30 years of coaching leads Madole to Golden Plaque of Distinction

Before the start of the 2013 Girls’ State Golf Meet, Valley’s Robin Madole (r) was presented with the Golden Plaque of Distinction by IGHSAU Executive Director Mike Dick. In her 20 years as the Valley golf coach, the school has garnered seven UIC championships and made five State appearances.  Madole is the only golf coach the school has had in its 20 years. (Becky Walz photo)

 

CUTLINE: Before the start of the 2013 Girls’ State Golf Meet, Valley’s Robin Madole (r) was presented with the Golden Plaque of Distinction by IGHSAU Executive Director Mike Dick. In her 20 years as the Valley golf coach, the school has garnered seven UIC championships and made five State appearances.  Madole is the only golf coach the school has had in its 20 years. (Becky Walz photo) 

 

 

 

 

30 years of coaching leads Madole to Golden Plaque of Distinction

 

Becky Walz
News Editor

 

The IGHSAU Golden Plaque of Distinction Award honors the Iowa coach who has demonstrated a successful career while making notable contributions toward school, community, and the coaching profession.

On Tuesday, May 28, Valley’s Robin Madole was presented with the award, becoming only the second golf coach in history to receive the prestigious award.

In a letter to Madole announcing she would receive the award prior to tee-off at the 2013 Girls’ State Golf Tournament in Marshalltown, IGHSAU Executive Director Mike Dick stated, “There are many in the state significantly grateful to you for the generous contribution given during your professional years of administering affairs for high school students.”

Robin, along with Bill Maske, started and co-coached the first golf teams at Valley in 1993. Since that time, Valley has won seven Upper Iowa Conference golf championships and had seven conference medalists, while making five State Golf Meet appearances placing seventh, sixth, third twice, and runner-up.

With the three-year whole-grade sharing agreement with North Fayette to being in fall 2013, Madole may have been the only boys’ and girls’ golf coach the Tigers have had.

In the last 20 years, Robin has served on many conference, sectional, district, and state rules committees, including the IGHSAU Girls’ Golf Advisory Committee and the Leadership Board of the Iowa High School Golf Coaches Association.

A native of Mount Pleasant, Madole was a pioneer in girls’ athletics as one of the first to play golf, basketball and softball.

After breaking her leg playing softball in her early high school years, the longtime Valley coach turned to the game of golf.

When the family would gather, Madole recalled taking time to play a round of golf with her father, uncle and grandfather in Iowa Falls.

When spring came around, Madole was asked to attend the boys’ golf meeting, and she did. 

“The next day it was announced that we would have a girls’ golf team,” recalled Madole. “I think the coach just didn’t want a girl on the team.”

She went on to talk several friends into playing on the team, and she eventually played four years of college golf at William Penn.

For two of her college years, Madole continued to play three sports and then switched to a being student basketball coach her junior year.

At that time William Penn was a Division II school and was playing good basketball, and even hosting the Olympic team from the Republic of China.

“At that time the assistant coach at William Penn was Bill Finley, who is now the Iowa State coach,” said Madole.

The award-winning coach found her way to northeast Iowa in 1982 after coaching at the William Penn basketball camp. Madole recalled some Valley students participating in the camp mention their school was looking for a girls’ basketball coach.

“I decided to give it a try and taught remedial math, and most recently junior high math along with coaching,” stated Madole.

In 1993, Madole and Maske organized a golf team, with the co-coaches volunteering their time.

“We met as a team behind the school to swing the clubs and competed on the road in every meet because the Pleasant Valley Sports Club didn’t exist,” said Madole.

In golf, the coach has given many lessons and has learned that the swinging of the club needs to be adapted to the person.

“Not every person has the same build, height, and ability,” noted Madole.

Working with athletes with a variety of special needs over the years, she has been able to teach the game, tee placement, and other variations to the game.

“I have had a lot of good assistant coaches over the years, too,” complimented Madole.

Although summer is here and the high school golf season is done, Madole has yet to swing a club herself.

“I usually just play in a few tournaments during the summer with friends. Time doesn’t allow for golf right now,” she acknowledged.

With the whole-grade sharing coming into play in 2013-14, Madole would like to see some sort of junior high program develop for North Fayette Valley and other area schools.

“Every other sport has a junior high program and I think schools just haven’t implemented it; perhaps some golf courses are too busy to support it. But I have been asked to help develop one by parents,” said Madole.

Among the many successful athletes the Valley golf program has developed over the years, two individuals from the 2000 State Qualifying boys’ and girls’ teams, Shawn Guyer and Nicole Low, have earned PGA cards.

Since coming to northeast Iowa 30 years ago, Madole has been at the helm of one sport or another, from basketball to softball to golf and even junior high basketball. She even fills her fall schedule officiating volleyball matches.

“It’s fun, and sports is just a big part of who I am,” Madole closed with a smile while explaining why she continues to coach after so many years. “I don’t have a family because these kids I coach are my family.”

 
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