Shannon Sykora named FGCU Women’s Golf Head Coach

FORT MYERS, Florida. – After a very successful 10-year tenure at Barry University, Shannon Sykora has been named head coach of the FGCU women‘s golf program, as announced by the athletic director Ken Kavanagh. Sykora becomes the Eagles’ fifth head coach since the program began in 2001.

“We are thrilled to have Shannon, his wife Shay and their daughter Peyton join our Eagles Athletics family,” Kavanagh said. “He brings significant overall success experience on and off the course, and we believe those experiences are a perfect fit for FGCU women’s golf at this stage. We now look forward to Coach Sykora joining and working with our current ladies and future team members building on many positive elements of the program in our pursuit of the ASUN Championship and NCAA Tournament.”

During his career with Barry, the Buccaneers won the NCAA Division II national title in 2017, while finishing second in 2014 and placing third in 2013 and 2022. Sykora led Barry to 28 tournament wins during his decade as a head coach, including four Division I tournament victories. He has produced five WGCA All-America First-Team selections, nine WGCA Scholar All-Americans, an Honorable Mention All-American, the 2013 NCAA Division II Individual National Champion, and the only D-II player to compete in the first Augusta Women’s Amateur. .

“I would like to thank Ken Kavanagh for giving me this opportunity and everyone at Florida Gulf Coast University for being so welcoming,” Sykora said. “My family and I are delighted to join Green and Blue! I would also like to thank Barry University, the Miami community and all the young women who have played for me. Also, special thanks to Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Stobs for being a mentor and a friend.”

Sykora began his coaching career as an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s programs at Barry in August 2010. Both teams have won nine tournaments, played in three NCAA national championships (2 men, 1 woman), have produced four All-America winners. , and had three GCAA Scholar All-Americans.

He was named interim head coach of the women’s program in June 2012 and took over as head coach in March 2013. Prior to joining the Buccaneers, Sykora had over 11 years of professional and educational experience, including four years of private education.

Last spring, Barry won the Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championship for the second time in program history for an automatic NCAA Tournament berth. After winning the NCAA South Regional, Sykora and the Buccaneers advanced in stroke play to the NCAA Championships and picked up a victory over Lynn in match play before falling to Findlay for third overall.

Sykora led the Bucs to one of their best seasons in 2018-19. Barry, who held the No. 1 spot in the GolfStat and WGCA national rankings for most of the year, set a single-season school high score at 297.13 (8.74 UA). The Bucs have won five of 11 tournaments, tying the 2016-17 mark, leading to a 91.6 finishing percentage, also the school’s best mark. Tilda Larsson was a WGCA first-team All-American and Josefina Foa Torres earned an honorable mention. Barry posted an outstanding 170-6 record, never finishing below third place in any event.

Barry finished fifth in the country in 2017-18. The Buccaneers won their second straight NCAA South Region title, securing a berth in their fourth NCAA Championship event under Sykora. Barry won four tournaments during the season. Larsson won four tournaments, a school season record, and shared the lead after regulation in another, en route to being acclaimed as WGCA Division II Player of the Year. She, Foa Torres and Noemie Paré each earned All-America honors.

During the 2016–17 national championship season, the Buccaneers won a school record five tournaments, including the South Regional with Sykora being named South Region and Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year. Charlotte Puts was named WGCA Rookie of the Year. Puts and Larsson were first-team All-Americans, and Paré was an honorable mention All-American. As a result of the campaign, Sykora was named National Coach of the Year by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association.

Barry qualified for his fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament in 2014-15 under Sykora before finishing sixth at the NCAA South Regional. Barry also won the SSC championship for the first time in school history that spring.

In 2013-14, Sykora guided Barry to an NCAA Championship runner-up. It was the third consecutive trip to the NCAA championship under his management. Barry won four tournaments during the season. The Bucs set a school record for the low round (289) in the second round of the NCAA Championships. Ferre was named to the second-team All-American. Sykora’s team went 116-22-2.

In 2012-13, Sykora led the Buccaneers to a third-place finish in the National Championship in his first year as head coach. Sophomore Nancy Vergara won the individual national title, clocking a 3 of 291 at Daytona Beach. It was the first time in school history that the Bucs qualified for back-to-back national championships. Vergara became Barry’s first individual national champion in any sport.

In 2011-12, Sykora helped the women’s team earn a fourth-place finish in the NCAA Championship at Louisville. It was only the second time in women’s golf program history that the Bucs had qualified for the NCAA championship. Barry also won three events during the season. He also served as a men’s assistant coach in 2011-12, helping Barry finish tied for fifth in the NCAA championship. The Bucs won three tournaments during the season, finished runners-up five times, and held No. 1 nationally for most of the year.

Prior to joining Barry’s coaching staff, Sykora served as the first professional golf assistant at Teton Pines Country Club in Jackson, Wyo. At Teton Pines he was the lead junior instructor. He also served as the head professional at Pine Island Ridge Country Club in Davie, Florida in 2007. Sykora was responsible for overseeing all aspects of golf operations and directing an active teaching program at the club. .

In addition to her professional experience, Sykora played professionally for 12 years, including two PGA Tour events. From 1995, his extended stops include the Tour, European Tour, Challenge Tour, New England Tour, North Atlantic Tour and Tour De Las Americas. In 1998, Sykora made the cut at the BC Open in one of her two PGA Tour events. He also participated in the tournament the previous year. In total, he has 20 victories worldwide and has participated in hundreds of professional events.

Sykora has won 11 events on the North Atlantic Tour, was the 1998 NAT Player of the Year, and was the top money earner on the tour. During this season, he won eight tournaments including six on the North Atlantic Tour.

In 2000, he finished 12th twice on the Tour, including the Steamtown Classic in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the Cleveland Open. That same year, Sykora was a runner-up at the Peru Open in Lima, Peru on the Tour de las Americas, which now operates as the Latin America PGA Tour. He earned his second runner-up in 2000 at the Brazil Open in Sao Paolo, Brazil. In 2001, he won the New Hampshire State Open Championship. That same year, he was the Massachusetts Open runner-up.

From 2004 to 2007, he participated in the Challenge Tour and the New England Tour. In 2004 Sykora finished fourth on the New England Tour money winners list.

In 2008, while working at Teton Pines, Sykora won the PGA Rocky Mountain Section Championship in Cody, Wyo. His victory qualified him for the PGA Assistants National Championships.

Sykora graduated in 1994 from the University of Tulsa with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He and his wife, Shannon, are the proud parents of their daughter Peyton.

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