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July 25, 2011 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-07-25

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Monday, July 25, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

for coverage throughout the week

Pumford joins 'M'
staff as assistant

Former Michigan
standout returns to
Ann Arbor
Daily Sports Writer
Coming from a big, competi-
tive family, coaching had always
intrigued Nick Pumford.
He marveled at the impact that
Bo Schemblecher and John Wood-
en had on their players' lives and
was motivated to positively impact
his own group of young players
some day.
Pumford already accomplished
his goal of becoming a coach last
year when he was hired by Geor-
gia State. But after Michigan men's
golf coach Chris Whitten asked
Pumford join the staff in Ann
Arbor and become the new assis-
tant golf coach, Pumford will now
be able to do what he loves at his
alma mater.
"It's a dream come true," Pun-
ford said. "It's such a special place
and it really is a place close to my
heart. I spent a lot of time at Michi-
gan, and just to be able to come
back and to be a part of the Michi-
gan family, it's just really exciting."
Though young in age, the former
Wolverine standout brings a lot of
experience to the coaching staff.
He helped Michigan earn back-
to-back NCAA regional selections
in 2008 and 2009 after an eight-
year postseason absence for the
program. As a senior co-captain in
2009, he spearheaded Michigan's
run to the NCAA Championships,
the team's first appearance in 12
years. There, Pumford helped the
Wolverines surprise everyone with
a third-place finish.
After a successful career at
Michigan, Pumford briefly played
professional. Unable to continue
his professional career due to the
financial strain, he turned his
attention to coaching. During his
lone season as an assistant coach at
Georgia State, he helped the Pan-
thers to a seventh-place finish at
the CAA Championships.
Though he enjoyed his time at
Georgia State, accepting the posi-
tion as a Wolverine was a no-brain-

Pumford was not only excited
for the opportunity to return to
Michigan and work with the Wol-@
verines as an assistant coach, buthe
is also thrilled to have the opportu-
nity to do it next to Whitten, a man
who helped him greatly and whose
coaching he deeply respects.
"He was definitely influential on
me and on the whole team," Pum-
ford said. "You could really see the
shift of the whole mentality of the
program when Chris came in to be
the assistant coach. My first year,
when I was a freshman, we were
ranked 110th in the country and
then in my senior year we finished
third in the NCAA - you could def-
initely see the improvement.
"I was really happy for him
when he got the job because I knew
he was going to do a great job, and
for him to give me a phone call anc
to tell me he wants me as his assis-
tant, it really is a dream come true."
He recognizesthat his presence
on the staff will be an advantage
was definitely
influential on ...
the whole team."
when recruits come to visit. He'll
be able to show them the campus
and the golf program with amore
personal perspective and hopes
that entices golfers to play at Mich-
Pumford will also be helped by
his familiarity with his surround-
ings and his players. Already with
an understanding of what the gol*
program is all about and a certain
comfort level with some of the
players who knew him before he
got the position, he hopes that the
environment will bring a relaxed,
but competitive relationship
between him and his players.
"They know I'm a competitive
person," Pumford said. "I have
high expectations and I want
to win and hopefully they can
feed off of that and continue to

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