Second year at UCF
Teaching from experience is something second-year UCF women's golf coach Emilee Klein certainly has done in her short time with the Golden Knights. She has been to the pinnacle of golf on the collegiate and professional levels and has big plans for the UCF program.
Just weeks after announcing her retirement from a successful 11-year LPGA Tour career in the fall of 2005, Klein was appointed head coach at UCF. Since that time, the two-time college All-American has energetically pursued success in her new role, just as she did while she was competing at golf's highest level.
"I'm just as driven now as when I was playing on tour," said Klein. "I've channeled my energies in a new direction, though. I'm excited about the opportunity to help others learn and grow both on and off the golf course."
At UCF, Klein has begun rebuilding a program that has created a lot of memories. Her recruiting efforts and success during her first season confirm that the women's team already is on an eventful path back to the postseason.
Klein took over the team in 2005-06 with one event remaining on the fall schedule and made an immediate impact. The confidence the team displayed in its new leader translated into a runner-up finish in the Stetson Invitational, the highest team finish at UCF in better than three years. After another second-place showing, this time at the USF/Waterlefe Invitational, the Golden Knights finished tied for third in their first-ever appearance in the Conference USA Championships.
Klein began her professional career after spending two years at Arizona State. She made it through LPGA qualifying on her first attempt and spent 11 years on tour, never finishing outside the top 75 on the money list. She earned more than $3 million in prize money.
She won three times on tour, claiming top honors at the 1996 Ping Welch's Championship in Boston and the 1996 Weetabix Women's British Open. Her third LPGA Tour title came in 2001 at the Michelob Light Classic.
In 2002, she earned a spot on the United States' Solheim Cup team and posted an impressive 3-1-0 record in matches for the victorious American squad.
Klein won numerous tournaments during her college career. She twice earned first-team All-America honors and led Arizona State to the NCAA title in 1993 and 1994. She capped her brief college career by winning the NCAA individual title and being named Golfweek magazine's Collegiate Player of the Year in 1994.
She also was a decorated amateur who earned a spot on the U.S. Curtis Cup team in 1994 and was the low amateur in the 1994 Nabisco Dinah Shore Classic. She won the Broadmoor Invitational and the North/South Invitational in 1993.
Prior to that, she was a first-team AJGA All-American four times (1989-92) and was named the AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year in 1991, the same year she claimed the USGA Junior Girls Championship. Her success started early, when in 1992 at the age of 14 she became the youngest winner in the history of the California Women's Amateur Championship.
Klein was a playing representative for Callaway during her professional career and also had a major sponsorship with MasterCard. She has served as an analyst for The Golf Channel since 2002.