high school titles and earned the 1999 Idaho Women's Amateur Championship, as well as being named the Rocky Mountain PGA Female Amateur Golfer of the Year that same year. She was a member of the USGA Idaho State Team in 2003, and was a participant at the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship in 2004. Stender was runner-up in the 2001 Pacific Northwest Golf Association Women's Amateur Championship.
She currently is an apprentice for the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division.