Stephanie Meadow shoots 81 to finish tied for sixth at 1-over 289
Stephanie Meadow shoots 1-over 73 and is two shots out of the lead heading in the final round
Alabama 12 shots back of leader Southern California at the midway point of the tournament
Alabama four shots off the lead; Stephanie Meadow shoots 69 and is tied for second
Alabama returns to NCAAs as the defending National Champions
NCAA Championships Preview
Women's Golf Wins Regional
Women's Golf NCAA Regional Preview
Coach Potter on Senior Jennifer Kirby
Coach Potter on Stephanie Meadow
Alabama claims the 2012 Women's Golf National Championship.
Alabama head coach Mic Potter added National Champion to his resume in 2012 and begins his eighth season with the Crimson Tide and 30th overall with a another talented team for the 2012-13 season.
Potter had already established a Hall-of-Fame legacy before he arrived in Tuscaloosa, but his work over the first seven years at Alabama culminated with the school's first National Championship in 2012.
Potter, who came to the Capstone after 22 years at Furman, led the Tide to its second NCAA Championship appearance in program history in his first year at Alabama and repeated the feat in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. His National Championship and seven straight NCAA Championships berths only reaffirmed his status as one of the most prominent coaches in women's collegiate golf. His reclamation project in Tuscaloosa is one of the most impressive turnarounds in collegiate golf history.
With his success, the honors continue to pile up for Potter, who helped the Crimson Tide develop into a national power in the ultra-competitive SEC. The veteran coach won his 12th Conference Coach of the Year award and his fourth in the SEC in 2012 after leading the Crimson Tide to the program's first National Championship. He was also named the SkyCaddie NGCA National and East Region Coach of the Year in 2012.
The 2011-12 team captured its national title with a one-stroke victory over Southern California at the Vanderbilt Legends Club. The Crimson Tide spent most of the season ranked second in the polls and finished third in the SEC and tied for fourth at the NCAA East Regional leading up to NCAAs.
The Tide also posted team victories at the SEC/Pac-12 Challenge, the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate and the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. UA finished second on three other occasions and only finished outside the top four once.
The 2011-12 season saw three Alabama players -- Brooke Pancake, Jennifer Kirby and Stephanie Meadow -- earn first-team All-America honors. Pancake won the Honda Award, which goes to the nation's top collegiate golfer, was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the third time, the SEC Female Athlete of the Year and the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year. Pancake (United States) and Meadow (Great Britain and Ireland) also participated in the Curtis Cup at Nairn in Scotland to cap the historic 2011-12 season.
Alabama's 2010-11 team turned in an outstanding season as the Crimson Tide continued its climb into the elite of women's collegiate golf. The Tide spent the entire season in the top five with a school-record five wins -- NCAA Fall Preview, Tar Heel Invitational, Lady Puerto Rico Classic, Liz Murphey Classic and the NCAA East Regional. The Tide also posted a tie for eight at the NCAA Championships.
Two Alabama players captured medalist honors during the 2010-11 season. Meadow, then a freshman, had a school-record three wins (Lady Puerto Rico Classic, Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate and NCAA East Regional. Pancake won the Tar Heel Invitational in the fall of 2010 with an 11-under-par 206 wihle the team set the school record with a 28-under-par 836.
Meadow and Pancake were selected as 2011 first-team All-Americans while Camilla Lennarth garnered third-team honors. The Tide also had three first-team All-SEC selections (Meadow, Pancake and Lennarth) and one second-team choice (Kirby). Potter was named the 2011 SEC Coach of the Year, Pancake the Student-Athlete of the Year and Meadow was the Co-Freshman of the Year.
The 2010 SEC Championship was a springboard for the program's best NCAA Championships finish to date, a third-place showing, just four shots off the winning score. Alabama also captured a team win at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic.
The Tide had three players finish in the top 15 individually at the 2010 NCAAs, with Kirby tied for seventh, Pancake 12th and Lennarth tied for 13th. That trio garnered All-America honors with Lennarth earning second-team accolades while Kirby and Pancake were honorable mention selections.
Lennarth and Kirby were also first-team All-SEC selections with Kirby being named the 2010 SEC Freshman of the Year. Pancake was a second-team All-SEC selection and the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She was also honored with the NCAA Elite 88 Award at the NCAA Championships as the player in the field with the highest grade point average (4.0). Potter was named the SEC and NGCA East Region Coach of the Year.
Potter's 2009-10 team set several school records. Lennarth set the single-season scoring record with a 72.59 average and Kirby broke the freshman scoring mark with a 73.06 average, shattering the mark of 74.06 set by Pancake in 2008-09. The team set a new 54-hole scoring record with a 4-under-par 848 to clinch the SEC Championship. Two Alabama NCAA scoring records also fell with the Tide posting a 5-over-par 1,157 over 72 holes at the NCAA Championships on the Dye Course at Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C., and Kirby's individual 72-hole scoring mark of 4-under 284.
Potter's 2008-09 team was a fixture in the top 10 nationally. The Tide finished the year 11th at the NCAA Championships while being ranked eighth in the final NGCA Coaches' Poll and seventh in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. The Tide captured their fifth tournament victory under Potter's guidance in 2009 at the First Market Bank Intercollegiate. Alabama also tied for second at the SEC Championships and second at the NCAA East Regional.
The Tide's fifth trip to the NCAA Finals in 2009 produced another improvement with an 11th-place finish.
