LAS VEGAS — The head and assistant coaches for the American and International squads at the 2024 Arnold Palmer Cup were named Tuesday during the annual coaches convention at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
LSU’s Garrett Runion and Arizona State’s Matt Thurmond will be Team USA co-head coaches, and Minnesota’s Rhyll Brinsmead and Ireland’s Barry Fennelly will guide the International team. Florida’s Dudley Hart and LSU’s Alexis Rather are the Team USA co-assistant coaches while Scotland’s Stew Burke and Ireland’s Aaron O’Callaghan will assist Team International.
The Ryder Cup-style competition, which features men’s and women’s collegiate golfers from the United States against their International counterparts, will be played July 5-7 at Lahinch in Ireland.
Runion, who has been a part of two national championships and earned multiple conference and regional coach of the year awards thus far during his collegiate coaching career, is in his sixth season as the LSU women’s golf head coach. The Tigers have 12 wins, including their first SEC Championship in 30 years in 2022, and made three straight NCAA Division I National Championship appearances with Runion at the helm.
Thurmond is in his eighth season as head men’s golf coach at Arizona State and has earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year three times, including in 2019. The Sun Devils have won 19 tournaments, including back-to-back NCAA Regionals, and have earned 18 PING All-American and three straight Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year honors during his tenure.
Hart is in his seventh season on Florida and coach J.C. Deacon’s coaching staff, and first as associate head coach. The Gators put together a historic season in 2022-23 that led to six tournament titles, including the program’s fifth NCAA Division I National Championship and 16th SEC Championship. Hart was named the 2023 Jan Strickland Outstanding Assistant Coach Award recipient, becoming the second Gator to receive the award, joining John Handrigan in 2015. During his tenure, the Gators have won 14 tournaments and earned nine PING All-America and 14 PING All-Southeast Region honors.
Rather is in her 14th season with the Tigers and her sixth working with Runion. She spent eight seasons under the tutelage of long-time LSU head coach Karen Bahnsen in addition to playing for Bahnsen in the purple and gold from 2003-08, where she recorded a program-record 125 rounds played and chipped in for the only birdie in a sudden death playoff for the eighth and final qualifying spot at the 2008 NCAA East Regional that advanced LSU to the NCAA Championship.
Brinsmead, who was a Team International assistant coach at the 2023 Palmer Cup, took the helm as the head women’s golf coach at Minnesota in January 2021. In her first two-plus seasons, she has led the Gophers to four top-fives, including in two of their four tournaments this fall, and 17 top-10 finishes. Seven of her players have earned WGCA All-American Scholar honors.
Fennelly is in his 13th season as head coach of both the men’s and women’s programs at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Under Fennelly’s direction, Maynooth has become the perennial leader in Ireland, having won two National club titles and numerous Irish, British, and European University titles.
Burke was named head coach at Kansas State on June 30 after holding the same position at Tulane the previous four seasons. The Wildcats recorded a 291.33 team stroke average this fall, which is their best fall stroke average since at least 2011. At the White Sands Invitational in October, which included individual winner Haley Vargas, Kansas State captured their first team victory in four years. Carla Bernat, 2023 Palmer Cup alumna, also won the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational, marking the first time in six years that Kansas State had multiple individual winners.
O’Callaghan is in his seventh season as the Demon Deacons’ associate head coach, coming to Wake Forest in July 2018 after four seasons at Louisville. This fall, the Wake Forest men’s golf team won both the team and individual titles at the Highlands Invitational at the Chicago Highlands Club, with 2022 Palmer Cup alumnus Michael Brennan claiming his seventh career individual title, the fourth most in program history.
The Americans lead the all-time series 14-12-1.