(May 26, 2013) -- Darla Kirby started the UMHB women's golf program in 1996, winning a NAIA national championship in 2000. After an NCAA Championship appearance last season, Kirby resigned as head coach, taking an associate athletic director post with the school.
"I wasn't sure if I was finished with golf," Kirby said, "but I felt it was the right decision to do that."
But Kirby got a second chance to lead the Cru, when Nancy Taylor-Capps resigned before the start of the spring season.
"To have the opportunity to come back one semester and knowing its my last semester, and giving it everything we had, just to push through to try and win that championship that one last time was pretty awesome," said Kirby.
The Cru advanced to the NCAA Championship in Destin, Florida last week and won the national championship by eight strokes over U.T.-Tyler. It was the first NCAA championship won by any sport at Mary Hardin-Baylor, and a fitting end to Kirby's coaching career.
"You couldn't have written a better story," said UMHB sophomore golfer Taylor O'Rear. "She started this program and had success in the NAIA and she was runner-up to Methodist for four years."
"We are all so happy for her to come back and win. There's not a more deserving coach out there."