UA had two players, Kathleen Ekey and Lennarth, earn first-team All-SEC honors in 2009 while Pancake was selected to the league's All-Freshman Team and awarded second-team All-SEC recognition. Potter produced All-Americans in 2009 with Ekey and Lennarth garnering honorable mention accolades. Ekey, Lennarth and Pancake all earned NGCA All-East Region honors as well in 2009.
The 2007-08 season saw Alabama put together its then-most successful season to date. The Tide earned its third straight berth to the postseason and finished 12th at the NCAA Championships.
Alabama won three tournaments in 2007-08, including the Crimson Tide Classic in record breaking fashion. The Tide turned in a school-record 54-hole score of 861 (-3) at the Ol' Colony Golf Club. UA shot a final-round score of 279 (-9), also a school record. Five Tide golfers finished in the top 10 with Ekey carding school record and women's course record score of 65 (-7) to finish with a 54-hole score of 203 (-13) to win medalist honors.
The Crimson Tide also earned tournament titles at the 2007 Wildcat Fall Invitational with a score of 889 and at the 2008 Lady Puerto Rico Classic. After the Classic, Sarah Sturm was named the Golf World National Player of the Week.
Ekey also earned All-American honors in her first season at the Capstone (2008) and broke Suh's single-season record for scoring average by posting a 73.30.
The 2006-07 campaign saw the Tide take another step forward in the development of the program under Potter's guidance. Alabama recorded five top-five finishes, including a runner-up showing at the Derby Invitational. For the second straight year the Crimson Tide earned a berth in the NCAA East Regional and finished seventh to advance for just the third time to the NCAA Championship Finals.
Jenny Suh earned honorable mention All-America honors and became a two-time first-team All-SEC honoree after averaging 73.88 stroker per round.
The legendary coach made an impact from the start. In his first season (2005-06), Potter led his team to a tournament championship in his very first outing by winning Alabama's own UA-Ann Rhoads Invitational.
The 2005-06 team also recorded two top-five finishes during the spring season. After qualifying for the 2006 East regional, the Crimson Tide put together an unlikely postseason run by defeating Virginia in a playoff to advance to the school's second-ever NCAA Championship.
Suh earned first-team NGCA All-America honors in 2005-06 after shattering the then-school record with a 73.44 stroke average.
Looking back on this resume, it comes as no surprise that Potter had his first Tide team competing for a national championship.
On June 17, 2005, the University of Alabama named the 1994 NGCA Hall of Fame honoree as its new women's golf coach. By doing so, the Crimson Tide added one of the most illustrious names in women's golf to its golf heritage.
Potter proved to be one of the sports outstanding teachers and coaches guiding Furman, a school competing in the Southern Conference, to national prominence in a 22-year tenure with the Paladins. He also served for 10 years as Furman's Director of Intercollegiate Golf.
Potter guided Furman to 15 NCAA Championship berths and six top-10 national finishes, including an NCAA runner-up finish in 1987. He has yet to coach a season in which his team has not reached NCAA Regional competition, a streak dating back to 1993, the first season in which the Regional format was established.
Potter's coaching accomplishments stand alone as an indication of the abilities of the 57-year-old mentor. In addition to these outstanding achievements, his players have recorded astounding success at both the intercollegiate level and in the professional ranks.
The ability to build and maintain a program are certainly among Potter's strengths when considering the amazing run of success he had throughout his career at Furman. Potter took the school, with an approximate enrollment of 2,500 students, into the upper tier of women's golf schools, leading the Paladins to unprecedented heights.
Potter was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year eight times and led his Furman teams to 36 tournament titles while his Tide teams have captured 16 tournament wins, which put him third among all active women's golf coaches with 52 total victories. To put that remarkable statistic in perspective, the Alabama women's golf program had won 19 team titles through the beginning of the 2005-06 season, a span of 31 years.
Led by Potter, the Paladins won 10 Southern Conference Championships since the tournament's inception in 1994, including the 2004-05 championship.
Potter has coached 29 NGCA All-Americans, 27 NGCA All-Scholar Team selections, 54 All-Conference selections, six players to 13 first-team All-SEC awards, 12 conference players of the year and six conference freshmen of the year.
One of the most important standards of success for any coach in major collegiate athletics the ability to place players in the professional ranks while guiding them to a degree. Measuring Potter by these standards again places him among the very best in the nation.
In 2004, seven of Potter's former pupils on the LPGA tour, more than any other college coach from one school. Only four schools: Arizona, Arizona State, Florida and Texas, had more than seven athletes on the LPGA player list in 2004. More importantly, each of the seven players coached by Potter had earned a degree.
In the exceedingly competitive LPGA atmosphere, Potter's former players have enjoyed long, successful careers in professional golf. Through the end of the 2004 season, former Potter pupils had amassed over 70 seasons on tour and over $9 million in career earnings.
Leading that group is former Furman standout and Paladin Hall-of-Famer Dottie Pepper. She had an illustrious LPGA career, winning 17 events, including the 1992 and 1999 Kraft Nabisco Championships. Pepper earned over $5 million in career winnings before ending her 20-year professional career in 2003.
By any standard, Potter has proven to be one of the best women's golf coaches in the nation for more than three decades. He has built a successful program and maintained that standard by recruiting and cultivating talented players who advance to the professional ranks and obtain their degrees.
A 1977 graduate of Cortland State University, Potter majored in physical education while earning four varsity letters: three in soccer and one in golf. He is married to the former Kim O'Branski of Ithaca, N.Y. The couple has two sons, Ryan and Corey.
THE MIC POTTER FILE
HIRED: June 17, 2005
EDUCATION: Cortland State, 1977
NCAA Championships: Alabama (2012)
LPGA PLAYERS POTTER HAS COACHED