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Assistant coach Holterhaus brings recent experience to Iowa men's golf

BY TOMMY REINKING | OCTOBER 11, 2012 6:30 AM

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Dan Holterhaus never planned to return to the UI after graduating in 2008.

But after being considered for the assistant coaching job for the Hawkeyes men’s golf team in 2011, his plans changed.

Now Holterhaus, who was hired in January, is the second youngest assistant coach in the Big Ten. 

The Cedar Rapids native is only 27 years old. His recent experience with the program has made him a perfect fit for the Black and Gold.

Holterhaus said playing for the Hawkeye men’s golf team was always something that he wanted to do.

“I’m from the state, so I grew up knowing about the Hawkeyes,” he said. “I had a couple different options, but with the chance to play here at Iowa, it seemed like the place for me.”

Holterhaus was a two-time team captain and three-time academic All-Big Ten honoree in his four-year career with the Hawkeyes. He also served on the Iowa Student Athlete Advisory Committee from 2005-2008.

The recent graduate left the Hawkeye state for an internship with the American Junior Golf Association in Georgia after graduating. He then held jobs in recreation management and marketing.

Holterhaus’ familiarities as a swinger for the Black and Gold, along with his career with the golf association, were two huge factors that stuck out to Hankins when looking for a new assistant coach during the 2011-2012 season.

“I always like [an assistant coach] to be one of my former players,” he said. “They just understand what the program is all about. The next big piece was that he worked with the [association]. He gained experience on a national level working with the biggest junior golf tournaments in the country.”

Expertise with young golfers has helped Holterhaus in one of the most important parts of his job —recruiting. Hankins said Holterhaus’ biggest duty on the team is to lay the groundwork for how Iowa brings in new student athletes. Holterhaus whittles down the massive list of prospective golfers to about 10 recruits for the team to focus on.

“It’s a passion of his,” Hankins said. “It’s one of the more fun things you do as an assistant coach. You get to travel and kind of be a big shot. You show up at an Iowa high-school state championship, and people want to see the Iowa golf coaches.”

Holterhaus isn’t limited to just planning for the future, however. Hankins was in his first year as head coach when Holterhaus was a senior. The knowledge of what it’s like to be a Division-I golfer is something Holterhaus shares with the current crop of Iowa golfers.

“He’s there for whatever we need,” sophomore golfer Brian Bullington said. “His biggest strength is that he’s been here before. He knows all of the stuff that goes with it, like the travel and school. It really helps to be able to go to him if we have any issues.”

After only a few months with the team, Holterhaus now has a new plan: He wants to continue coaching for as long as he can. Hankins said he hopes a head-coach position will open up for his young assistant within the next few years.

“When I first took this job, I was just testing the waters,” Holterhaus said. “That was 10 months ago, and now I’m seeing that I really like it and I could see myself doing this for a career.”


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