COACHES / INSTRUCTORS

MATT THURMOND  |  HEAD MEN'S COACH

Head coach Matt Thurmond was hired to lead the men's golf program on July 25, 2016, by Arizona State University Athletic Director Ray Anderson. In his first three seasons, Thurmond led ASU to ten team titles, earned 2019 Pac-12 Coach of the Year and hired the nation's top Assistant Coach.

In his first season, he guided a young Sun Devil squad to the NCAA Championships, as ASU was the only team to have three freshmen in the lineup. Since Thurmond’s hire, the team has advanced to the NCAA Championships every year.

Thurmond, who spent the previous 15 seasons at Washington, created a perennial national championship contending program for the Huskies. With 12 total NCAA Championship appearances, Thurmond’s teams averaged a ninth-place national finish, including seven top-10 finishes. The 2009 Golfweek National Coach of the Year and two-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year (’05, ’09), Thurmond coached Washington to three conference titles in 2005, 2009, and 2010.

He also knows how to hire. Currently four former assistant coaches are leading Division I men's golf programs: Jon Reehoorn (Oregon State), Garrett Clegg (Utah), Dan Potter (Boise State) and Michael Wilson (Long Beach State).

An impressive recruiter, Thurmond has coached three No. 1- ranked world amateurs. In 2010, the NCAA Championship runner-up Nick Taylor won the McCormack Award and the Ben Hogan Award, as did Chris Williams in 2012. CT Pan, the top-ranked amateur in 2013, also finished as the NCAA Championship runner-up in 2015. Thurmond coached James Lepp to the 2005 Individual National Championship, the first Husky to win the NCAA title. While at Washington, Thurmond coached 25 All-Americans including eight first-team honors.

Thurmond began his coaching career at Washington as an assistant coach to OD Vincent and Mary Lou Mulflur in 2000, before taking over the men’s golf program at the age of 26 in 2001. Prior to UW, Thurmond served one season as an assistant coach for BYU.

He leads an Arizona State program that has won 12 Pac-12 titles since joining the Pac-10 Conference in 1978-79, the most of any program in that time. ASU won national titles in 1990 and 1996 under head coaches Steve Loy and Randy Lein, respectively. Individually, nine Sun Devil golfers have won 11 Pac-12 individual titles, and four players have won six NCAA individual titles. Recently, Jon Rahm, who graduated in the spring of 2016, became the first two-time winner of the Ben Hogan Award.

Thurmond graduated from BYU where he was a four-year letter winner for the Cougar golf program (1993-99) and was named Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in 1994. Thurmond is joined at Arizona State by wife Kathryn and their three daughters.

 

ARMEN KIRAKOSSIAN  |  ASSISTANT MEN'S COACH

Armen Kirakossian joined Matt Thurmond’s staff as assistant coach on August 1, 2017. After two short years, Kirakossian was promoted to Associate Head Coach.

Since Kirakossian’s arrival, the Arizona State men’s golf program has seen eight team wins. These wins include the 2017 Maui Jim Intercollegiate, the 2018 Bandon Dunes Intercollegiate, the 2018 ASU Thunderbird Invitational, the 2019 John Burns Intercollegiate, the 2019 Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic, the 2019 National Invitational, the 2019 ASU Thunderbird Collegiate, and the 2019 Maui Jim Invitational.

During ASU's 2018-19 season with Kirakossian, there were six individual wins, a PING First-Team All-American (only 10 players receive this award every year) and six second-place individual finishes. Cameron Sisk earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, while Matt Thurmond earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year. The Sun Devils won three straight tournaments with a different Sun Devil winning each event in March and April.

Last year, Kirakossian was recipient of the 2019 Jan Strickland Outstanding Assistant Coach Award presented by TaylorMade Golf Company as selected by the Golf Coaches of America Association. The Strickland Award is presented to the NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA or NJCAA assistant coach that, among other things, has excelled in working with their student-athletes both on the course and in the classroom.

In addition to Associate Head Coach promotion, Jan Strickland Outstanding Assistant Coach of the year, Kirakossian was also named the United States Assistant Coach at the 2020 Arnold Palmer Cup at Lahinch Golf Club in Lahinch, Ireland, played between July 3-5.

Kirakossian joined ASU from Pepperdine where he served as assistant coach for two years. During his tenure, he helped the Waves to their best finish at the NCAA Championships (13th) and their best end-of-season ranking (20th) since 2004.

Prior to his stint at Pepperdine Kirakossian was the head coach at his alma mater, Texas Pan American (UTPA), where he led the Broncos to three top-five finishes in 2014-15. One of his golfers won the Western Athletic Conference's individual crown and advanced to an NCAA Regional, becoming the school's first student-athlete to participate in the NCAAs since 1978.

Kirakossian, who was a volunteer assistant in 2012-13 before being hired in August 2014, earned his degree in business administration from UTPA in 2010. Kirakossian is now part of the Sun Devil family and lives in Tempe with his wife and daughter.

