Former Tennessee Lady Vols standout and Baylor assistant coach Diana Cantú has been named head women’s golf coach at the University of Maryland, announced Friday, June 27.
In Cantu's first season in College Park, she mentored one of the top golfers in Maryland women's golf history as senior Juliet Vongphoumy was named the Mary Fossum award winner in the Terps' inaugural season in the Big Ten Conference.
Cantú comes to College Park after a successful three-year stint as the top assistant at Baylor. In her first year with the Lady Bears, she helped guide the squad to just the second NCAA Championship appearance in program history. In 2011-12, Baylor also saw its first women's golf All-American (Hayley Davis) as well as two All-Big 12 performers (Davis, Chelsey Cothran).
During her second year at Baylor, the Lady Bears came within a stroke of earning an NCAA Championship berth after a ninth-place finish at the NCAA West Regional. Davis repeated as an All-American, and Lauren Taylor was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
Last season, Davis earned an individual appearance at the NCAA Championship and the team took third at the Big 12 Conference Championship.
“Diana is passionate about Maryland and the game of golf and brings a coaching philosophy that is completely in sync with our core values of nurturing and empowering student-athletes,” Maryland Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson said. “She is a high energy individual who is a tireless recruiter and is an ideal fit for our women’s golf program as we make the transition into our inaugural season in the Big Ten conference.”
As a student-athlete at the University of Tennessee, Cantú put together one of the finest careers in Lady Vols women’s golf history as a member of three NCAA Championship teams (2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10). She earned All-SEC and NCAA East All-Region honors as a senior and ranks eighth in UT history in stroke average (76.16) and second in career rounds played (130).
In her junior campaign with the Vols, she ranked fourth in the country in three-putt holes (0.70) and 11th in average putts (30.47). She was an NCAA Academic All-American in 2007.
"I am honored to be leading the University of Maryland women's golf program and I want to thank Kevin Anderson and associate athletic director Ryan Bowles for this incredible opportunity,” Cantú said. “Maryland has an outstanding reputation both academically and in athletics. I am looking forward to continuing to grow this great program coach Jason Rodenhaver has built and taking it to new heights.”
Prior to arriving to Tennessee, the Monterrey, Mexico, native captured the 2005 Mexican Amateur title and was the runner-up in 2006. Cantú has been a member of the Mexican National Team since 2005 and won an individual silver medal to help lead Mexico to team gold at the 2007 University Games in Thailand.
Cantú graduated from Tennessee with a degree in business administration and a master’s degree in sports management from Baylor.
What They’re Saying About Diana Cantú:
Jay Goble, Head Women's Golf Coach at Baylor University
“Diana is a very passionate about the game of collegiate golf. She has competed and coached at a very high level throughout her career and understands what it takes to be successful. Diana is an outstanding communicator and has played and coached in programs with a winning culture.”
Judi Pavon, Head Women’s Coach at the University of Tennessee
“I'm so happy for Diana. She will do a great job as the head coach at Maryland. She was a great player during her career at Tennessee and she has gained coaching experience working for coach Goble at Baylor. I look forward to seeing her representing Maryland on the road recruiting and in tournament play.”
Jason Rodenhaver, Head Men’s Golf Coach at the University of Maryland
“Diana will do a fantastic job here at Maryland. She's well-respected in our industry and a tireless recruiter. We're fortunate to get one of the best young up-and-coming coaches in the country.”