PELLA — Earlham College (Ind.) assistant Tabitha Kunst is the new coach for Central College’s tradition-rich women’s golf program.
Kunst replaces Tim Wilkinson, who served as coach for 10 seasons. Wilkinson is leaving in August to join his family in northern Minnesota.
A 2016 Minnesota State University-Mankato graduate, Kunst spent three seasons there as a graduate assistant women’s golf coach, receiving a master’s degree in sport and exercise psychology in 2019. She was assistant men’s and women’s golf coach the past year at Earlham, an NCAA Division III school in Richmond, Indiana.
A Duluth, Minnesota native and private instructor at courses in Duluth and Mankato, Kunst has also helped organize junior tournaments throughout the state and in 2018 was appointed to the Minnesota Golf Association board of directors.
As a player at NCAA Division II Minnesota State-Mankato, Kunst was a three-time All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference performer, receiving first-team honors in 2015. She won three individual tournament titles and posted 18 top-10 finishes.
“We really expect that Tabitha will grow the program and build on Central’s championship legacy,” athletics director Eric Van Kley said. “She brings collegiate experience as a recruiter, an instructor and a player, along with a lot of enthusiasm for the game and for the student-athletes she coaches. We think she’s a great fit.”
Central has 10 conference women’s golf titles, including championships in 2016 and 2018, with a pair of NCAA tournament appearances as well. Sarah Paulson was national individual tournament runner-up for the Dutch in 2012.
Dutch golfers benefit from an indoor hitting facility in newly renovated P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium as well as the outdoor Ryerson Practice Facility which includes a driving range and practice greens. Just two miles from campus is Central’s home course, the rugged par-72 Bos Landen Golf Club.
“I’m excited about coming to a place where there’s a championship culture,” Kunst said. “Central College is a place that values athletics and has the resources and facilities to be successful.”
Kunst begins her duties in early July. The Dutch open the 2020 campaign with the Sept. 5-6 Luther Norse Classic at Fox Ridge Golf Course in Dike, Iowa.