 

MISSY FARR-KAYE  |  HEAD WOMEN'S COACH

Missy Farr-Kaye was named the 10th head coach of the seven-time NCAA Champion Arizona State women’s golf team on June 26th, 2015. Farr-Kaye, arguably one of the most respected coaches in the country, spent the past 13 seasons as an assistant coach and then associate head coach of the Sun Devil women’s golf program with Melissa Luellen. Under the partnership of Farr-Kaye and Luellen, ASU won the school’s seventh NCAA Title in 2009, golfer Azahara Munoz took home an individual NCAA title in 2008, and the duo coached 14 student-athletes to a total of 24 All-American teams, and saw three players win Pac-12 Golfer of the Year.

OVER THE PAST 13 SEASONS, THE SUN DEVILS ACCOMPLISHED THE FOLLOWING:
→ NCAA Team Championship in 2009
→ Two Pac-10 Titles
→ NCAA Individual Champion in 2008 (Azahara Munoz)
→ 24 Tournament Team Titles
→ 14 Golfers named to a total of 25 All-American teams
→ Three Pac-12 Golfers of the Year
→ Three NGCA Freshmen of the Year
→ 21 Individual Tournament Medalists
→ 12-straight NCAA Postseason Appearances

“This is my dream job in every sense of the word,” said Farr-Kaye. “I grew up playing junior golf at Papago Golf Course. I graduated from Arizona State and won a NCAA Title under Linda Vollstedt. To become the head women’s golf coach of my alma mater is the pinnacle of my career and I have a personal, vested interest in the success of our program. Our goal is to continue to bring home the national title, year in, year out. Arizona State has championship expectations and I intend to deliver.”

Also committed to the academic success of ASU’s student-athletes, Farr-Kaye’s golfers have won the prestigious Edith Cummings Munson Award – the award for the top female golfer who is both an All-American and Academic All-American – with Azahara Munoz named the first two-time award winner in 2008-09. In addition to recording the top grade-point average of 3.65 within Sun Devil Athletics in 2015, women’s golf also leads the conference with four ASU golfers named Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year – most recently awarded to Sun Devil All-American Noemi Jimenez in 2015.

During the 2008-09 season, Farr-Kaye, a two-time breast cancer survivor, battled a reoccurrence of breast cancer only to make it to the NCAA Championships and help ASU bring home its seventh NCAA Title. For her courage and strength, the Women’s Golf Coach Association awarded Farr-Kaye with the Kim Moore Spirit Award, the first and only coach to receive the honor typically reserved for student-athletes.

An accomplished golfer in her own right, Farr-Kaye was a member of the Sun Devil golf team under Hall of Fame head coach Linda Vollstedt and helped Arizona State bring home its first of seven NCAA Titles as a senior in 1990. Farr-Kaye graduated from Arizona State in 1990 with a degree in Organizational Communications.

Farr-Kaye, a Phoenix native, joined sister Heather Farr in the decision to attend school and play golf at Arizona State. Heather, a member of the Arizona Hall of Fame and the Sun Devil Hall of Fame, competed successfully as an LPGA golfer until she was diagnosed with and ultimately passed away from breast cancer at the age of 28. Farr-Kaye is an outspoken advocate for breast cancer awareness.

A 1985 graduate of Xavier High School in Phoenix, Farr-Kaye resides in Arcadia with her three children, Dalton, Riley, and Cameron.

 

MICHELLE ESTILL  |  ASSISTANT WOMEN'S COACH

Michelle Estill joined the program in the summer of 2016,  joining her college teammate Missy Farr-Kaye as both played under Linda Vollstedt. She was the 1986 NCAA Championship runner up and earned a B.S. in Business Management in 1989 and was an Academic All-American. She was the 1991 LPGA Rolex Rookie of the Year. Her over 25 years of experience on and off the course in playing, coaching, sales, fundraising, and mentoring gives Estill a unique perspective on the game that she will bring to the Sun Devil women's golf team.

 

MATT TRIMBLE  |  PGA GOLF INSTRUCTOR

A Class "A" member of the PGA, Matt Trimble brings many years of instruction experience to his students. Matt has served as a full-time golf instructor at the ASU Karsten Golf Course since 1992.  He also works as the Volunteer Assistant Coach for Arizona State University's nationally ranked golf programs. As a consultant to Titleist, Matt worked on the development of the 1994-95 club fitting program and design. Prior to joining the ASU Karsten team, Matt spent 7 years at Desert Highlands Golf Club in Scottsdale, the private Nicklaus designed course most recognized as the originator of the popular "Skins Game." Matt's students include standout high school golfers, mini-tour players as well as local scratch amateurs. However, beginners comprise a significant portion of his student base, as do women golfers. Knowledge, clarity of communication, patience and success rate are the key reasons to invest your efforts with Matt Trimble.

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY: Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals... Let me show you what good players do. Let me show what you are doing via video playback. Then, lets develop a practice routine to help you quickly transition to a more productive set of mechanics. I want my students to know what to practice and how to practice. But most importantly, I want my students to understand WHY good players do what they do. After a lesson with me, you will understand how the practice will improve your game.