BILLINGS – Billings golfer Leslie Spalding is home for a quick weekend trip just to visit family before the college season fires up.
Catching up Friday afternoon at Hilands was like “old home week.” Spalding actually used to work there around her high school years before heading to college at the University of Alabama. She then spent 10 seasons on the LPGA Tour, coached golf at Montana State and is now entering her eighth year of coaching San Diego State’s women.
Nearly 11 years into coaching, Spalding admits her transition from LPGA player to collegiate “mom” was a little startling.
“I had no idea. Going from playing to coaching is like being a 12-year-old to being a mom who has three kids who understands what it’s like to be a mom,” she said. “I had no idea what I was getting into. From being a selfish player to a selfless coach is a process and, in 11 years, I think I get better every year.”
Among her accomplishments at SDSU are leading the Aztecs to a national ranking as high as No. 13 and earning Mountain West Coach of the Year honors.
The former Bobcat coach but also worked in athletics with former Griz coach Bobby Hauck at San Diego State, where he was a football assistant. Now Hauck is back as head football coach of the Griz. Is she rooting for or against him?
“There’s nothing more fun than talking trash with Bobby Hauck,” she laughed, “so go Cats! But my family are all Griz, so, you know.”