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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

A Discussion with Bob Lynch, longest
tenured head coach at St. Joe’s

Lynch started his tenure in 1988 and was the 2003 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year.

Bob Lynch is in his 33rd season as head coach of the St. Joe’s golf team, making him the longest tenured coach at the university. Lynch also works for Spikes, a trophy and plaque company. The Hawk sat down with him to discuss his beginnings in the sport and what keeps him coming back year after year.

The Hawk: You’ve been in the Philadelphia golf scene your whole life, dating back to your playing days at Father Judge High School and La Salle University. What first got you hooked on the sport?

Lynch: My dad, who passed away when I was in eighth grade. But he got me started when I was in sixth or seventh grade. So we had a year or two where we went out a few times. Back in the day, there was a little course called the Philadelphia Quartett Club in the far Northeast in Somerton. It is still there, but it is a little nine-hole course that we used to go to and putz around and play. So that was probably my first delve into the sport.

The Hawk: What is your favorite venue that you have played or coached at? 

Lynch: Oh, boy. We took a couple of spring break trips out west to San Diego [CA] five or six years ago. We had a kid on the team, Brian Turley  ’16, who lived in Coronado. We got to play Torrey Pines out there in San Diego, which is a world renowned PGA Tour stop with views of the Pacific Ocean. I have fortunately had a chance to take some nice trips. I did not play the courses, the team played the course. I was there and walked around a lot, and saw a lot of pretty views.

The Hawk: Over the years you’ve decided to stick to more invitational competitions rather than individual and all these competitions, they take place all over the place. Is there a particular reason why you choose to do that?

Lynch: That is really the makeup of college golf now. See, when I first got started a long, long time ago, we did play dual matches and tri matches. We would play a match with La Salle [University] and Villanova [University], and then we would play a match with Lafayette [College] and Lehigh [University]. But not long after I got started, the golf scene changed over to these invitationals that schools would host, whether they had their own golf course on campus, or whether they had a connection to a local club. And now there are usually about six tournaments in the fall and six tournaments in the spring. Most of the tournaments are two day events, either 36 holes, or a lot of them are 54 holes where we play 36 in one day, which is a grind. It is just how the sport has evolved. And so now there are 10 teams, 15 teams at a location and we are just competing against each other. 

The Hawk: You have been coaching for a long time, 33 years. At St. Joe’s, what would you say your favorite part of the job is? What keeps you coming back year after year?

Lynch: I think the kids keep me young,  just being around them, listening to their daily struggles and whatnot, the stories that are told in the van rides and things like that. The trips that create the camaraderie between my fellow coaches, many of whom have become my best friends over the years. You look forward to seeing them and getting to places. The travel can be a little bit of a grind. I think it’s just the kids that just make it fun.

The Hawk: You are sort of an avid golfer yourself still to this day. How often do you get to go out and play with the commitments you have to both St. Joe’s and Spikes? 

Lynch: That has curtailed quite a bit. Back in the day I might play practice rounds with the kids and stuff. And then I obviously in the summertime get a chance to play in various fundraiser outings and things like that. So that is all I do now, just play in some golf outings that I get invited to. I do not play with the kids that much anymore. They are too good. They hit it too far, and I do not want to hold them up with my game, which is not very good. They say ‘Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach.’ So I cannot play very well, but I can teach. I know what to do, I just do not know how to do it myself. As long as I can pass that on to the kids, I guess that is okay.

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