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Andrea Gaston is bringing Allen Academy golf to the next level

The three-time NCAA DI National Championship coach brings experience and expertise to the Rams golf team.
Posted at 10:49 AM, Mar 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-07 11:49:02-05

BRYAN, Texas — The last two seasons the Allen Academy golf team finished second in the TAPPS 2A State tournament. This fall the Rams added legendary golf coach Andrea Gaston to the staff which could be the final piece that leads this team to a state title.

“I just really love the game,” Gaston said.

“I was very fortunate to play college golf, our team finished 7th for two of the years that I was there and then I finished my degree locally near home and quit golf for 14 years.”

But after stepping away to pursue other career paths, Gaston knew there was unfinished business on the course.

“I became a better player my second time around because I feel like my mind was in a better place and matured and it wasn't like for death out there,” Gaston said.

“It was just something I could enjoy again and so I had some good success as an amateur my second time around.”

As her playing career wrapped up, her passion for the game remained the same and coaching felt like the next natural step.

“Coaching was something that always appealed to me and in fact that's kind of how I finished my degree,” Gaston said.

“I was a kinesiology major in school but I had to coach all these different sports and I said I know I would love it and maybe one day I'll be able to do it and when that door opened I just said ‘I'm in’.”

Gaston took the Trojans program and turned it into a powerhouse in the women's collegiate golf world. After 22 years at USC she led the Trojans to three national titles and coached 5 individual national champions. Over the course of her career including a stint at Texas A&M she brought her teams to 21 NCAA championship appearances and 13 straight top five finishes. She coached 50 All-Americans and was inducted into the WGCA Hall of Fame in 2010.

Now in her first season with the Rams it's no surprise she's making an immediate impact.

“I love the way she approaches things,” Rams senior golfer Jackson Funkhouser said.

"She approaches it ‘no expectations just go play golf’ and I think that's the best way to succeed and so that's really helped us I think as a team.

“She's helped me a lot already and it's only been about two weeks,” Rams senior golfer Ethan Lucas said. “But it's been pretty fun to work with her and have a different visual of the game.”

For Gaston it's always been about more than just drives chips and putts.

“She made the whole program feel at ease,” Allen Academy assistant golf coach Glenn Finley said.

"[She] just came right in and built relationships with everybody. It's been fantastic.”

“You know the biggest thing is building trust with your players and that was always something that I worked really hard at,” Gaston said.

“If I said something over and over I said ‘you're going to get tired of hearing this but you're going to hear it because all I want is the best for you and I have nothing to gain really other than I want to see you thrive’.”

With the teams willingness to win the Rams are ready to compete for a state title and Gaston is happy to be leading the way.

“The high school piece is a lot of fun for me now and just something I'm enjoying having a chance to do,” Gaston said.

The Rams have six more matches before the state tournament in April the team is as motivated as ever with their national championship head coach leading the charge their rivalry match against Brazos Christian and St. josephs is set for Thursday March 21st at Briarcrest golf course they'll tee off at 9:00 AM.