Sept. 25, 2013
Carrie Parnaby is the current head women's golf coach at the University of Texas-San Antonio. The Roadrunners head coach graduated from the University of Tennessee and was a member of the Lady Vols' golf team (1998-2002) under head coach Judi Pavon.
While at Tennessee, Parnaby was a four-year letterwinner and earned honorable mention All-SEC honors as a junior. Tennessee was ranked as high as No. 2 in the country at one point during her playing career and she played on teams throughout her career that produced multiple current and former LPGA and European Tour players, one of which she caddied for in the 2003 U.S. Women's Open. She was an SEC Academic Honor Roll selection her final two campaigns.
In 2004, Parnaby returned to Tennessee as an assistant coach. During her coaching tenure at Tennessee, the Lady Vols made four consecutive trips to NCAA Regional play, including two regional crowns in 2005-06. They also made three consecutive NCAA Championship appearances with a top finish of sixth place. She mentored five All-Americans, nine Academic All-Americans and one player was a recipient of the prestigious Edith Cummings Munson Golf Award.
COACH CARRIE PARNABY
Q: Coach, update Lady Vol fans on what you have been doing lately? A: "Right now, I'm in my sixth year as the head women's golf coach at the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA)."
Q: Recently, you've had some great success at UTSA. What has it been like to build a program there? A: "That is probably my favorite part about taking this job. It was a really new program when I came down here. I knew there was great potential here because of the location and support in San Antonio.
"It was obviously tough for me to leave Tennessee. I loved working at Tennessee and being a Lady Vol. Yet, I'm from Texas and I was excited about the opportunity at UTSA because it was a young program and a great location. We have beautiful weather and great golf courses. So I was excited to come down here and build a program.
"The best part about it has been seeing how much our team grows every year and how excited they are to get better. We've created a really good culture for our program that everyone has bought into. It's been fun. Everything we've done has been for the first time for the women's golf team and sometime for UTSA athletics. UTSA is a relatively young school. The school was founded in 1969.
"It's been incredible to help build a winning foundation. When we won our first tournament, it was the first time in the school's history. When we won conference, it was the first time. Last year, our team was the first team of any at UTSA to get an automatic bid into the NCAA Regional so our team was very proud of that. So it's just been a really fun experience over the last five and a half years."
Q: UTSA just played in the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Knoxville, Tenn. How did it feel being back in Knoxville? A: Ian (Parnaby) was the one that actually made the trip. He is the associate head coach so we share responsibilities for the women's program. He was promoted this year.
Q: Ian Parnaby is not only your husband, but also a former Tennessee Vol golfer, right? A: Correct. Ian really enjoyed visiting Knoxville last weekend. The Mercedes-Benz Championship is absolutely one of our favorite away tournaments of the year. A lot has changed since Ian and I were in school. The new golf facility is up and Ian went out there to visit. He was excited to see Buck Jones, one of his teachers for Sport Management. It's just always great seeing Judi (Pavon) and everyone that was a part of our family for so many years. There is just something about Tennessee that feels like a real family atmosphere. So it always feels like we're going home when we visit."
Q: Do you have any fond memories or funny stories from your days at Tennessee? A: "Well.... When I was an assistant at Tennessee, we surprised Judi on her 40th birthday by painting the Rock black and painting `Happy 40th Birthday Coach Pavon'. So I don't know if she appreciated that or not but we had to give her a hard time on her birthday.
"But being a player for Judi is just an awesome experience. I learned so much from her. Even to this day, a lot of the things I do as a coach are what I learned from her. Working for her was even better. We had a great working relationship and I just appreciate everything she has done for me. But my experience at Tennessee was incredible. I obviously met my husband there so that was a good thing (laughs).
"We always loved the Knoxville and the golf teams were really close. The girl's and guy's golf teams probably have a lot of great memories that shouldn't be published. We just had a really good time when we were there. We had fun, but also competed at a very high level."
Q: You obviously have your own team at UTSA, but do you still keep up with the Lady Vols? A: "Oh yes! I mean I don't know the team as well as past teams. I helped recruit girls like Sara Monberg and Erica Popson so I'm not as familiar with the new girls."
Q: Do you have any advice for the new Lady Vols? A: "My best advice would be to just always be appreciative of everything that's given to you and always wear that Tennessee logo with pride because it will be with you your whole life. Love every second of it because there will be both good days and bad days, but it is an incredible experience and an incredible program to be a part of. So just don't ever take it for granted and have fun!"