After accepting the head coaching position in 2008, Martha Richards set out to find a group of golfers that would push for success on the 40 Acres. As the first athlete recruited by Richards, Nicole Vandermade became responsible for setting the team’s pace and leading the resurgence of the women’s golf program.
The senior from Brantford, Ontario, placed a possible career on the LPGA Tour on hold to return to Texas for the fall 2011 and spring 2012 seasons. Her decision to return to Texas buoyed the Longhorns, who ranked as high as 10th in the nation and won two of their four tournaments this past fall. Texas won their own event — the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational — for the first time since 1999 as Vandermade overcame a four-stroke deficit after 36 holes to claim the first win of her collegiate career. Vandermade became the first UT medalist since 2003.