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Archive for Saturday, August 24, 2002

Former Jayhawk golfer returns to KU as assistant

Edwards to help both Kansas men’s, women’s programs with coaching, recruiting, fund raising

August 24, 2002

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Happy at Vanderbilt, Roy Edwards thought he'd coach in Commodore country a long time.

"I didn't think there was a better assistant's job in the country, to be honest with you," said Edwards, who was an assistant men's and women's golf coach at the Nashville, Tenn., school during the 2001-02 school year when both teams placed fourth in the Southeastern Conference and produced two All-Americans.

"Our women's and men's teams had the best years in school history, and I think they'll be even better this year. I was excited being a part of that."

Yet Edwards is no longer at Vanderbilt. He's at Kansas University, having accepted the newly created position of golf assistant for both the KU men's and women's teams.

"To come back here was something I could not pass up," said Edwards, a 1998 KU graduate and former Jayhawk golfer. "I was very, very happy at Vanderbilt. It is a great place and great institution. It's just that I hold Kansas in such high regard, it's a move I wanted to make. Dr. Bohl (Al, athletic director) has everybody excited and committed to winning. This is a special place to me. I've enjoyed it so much."

KU has been a major part of the 25-year-old Edwards' life.

Roy's dad, R.A. Edwards of Hutchinson, who also attended KU, was named winner of the 2001 Fred Ellsworth Medallion given to KU alumni for "unique and significant service to the university."

Roy's grandfather, Roy, a Kansas cheerleader in the 1930s, was so important to KU that the 1988 Jayhawk basketball team wore black bars on their jerseys in Edwards' memory after he died in December of 1987.

Roy's uncle, Ray Evans, was an All-American at KU in both football and basketball.

"They always appreciated everything KU did for them," Edwards said of his family members.

He's enthused about returning to work as a coach, recruiter and fund raiser for Ross Randall's KU men's team and Megan Menzel's women's squad.

"My duties primarily will be filling in where they think I'm needed," said Edwards, who lettered in golf two years at KU after placing runner-up at the 1994 Class 6A Kansas state championships.

The former Hutchinson High player also is the former club champ at prestigious Prairie Dunes Country Club.

"I'll be splitting time between the practices, sort of be the background guy for all the fund raising stuff we do. We have a lot going on with that. I'll be involved with strength and conditioning, all the little things," Edwards said.

The men's and women's teams have used graduate assistant coaches in the past. In fact, Edwards was a graduate assistant for Randall during the 1999-2000 school year.

"Roy's presence will help us a lot, especially in recruiting," Randall said. "Two weeks ago, there were five events at the same time. I tried to go to all of them, but couldn't be everywhere at once. Roy went to a couple.

"When I'm gone with the team (to tournaments), five or six guys on the team are left alone. We wanted to have more organized practices. A lot of little things go on that's hard for one person to do, especially when you travel a lot."

Edwards said someday he'd like to be a head coach.

"That is the ultimate goal," he said. "I am doing things that will someday get me to that point. I was fortunate enough to learn from very good people at Vanderbilt, now I am with Ross and Megan. I think in being around them I will gain a lot of knowledge. I'm excited about the future of both programs."

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