PROVO — Coaches across the country vary in how they look and how they coach.
Some wear suits, while others wear sweats and Nikes. Some are calm and positive, while others tend to have a temper and throw around a chair or two. Some tell their players what to do, while others show their players how to improve individually and as a team.
Carrie Roberts, BYU's head women’s golf coach, puts most of her energy into keeping her golf team united. But the team that comes first in her life is not made up of nine women but four people: herself, her husband Cory and their two children.
Cory Roberts said his wife first heard about the open position while they were living in Texas where he was attending law school at the University of Texas. He said the two talked about the job opportunity, and he knew he needed to make the sacrifice for her and move to Provo.
“I told her I can be a lawyer anywhere at any time,” Roberts said, “(but) for her to be at her alma mater and to get to do this is an opportunity too good to pass up.”
After getting the coaching position, Carrie Roberts and her family moved to Lindon, Utah, in July 2010 in time for the fall season.
Before being hired at BYU, Roberts caddied for some pro golfers, played professional golf and was the volunteer women’s team assistant coach for BYU from 2004-05.
Roberts said since she was a little girl golf has been a huge part of her life. Her father, Bruce Summerhays, is a 16-year Champions Tour veteran, who has five professional tournament wins.
“All my brothers golfed,” Roberts said. “Every day we were at the golf course. He (her father) didn’t force me, it’s just what the family did.”
Roberts said her family has supported her in everything she has done. However, she would not be where she is today without the total support of her husband.
This team of two has been united since they met while attending BYU in 2002.
After Roberts graduated from BYU in 2002, she qualified for the LPGA Tour, and she spent two years as a pro golfer with her husband right by her side every swing of the way.
Each said the experience of traveling together on tour was one they will always remember.
“Every week we traveled from spot to spot staying with different families,” Carrie said. “We had to really rely on each other. We were all we had, (and) we definitely got to know each other quickly.”
“I took time off from BYU to caddy for her,” Cory said. “It was a really neat experience to fulfill her dream that way.”
While competing on the LPGA Tour, Carrie qualified for two U.S. Open Championships.
Roberts said the tour was an experience she will never forget, but it was not the career she wanted.
“I love this job (coaching BYU women’s golf),” Roberts said. “I always thought the tour was my dream job, but it’s not. It wasn’t for me.”
Roberts said she hopes to have this position for the next 20 to 30 years.
As much as Roberts loves this coaching job, she and her husband both agree it is not the easiest position to hold, given that she just had a baby four months ago. Since Roberts spends most of her time dealing with the team, her husband spends most of his time at home with their newborn and 4-year-old daughter.
“Being a parent has its easy and hard days,” Cory Roberts said. “It’s going about as well as you can hope as far as me staying here (at home). She oftentimes will work 12 out of 14 days. It’s been very worth it (for her) to get to make a difference like she can.”
Jake Ellison, assistant women’s coach, also believes Roberts has made a good contribution by bringing “a new attitude and kind of a new enthusiasm” to the women’s golf program.
“I think they (the team) work a lot harder,” Ellison said. “I think the girls are wanting to do the things she’s trying to diplomat with them.”
Jade Bollinger, a senior on the golf team, said Coach Roberts brings a lot of good energy to the team.1 comment on this story
“She’s extremely competitive,” Bollinger said, “and even when she was pregnant she was out there swinging drivers with us.”
Roberts used her competitive nature to obtain this new position and is taking it on with a positive attitude and with the help and support of her husband.
“I’ve learned a lot from her,” Cory Roberts said. “One thing I’ve learned is that if there’s something you think you can achieve and that you desire to do that you, don’t stop until you do it. She always seems to embrace (a daunting task) and do her best, and more times than best, she accomplishes what she needs to do.”
Kirsten Bowe is currently attending BYU and is doing freelance writing.