|Position:||Associate Head Coach|
Kolton Lapa was named the first full-time assistant coach for Nebraska women's golf on Thursday, May 17, 2018, and officially began his duties for the Huskers on June 1.
In his first season at Nebraska, Lapa helped Kate Smith post the best individual stroke average in school history (73.52), while Vanessa Bouvet (3rd), Kirsten Baete (T6th) and Megan Whittaker (11th) all posted some of the best season stroke averages by freshmen in school history.
As a team, Nebraska set the school record for best single-season stroke average (298.96) and captured its first tournament team title since 2013-14 with a win at the Westbrook Spring Invitational hosted by Wisconsin in Peoria, Arizona.
Lapa, who spent the 2012-13 season as a freshman on the Nebraska men’s golf team, before returning to his home state of Arizona to compete for the Wildcats, returned to Nebraska after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Denver. In his first season at Denver, Lapa helped the Pioneers claim the Summit League title before adding a runner-up finish at the Summit League Championship in 2018.
“Kolton is an outstanding recruiter, great at building relationships, and is a very good on-course coach," Nebraska Coach Robin Krapfl said. "Kolton’s positive and enthusiastic attitude and his skill set will be key components of moving our team forward and getting Nebraska back where it belongs. I believe he is on the fast track to being one of the great coaches in our profession.”
Lapa helped the Pioneers to NCAA Regional play each of the last two years, including a tie for 12th in an 18-team field at Tallahassee, Fla., this season. In 2017-18, Denver set the school record for team stroke average at 296.06. Denver also finished 12th at the 2017 NCAA Regional in Albuquerque, N.M. He served in the role of interim head coach at Denver from September to November of 2017, including victories at the GolfWeek Invitational and the Ron Moore Invitational. The Pioneers also opened the season by defeating four top-25 teams at the Dick McGuire Invitational before finishing fourth at the Maryb S. Kauth Invitational in San Antonio.
“Lincoln has always had a special place in my heart, and I believe with the resources that the University of Nebraska has to offer that the sky is the limit," Lapa said. "I could not be more excited to see where this program can go from here.”
Lapa continued the development of junior Sophie Newlove, who captured the Summit League individual title at Arbor Links in Nebraska City in 2018. In just two seasons at Denver, Lapa helped coach Pioneer golfers to seven All-Summit League honors, including four first-team awards.
On the recruiting front, Lapa assisted in the signing of a Minnesota High School state champion and a transfer who earned All-Summit League honors in her first season at DU. Denver’s 2018-19 freshman class included a pair of California golfers ranked among the top 50 nationally in the GolfWeek recruiting rankings. He also found international success on the recruiting trail for the Pioneers.
Lapa completed his collegiate playing career at the University of Arizona in 2015-16, where he produced four top-20 finishes including a pair of top-10 performances on his way to a 74.81 stroke average for the Wildcats. Lapa was a team captain at Arizona as a junior and senior and was also a member of Arizona’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in 2015-16. He was chosen to play in the PGA Tour Northern Trust Collegiate Challenge, representing Arizona while partnering with PGA Tour player Ricky Barnes. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona in 2016 after majoring in economy and industry.
Lapa opened his college career at Nebraska, where he set the school’s 54-hole scoring record by a freshman (211) at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate (Oct. 22-23, 2012). He captured Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week honors on Oct. 24, 2012 and again on Feb. 27, 2013, after tying for fifth at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate. He also tied for 22nd individually at the 2013 Big Ten Championships. He led Nebraska with a 74.27 stroke average over 33 rounds as a freshman. He also competed in 15 rounds during the fall of 2013 before transferring to Arizona and posting a 73.86 stroke average during the spring season of 2014.
Lapa graduated from Red Mountain High School in Mesa, where he led his team to a 2010 state title. He was a first-team all-state golfer in both 2010 and 2011. In 2012, Lapa won the 2012 Tucson City Junior Championship and tied for third at the Arizona Stroke Play Championship.