Carrie Leary, who earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors last season, begins her fourth season as UCLA’s head coach.
In 2001-02, the Bruins saved their best golf for the NCAA West Regional tournament by tying for first place and winning the playoff to earn the No.1 seed from the West. Prior to that event, the Bruins had recorded eight Top 10 finishes and placed second at the Pac-10 Championships. In earning their second straight NCAA berth under Leary, the Bruins improved their teamstroke average three shots and have improved eight shots since the end of 1999 season.
Individually, senior Alicia Um and sophomore Gina Umeck earned All-Pac-10 honors, each for the second time in her career. Freshman Yvonne Choe was named Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year after earning all-conference second-team honors. Umeck and teammates Melissa Martin and Kristin Thompson also earned Pac-10 All-Academic Team acclaim.
Finally, 10 different players placed their names on the Director’s Honor Roll for the academic year.
In the 2000-01 season, Leary’s Bruins jelled at the end of the year, qualifying for the NCAA Cham-pionshps after a solid fourth-place finish at the NCAA West Regionals. At the NCAA Championships, the Bruins proved they were contenders by tying for fifth place. The Bruins also won a pair of tournaments — their second straight Hawaii Rainbow Fall Classic and the San Diego State Fall Classic.
Individually, senior Laura Moffat earned Honorable Mention All-America honors by finishing in a tie for sixth place at the NCAA’s. Martin and Umeck each posted impressive top 25 finishes at the national championship tournament. Both players earned All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors.
In her first season, 1999-2000, Leary’s positive attitude and organized work ethic made an immediate impact on the Bruins. UCLA won its first tournament in nearly three years with a six-stroke victory in the Hawaii Rainbow Fall Classic. In their first tournament, the Bruins finished fifth against a national field at the NCAA Fall Preview. That finish propelled them from 20th in the preseason rankings to ninth. By the end of the season UCLA had improved its team stroke average by five shots from the previous year and nearly every returning player had improved her stroke average.
Individually, senior Amanda Moltke-Leth earned first-team All-America and All-Pac-10 honors and finished the season ranked sixth nationally. Junior Laura Moffat earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors and first-team all-conference academic honors. In addition, several players earned mention on the Director’s Honor Roll.
Leary has established a UCLA presence on the recruiting trail. Her first three recruiting classes included the signing of eight quality players, each a veteran of various international, AJGA, state and local tournament circuits.
Leary, 31, served as the head coach at Cal State Northridge from 1996-99, where she was named the 1998-99 Big Sky Coach of the Year. She guided the Matadors to a third place finish in the 1998 Big Sky Conference Championship and placed two players on the all-conference team. In Leary’s three seasons, the Matadors improved their team scoring average by 31 strokes.
Leary entered UCLA as a wolk-on player in 1990 and earned a scholarship after her first season.
As a UCLA freshman, she participated in 11 of 12 tournaments, including lineups that won the Pacific-10 Conference Championships and finished second at the NCAA Championships.
She graduated with honors from UCLA in 1994 with a degree in Psychology, and also served as the Bruins’ student assistant coach during the 1993-94 season.
As an amateur, Leary competed in four U.S. Public Links Championships, and advanced to the quarterfinals in 1991. She also competed in three U.S. Amateur Championships and was an alternate qualifier for the 1992 and 1994 U.S. Women’s Open Championships.
Leary, who is a member of the Ladies Professional Golf Assn., played on several LPGA mini-tours. She competed in the 1995 LPGA Tour Qualifying School.
Leary enjoyed a fine junior career before entering UCLA. She won over 30 events as a member of the Southern California Junior Golf Assn., including a third place individual finish in the 1983 Junior World Championship.
At Canyon High, where she graduated in 1989, Leary lettered four years on the boy’s golf team and earned MVP honors as a senior.
Leary currently resides in Valencia.
LEARY'S UCLA RECORD