Patti Rizzo Named Hurricanes' Women's Golf Coach

April 30, 2010

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (hurricanesports.com) – Patti Rizzo, a collegiate All-American at the University of Miami and a 20-year veteran on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour, has been named the head women’s golf coach at the University of Miami, as announced by Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt on Wednesday.

Rizzo spent five seasons as the head coach of the Barry University women’s golf program, where she coached the Bucs to four consecutive NCAA DII Regional appearances and two national tournament appearances. Barry has finished ranked in the Top 10 nationally the last five seasons - sixth nationally in 2009, fourth nationally in 2008, seventh nationally in 2007 and eighth nationally in 2006. So far in 2009-10, Rizzo has guided the Bucs to a No. 6 national ranking according to Golfstat.com and the Golf World/NGCA Division II Coaches’ Poll. The Bucs finished fourth at the SSC Championship to advance to the NCAA DII Super Regional, where they received the fifth seed.

Rizzo brings outstanding amateur, collegiate and professional experience to the position. Her amateur career was highlighted by a near win at the 1981 Florida Lady Citrus in Orlando, where she almost became the first amateur since JoAnne Carner (1969) to win an LPGA event. She finished regulation play in a five-way tie for first-place. Rizzo won the World Amateur, Trans-National, Eastern Amateur and Mexican Amateur in 1980 and the North & South Amateur Championship, the South Atlantic Amateur Golf Championship and the Harder Hall Invitational in 1981.

She also claimed medalist honors at the 1981 U.S. Women’s Amateur, as well as at the 1980 and 1981 AIAW National Championships. A 1981 collegiate All-American at the University of Miami, she was Golf Digest’s top-ranked amateur in the country in 1980 and Golf Magazine’s top-ranked collegiate player in 1981.

In 1982, she joined the LPGA full-time and was named the circuit’s Rookie-of-the-Year, with five Top 10 finishes, including fourth-place at the Arizona Copper Classic. In 1983, she won her first LPGA tournament at the Boston Five Classic and posted six additional top-10 finishes. Rizzo played on the tour regularly for 10 years, posting four tournament wins: the 1983 Boston Five Classic, the 1985 LPGA Corning Classic, the 1988 Sara Lee Classic and the 1989 Red Robin Kyocera Inamori Classic. She still holds her LPGA Tour card, but after a brief two-year retirement, she returned to play part-time on the LPGA and Legends Tours during summer of 2006.

Rizzo took over the Barry program during the 2004-05 season. Rizzo’s second season in 2006 saw great improvement in the Bucs program as she guided the team to their fourth NCAA regional appearance. In 2006-07, Rizzo guided a young Buccaneer program to their first winning tournament season. In 2007-08, Rizzo led the Buccaneer squad to their second consecutive winning season with a 77-24-1 overall record. In 2008-09, the Bucs had four top five finishes. The team earned a fifth place finish at the SSC Championship, advancing them to the NCAA DII Super Regional. Rizzo has two children, Severiano and Gabriela.