Apr 9, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorPat Rafferty has been named the first-ever men's and women's golf coach for the Central Wyoming College Rustlers.
The decision was made Tuesday by the CWC officials.
Rafferty also is the head coach of the CWC men's basketball program.
"I'm excited about it," Rafferty said Wednesday morning. "Golf has been a huge part of my since I was a kid. It's an honor for me to be the first coach here."
The Rustlers start competitive play this fall.
"Hopefully, we can start the groundwork and the culture for a very long and successful program," Rafferty said.
The coach was not surprised when he learned CWC had added the golf program to the Riverton campus.
"I think that it's a home run," Rafferty said. "When you look at the opportunities in the state to have an opportunity to play golf at the college level, it can help grow the game of golf."
Eastern Wyoming College and CWC are the two junior golf programs the state has to offer.
"There are athletes in the state that want to play," Rafferty said. "We will hit the floor running. We will find the right players and the right students. This is important for us to establish the right type of culture that we want here and what our program is going to represent to begin the legacy for the future."
CWC student leadership voted to approve the addition of golf and cross country with financial support. The students supported an additional $1 fee on every credit.
"We are very excited to work with the Riverton Country Club to establish a good working relationship to make sure that we are doing the right things for them," CWC assistant dean for student services/athletic director Steve Barlow said. "I think that it's going to be wonderful for our students, them and for the community as well."
Golf will be a National Junior College Athletic Association sport.
CWC already has women's and men's basketball, women's and men's rodeo and women's volleyball at the campus.
Rafferty has been around golf all his life.
Rafferty played golf at Northwest Community College in Powell.
"We had a little golf team, where we played a couple of tournaments a year," Rafferty said.
He was on the club golf team at Eastern Montana College, where he played basketball.
Rafferty's brother, Jeff Rafferty, is the head golf pro at the Buffalo golf course.
"He was a scholarship athlete at Nebraska," Rafferty said. "It has been in our family. It's a lifelong sport. I just think that it's a terrific thing to help grow the game. It will give kids a chance to play golf and go to school."
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.