MATT THURMOND | ASU MEN'S GOLF HEAD 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 | ASU MEN'S GOLF ASSOCIATE HEAD 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 Scottsdale with his wife and daughter.
DEBBIE CREW, Ph.D. | ASU WOMEN'S GOLF MENTAL COACH
Debbie Crews Ketterling Ph.D. is the Founder and Director of Opti Brain. Based on 30+ years of research, Dr. Crews has created systems designed to improve performance in a variety of arenas. Specific to the Opti Brain/OptiTrain apps, she has collected a large portion of research data from golfers, archers, and shooters as well as the special needs population (ADHD, Autism) and has expanded her work to include basketball, baseball, education and military, although focuses her work in the sport of Golf.
Recognized by many as top in her field, she has received awards including but not limited to: 2012 LPGA Central Section Professional of the Year, 2011 Ellen Griffin Excellence in Teaching Award, 2012 Golf Digest Top Teachers in Arizona and is a sought-after speaker within the Sports Psychology community.
Debbie is a wife, sister, mother and grandmother who loves kids, animals, research, and research-based technology. She feels truly blessed that her life’s work has the opportunity to provide such positive impacts to educate children, improve athletic performance, and benefit adults in all walks of life.
MATT TRIMBLE | ASU WOMEN'S GOLF VOLUNTEER ASSISTANT COACH
Classified as A-6 with the PGA of America, Matt is a full-time golf instructor at Papago Golf Course.
While teaching golf to the public at the ASU Karsten course from 1992 - 2018, Matt worked on cooperative efforts with the ASU men's and women's golf programs. In addition to teaching past and current players, Matt has also filled in as a coach for the programs when in need. He is the current volunteer coach for the women's program under Missy Farr-Kaye. Matt is the only volunteer assistant coach to have coached at the NCAA tournament for both the men’s and the women’s programs.
Prior to working at ASU, Matt was employed at Desert Highlands Golf Club in Scottsdale where he worked for 7 years under head pro’s Duff Lawrence and John Miller.
Matt has been married for 28 years and has two children, residing in Phoenix, AZ.
MICHELLE ESTILL | ASU WOMEN'S GOLF ASSISTANT COACH
Michelle Estill returned to her alma mater in November 2016, joining former teammate Missy Farr-Kaye’s staff as assistant coach of the Sun Devil women’s golf team. Estill was a key part of the team's run to the 2017 NCAA National Championships, the program's nation-leading eighth all-time.
Farr-Kaye and Estill’s history runs deep as they were teammates under legendary head coach Linda Vollstedt. The NCAA Championship runner-up in 1986, Estill graduated from Arizona State with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management in 1989 and was an Academic All-American on the women’s golf team.
After ASU, Estill was the 1991 LPGA Rolex Rookie of the Year and had four top-20 finishes the following year. She’s made many contributions to the association and to the game, as a playing member from 1991-2006, as well as serving on the LPGA Board of Directors and Executive Committee (1996-98) and as President (1998). In 1994, she received the Budget Service Award for the LPGA Urban Youth Pen Pal Program.
Since 2006, following her professional playing day, Estill has worked in multiple areas of PING, Inc., most recently as a Field Sales Representative and was named 2013 IOWA PGA Section Sales Rep of the Year.
Estill also was one of the founding members of Trilogy Athletes, now Viktre Athletes, a social platform for retired and current Olympic and professional athletes.
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 brings to the Sun Devil women’s golf team
Estill resides in Mesa, Arizona with her mom and fur baby, Karsty.
MISSY FARR-KAYE | ASU WOMEN'S GOLF HEAD COACH
Missy Farr-Kaye completed a trifecta in 2017, winning her third NCAA national championship as a Sun Devil: first as a player (1990), then as an assistant coach (2009), and now as a head coach (2017). Behind First Team All-Americans Linnea Strom and Monica Vaughn (also the individual medalist, sixth in Sun Devil history) and Honorable Mention All-American Olivia Mehaffey, Farr-Kaye led ASU to a nation-leading eighth NCAA championship in 2017.
In March 2018, Farr-Kaye earned the ASU Alumni Achievement award at ASU's annual Founders' Day event. For the team's performance in 2016-17, Farr-Kaye was named Golf Pride Grips WGCA National Coach of the Year, Golfweek National Coach of the Year, West Region Coach of the Year, and Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
In the past 15 years since Farr-Kaye joined the program as a coach, the Sun Devils have accomplished the following: NCAA Team Championship in 2009 and 2017, Two Pac-10 Titles, NCAA Individual Champion in 2008 (Azahara Munoz) and 2017 (Monica Vaughn), 30 Tournament Team Titles, 16 Golfers named to a total of 20 All-American teams, 45 All-Conference honorees, including 24 First Teamers, Four Pac-12 Golfers of the Year, 44 WGCA/NGCA Academic All-Americans, and Three NGCA/WGCA Freshmen of the Year
“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.
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.
Farr-Kaye graduated from Arizona State in 1990 with a degree in Organizational Communications. A 1985 graduate of Xavier High School in Phoenix, Farr-Kaye resides in Arcadia with her three children, Dalton, Riley, and Cameron.
SPENCER TATUM | ASU MEN'S AND WOMEN'S FITNESS AND HEALTH TRAINER
Word from the Founder:
I have been on a life long journey to understand the human body, movement, fitness, and sport performance. I have been honored to work with some of the best and learn from high performers to de-conditioned populations to our youth athletes. In this discovery, my purpose to create THP became very clear.
The purpose was to connect the dots between health, fitness and performance by delivering a systemic process based on principles that never stops processing your growth. THP System can work for any individual on any level and delivered in any environment.
Now, I want to share my purpose, unique experiences and inventive vision of the THP Team with you. We are excited about the opportunity to work with you and ignite your passion for life and sport.
Recently named to the 50-best golf-fitness trainers in America, according to Golf Digest