Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina Director of Athletics Randy Eaton today announced the hiring of Courtney Gunter as the head coach of the Catamount women's golf team. A former women's golf student-athlete at the University of North Carolina, Gunter has served as an assistant coach at both East Carolina and most recently at Coastal Carolina prior to making the move to Cullowhee.
Gunter is just the seventh different head coach for the Catamount women's golf program all-time, replacing former coach Sara Anne McGetrick.
"We look forward to Coach Gunter joining the Catamount family as our next head women's golf coach," said Stacey Miller, WCU's Senior Woman Administrator and chair of the search committee. "Courtney's coaching experience and golf connections in the southeastern United States region are a great fit for leading the Catamounts to success."
Miller added, "Courtney is passionate about creating a positive student-athlete experience for her teams. I have no doubt that she will push the student-athletes in our women's golf program to be successful both on the golf course and academically in their time in Cullowhee."
In two seasons on staff under head coach Katie Quinney, who was the 2018 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year, Gunter helped lead the Chanticleers to their first-ever Sun Belt Conference title in the program's second year in the league. Four of the Chants were named to the All-Sun Belt team including three first-team selections, and senior Malene Krolboll Hansen was named the Sun Belt's Golfer of the Year for the second-consecutive season.
Prior to making the move to Coastal, Gunter was an assistant coach at East Carolina for three years while earning her masters in sport management. She helped the Pirates women's golf team to three NCAA Regional berths in consecutive seasons (2014, 2015 and 2016).
"I am thrilled to be joining the Catamount family and taking over the women's golf program," said Gunter. "I'm extremely grateful to Stacey Miller, Larry Arbaugh, and Randy Eaton for this incredible opportunity. The family atmosphere felt throughout the entire athletic department was one of the things that made this decision so easy for me. I see great potential in this program and cannot wait to get the season started."
Gunter was a four-year member (2009-2013) of the North Carolina team and helped the Tar Heels to four consecutive NCAA Regionals and two NCAA Championship appearances. As a junior (2011-12), Gunter was a part of a Tar Heel squad that finished second at the ACC Championships and 10th nationally at the NCAA Championship in Franklin, Tenn.
In her sophomore season, North Carolina won the ACC Championship and finished tied for eighth nationally at the NCAA Championship. She averaged a career-low 75.44 over 18 rounds in her second year as a collegian, guiding UNC to a team title at the Cougar Classic where she finished tied for sixth overall at 3-under par 215. She played in 11 tournaments as a freshman in 2009, posting a 76.03 stroke average over 31 rounds. Gunter recorded three Top 20 finishes in her first season at North Carolina, adding a sixth-place showing at the Tri-Match at Ironwood Country Club and placing in a tie for 16th at the ACC Championship.
In all, Gunter was a member of a North Carolina team that won five team titles, recorded 20 Top Five finishes, appeared in four NCAA Regionals and a pair of NCAA Championships during her four-year career.
Off the course, Gunter was 2010 National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-American, a 2010 All-ACC Women's Golf Team selection and a two-time All-ACC Honor Roll member (2010, 2012).
A native of Matthews, N.C., and a graduate of Porter Ridge High, Gunter was a four-time all-conference selection including a three-time Player of the Year as a prep as a part of winning four-consecutive conference championships and three North Carolina state championships. As an amateur golfer, she won the 2011 Carolinas' Amateur and was named the 2008 Carolina's Golf Association Female Golfer of the Year.
Gunter earned her bachelor's degree in psychology and exercise sports science from UNC-Chapel Hill in May of 2013.
What They're Saying About Courtney Gunter:
"I am very excited for Courtney and the Western Carolina golf program. Courtney was an integral part of our golf team throughout her four years at UNC. Since her graduation, she has had the opportunity to learn from two great coaches. Courtney is well prepared to step into the role of head coach at Western Carolina. She will do an excellent job!"
- Jan Mann, head women's golf coach at the University of North Carolina
"Courtney has been a tremendous asset to our program at Coastal. She was a fantastic role model for our student-athletes and has been instrumental in the development of each individual player. Western Carolina is lucky to have such a strong leader with an impressive playing background and success as a coach so early in her career."
- Katie Quinney, head women's golf coach at Coastal Carolina University
"Very happy for Courtney as she gets the opportunity to lead her own program. She will be a great fit for the Catamounts and will make a huge impact on the program. She is a wonderful recruiter with a great eye for talent. She is extremely organized which will be a big benefit for the young women in the program. This was a home run hire in my opinion for WCU Athletics."
- Kevin Williams, head women's golf coach at East Carolina University