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ND Women’s Golf: Holts enjoy sharing profession, marriage

Jack Hefferon | Thursday, September 29, 2011

Being married to your job can be stressful, depressing and ultimately damaging. But being married to someone who has the same job? That can be helpful, comforting and, for Irish coach Susan Holt, a whole lot of fun.

Holt is entering her 22nd year as a women’s golf coach, and her sixth year coaching at Notre Dame. For the past three years she has been joined by her husband Tim Holt, who is currently the men’s and women’s golf coach just across the street at Holy Cross College.

The story of how the two came together to coach at neighboring schools, though, begins well before their time in South Bend.

Susan played golf in college at Ohio State, and landed her first coaching position in 1990, just two years out of school.

“I was head coach at Purdue from 1990-1993, and Tim was a club pro at a town near Lafayette,” Susan said. “We met through a mutual friend, and we ended up getting married in 1993.”

From Purdue, the Holts moved to Florida, where Susan took over the head coaching job at South Florida. Tim continued to work in golf, and took on a couple coaching jobs as well, at Zephyrhills High School, and later at Saint Leo University. While down south, they also started a family, welcoming children Justin and Kristin.

After 13 successful seasons at South Florida, including five conference championships, two NCAA championship appearances and receiving the title “Coach of the Decade” in Conference USA, Susan accepted a job offer from Notre Dame, and the family returned to the Midwest.

“We moved here six years ago,” she said. “I got hired by Notre Dame, and [Tim] started as an instructor locally and worked at [local course] Juday Creek in the summers. He really immersed himself in the golf community here, and he was an obvious candidate when Holy Cross was looking for a head coach.”

Since the two have taken their current coaching jobs, they’ve enjoyed an impressive run. Aided by the assistance they receive from one another, Tim’s Saints have won four tournaments under his command, while Susan’s Irish have won 10 tournaments and two Big East championships. Notre Dame also made their first-ever NCAA championship appearance last season.

“Having each other has been really helpful over the years,” Susan said. “[Tim] played college golf, and he’s in the business of golf, so he’s been able to help me a lot.”

Between the commitments of practices, tournaments and golf’s demanding travel schedule, it can be difficult for the Holts to balance the demands at work and at home. After a few years of practice, though, they’ve managed to find a routine that allows success on the course as well as quality time at home.

“It’s challenging,” Susan said. “We have a daughter who’s 13 and a son who’s 15, so it requires a lot of time management. We keep in touch throughout the day and we make sure that they’re getting picked up and that we’re there when we need to be. It definitely keeps us busy.”

For the Holts, though, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’ve been doing this for 22 years now,” Susan said. “This is what I do and this is what I love, and I think my husband feels the same way. It’s a good fit for us right now, and we’d like to keep this going.”