Story Courtesy of Wittenberg Sports Information Department
Wittenberg Athletics has announced the hiring of Michael Leotta as the Tigers' next men's and women's head golf coach. Leotta comes to the Tigers after NCAA stops at Fresno State and the University of Illinois-Springfield, while the PGA-certified professional comes to Springfield with 15 years of experience in player development and golf operations.
Leotta's PGA background includes membership since 2009, specialty certification in Golf Operations (2010) and Player Development (2013), NCAA Coaches Recruiting Certification (2016) and Gateway Section PGA Assistant Professional of the Year Runner-Up (2012, 2013, 2015).
From 2005 to 2016, Leotta served as an assistant golf professional at Illini Country Club in Springfield, Illinois. Leotta worked with the US Senior Amateur Champions, and acquired ten years of teaching players of all levels and backgrounds.
"We are thrilled to have Michael join us. Michael brings a great mix of collegiate coaching experience coupled with a highly regarding professional teaching experience. We feel very confident that Michael has the passion, energy, and teaching background to keep Wittenberg golf competing at a high level now and into the future and are very much looking forward to seeing what Michael can do with the program," said Director of Athletics Dr. Gary Williams.
While at UIS, Leotta saw nine individuals win tournaments, and the men's program advanced to the 2016 Midwest Super Regional. Under Leotta's guidance as an assistance, UIS advanced to their first ever trip to the NCAA Division II National Championships. Leotta also guided the UIS women's program to the best season scoring average in program history in 2015-16 and the program's first ever NCAA postseason berth.
"I am so honored and excited to be a part of the Wittenberg community. I am looking forward to building upon the tradition of excellence that is in place for both programs. I want to thank President Frandsen, Dr. Gary Williams, and all the members of the search committee for their time and effort during the process. Tiger Up!" said Coach Leotta.
Leotta brings Division I experience to the Tigers after a year with the Fresno State Bulldogs. While in Fresno, Leotta helped guide the women's program key victories against #25 California and #26 San Diego-State. Leotta also mentored one Bulldog to a NCAA Regional At-Large Berth.
Outside of his coaching experience and PGA certifications, Leotta currently sits as the Chairman of the Gateway PGA Assistants Committee, and serves as a Titleist Golf Staff member and Certified club fitter.