LC State Golf Coach Lien to Step Down at Season’s End
LEWISTON, Idaho – With her recent appointment as general manager at the Lewiston Golf & Country Club, Kyla Lien will step down as golf coach at Lewis-Clark State College following this season.
Lien is in her third year as both men's and women's golf coach at LC. She will continue at LC State through the national tournaments at the end of the month.
"This is bittersweet for us because Kyla has done such a wonderful job, but we also know it's a wonderful opportunity for her," LC State Athletic Director Brooke Henze said. "We are very thankful for Kyla and the time she has dedicated to LC State and our student-athletes. Our golf programs are doing great. She will be missed and we wish her well."
Henze said the search will begin immediately for Lien's replacement.
"I have really enjoyed my three years at LC," Lien said. "When I first came in the staff and coaches were so welcoming and helpful. I have grown a lot both personally and professionally during my time at LC. I would like to thank Brooke for giving me the opportunity and helping me along the way. Also, a special shout out to all the athletic administration sports information and athletic trainers for being so great to work with. LC truly is a special place, and I will miss being a part of it. But I am excited about my future, and I plan to still give to the program in any way that I can. I look forward to watching the program continue to grow and be successful."
At LC State, Lien has continued to build on a strong program. The Warriors just completed their first year competing in the Cascade Collegiate Conference and the women's team, paced by senior Lauren Hamm, finished second in the conference standings and the conference tournament. The team, which received votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 poll, is hoping to gain an at-large berth to the NAIA national tournament next month. Hamm, by winning the conference tournament title, qualified as an individual for the 26th annual NAIA Women's Golf National Championship on May 25-28 at the Rose Creek Golf Course in Oklahoma City, Okla. Hamm also won the conference's Player of the Year award. Lien was voted the Cascade Women's Golf Coach of the Year by her peers.
Lien and the Warriors faced some tough challenges during the past year. With spring golf being eliminated in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019-20 season was limited to the fall in the Warriors' final year in the Frontier Conference. Both LC State teams were credited with second-place conference finishes, and each also won a fall tournament. The LC State men won the Warrior Fall Invitational with Carlos Davila earning medalist honors, while the women won the Fighting Saints Invitational in Helena, Mont., with Madilyn Brown taking top honors.
Nine Warriors took home All-Frontier Conference honors, including Davila who was named the Frontier Conference Golfer of the Year. He also took home first-team honors, while two men were awarded a second-team distinction. Six women were named all-conference.
In Lien's first year, women's golfer Marissa Louder won the conference tournament and competed in the NAIA National Tournament.
In the fall of 2018, the men's team had two players named to the all-conference team, including Player of the Year in Travis Hansen, and Freshman of the Year in Davila. The fall women's team had four members on the all-conference team, with Alexandra Schmidt named the Freshman of the Year.
Before coming to LC State, Lien was the assistant coach at Rocky Mountain College – a position held since she graduated from the Billings school in 2016. Not only did she coach players on course management and tournament strategy, but she worked with the golfers' fitness, strength, and conditioning.
Lien was highly regarded as a player and student at Rocky Mountain. She graduated with high honors and was a first- and second-team all-conference selection. Additionally, she earned academic all-conference recognition, was a two-time recipient of the NAIA Character Award, was Rocky Mountain's Helen Mathew Award winner, and was on the Dean's List three of four seasons.
She finished as high as third at the NAIA National Tournament and qualified for the event in three seasons. She wrapped up her career with 12 individual tournament titles and two seconds for a total of 15 top-five finishes and 22 top-10 outings. She was a team co-captain as a junior and senior.