Head Coaches

 

Dusty Smith
Head Men's Golf Coach


Formerly one of the nation’s top assistant coaches, Dusty Smith delivered the program's first NCAA Regional appearance since 2014 after Director of Athletics John Cohen tabbed the Vanderbilt assistant as the eighth head coach of Mississippi State men's golf in May 2017.

In his debut head coaching season with MSU in 2017-18, Smith led the Bulldogs to six Top 5 finishes and the program's 10th NCAA Regional appearance. In March and April, the team took four consecutive Top 5 finishes, which included a fourth-place finish at State's home event, the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship.

In April, Smith's squad set the third-lowest 54-hole score in team history. The Bulldogs shot an 834 at the Bighorn Invitational in Palm Desert, California, as the team carded a season-best second place finish.

The team's performance at the Bighorn Invite bested its season-opening total by one stroke. To start the Dusty Smith era, the Golf Dawgs shot an 835 at the Bearcat Invitational, which sits as the fourth-best score in MSU history. State also finished third in the September tournament.

Smith also coached his players to six Top 5 finishes and 11 Top 10 finished on individual leaderboards.

Smith's first year at the helm concluded with an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Bryan Regional hosted by Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas.

In his final season as assistant coach in 2016-17, Smith and head coach Scott Limbaugh took Vanderbilt to a program-record fourth consecutive NCAA Championship, where it won the stroke play portion of the championship by 12 shots and advanced to the semifinals of match play.

The Commodores advanced to the NCAA Championship in Sugar Grove, Illinois, after tying for second place in the NCAA College Grove (Tenn.) Regional and capturing the program’s first SEC Championship.

Since joining Vanderbilt in 2011, Smith assisted the Commodores to 12 team tournament titles, with 10 players earning individual medalist honors. While at Vanderbilt, seven of his golfers earned All-America status, highlighted by three first-team selections. He also tutored 11 players to All-SEC accolades, with four earning First-Team All-SEC honors.

Smith and Limbaugh also had three Vandy players named to the Palmer Cup, while another was selected to play in the Walker Cup. The duo also coached the Commodores’ first SEC Player of the Year (Hunter Stewart) in 2015 and the program’s first SEC Freshman of the Year (John Augenstein) in 2017.

Stewart and another of Smith’s players, Matthias Schwab, went on to earn exemptions into PGA Tour events.

The outstanding 2016-17 campaign came after the Commodores finished both 2015 and 2016 No. 4 in the final Golfstat rankings. Both of those squads finished four rounds of stroke play at the NCAA Championship in the Top 8 to advance to the match play portion of the event.

The 2007 Lamar graduate made the move to Nashville after spending three seasons as the assistant men’s and women’s coach at his alma mater.

With the Cardinals, he helped the men’s team to the 2009 Southland Conference championship and a second-place finish in 2011. Lamar advanced to an NCAA Regional during each of his three seasons.

He helped mentor eight All-Southland Conference Team selections during his time at his alma mater,  led by the SLC Player of the Year M.J. Daffue in 2011.  

Under his watch, the Lady Cardinals earned six tournament victories, including a second-place showing at the 2011 Southland Conference Tournament. Five women’s golfers earned All-SLC accolades in his three seasons, while Therese Nilsson and Stine Pedersen were named Southland Student-Athlete of the Year in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

The coaching success he has experienced as a coach carried over from a sensational playing career that saw him earn Ping All-America honors and three All-Southland Conference selections while guiding the Cardinals to four-consecutive NCAA Regionals from 2004-07 and a pair of NCAA Championship berths in 2006 and 2007.

The Woodlands, Texas, native earned All-America accolades as a junior as he tied for 10th individually and helped Lamar to a tie for ninth at the 2006 NCAA Championship in Sunriver, Oregon.

As a senior, he notched All-SLC whonors for the third time as the Cardinals went on to post the program’s best NCAA Championship finish with a tie for third in Williamsburg, Virginia in 2007.

Smith inked with Lamar after a stellar prep career at The Woodlands High School that included a 2002 Class 5A state title.

Smith and his wife, Janie, have a two-year old daughter, Adella Jane.


What They’re Saying On Dusty Smith:

“We are excited to welcome Dusty, Janie and Ella to the Bulldog family. Integrity, work ethic, recruiting prowess and student-athlete development were of the utmost importance throughout our search for a new men’s golf coach. We feel Dusty fits all of these criteria.”

- Dusty Smith, Director of Athletics, Mississippi State University

"Coach Smith is a class act who stands for things that are right. He has an exceptional eye for seeing talent and player development.  I know he will establish a vision for taking the program as far as it can go. He also understands our jobs are to help them become men that can have a positive influence in life. He, Janie, and Ella will fully embrace this new venture. I know they will have a ton of success, and we are so happy for them.  They have forever left their mark on this program and will be missed by our entire Vanderbilt golf family."

- Scott Limbaugh, Head Coach, Vanderbilt University

“Dusty Smith has been successful at all levels as a player and coach. Playing on two teams at Lamar University that finished ninth and third in back-to-back NCAA Championships is quite an accomplishment. He then carried his momentum into his coaching career in helping Vanderbilt become a golf powerhouse. Mississippi State has hit a home run with Dusty Smith, another great hire in the SEC golf community.”

- Brad McMakin, Head Coach, University of Arkansas

“Dusty is a fine young coach, and I'm sure he will do well at Mississippi State. He has learned from one of the best in Scott Limbaugh, and the two of them have put Vanderbilt on the map. Dusty has the ability to lead, motivate and inspire his players to reach their goals. He knows what it takes to win and will make a tremendous impact on the Mississippi State program."

– Chris Haack, Head Coach, University of Georgia

 

Ginger Brown-Lemm
Head Women's Golf Coach

 

Ginger Brown-Lemm has become a known star in the coaching profession, as she enters her eighth season as head coach of the Mississippi State women's golf team.

In her tenure, she has already accomplished what no other coach in the state of Mississippi has ever done by leading her team to three-straight NCAA Tournaments, including back-to-back championship appearances in 2013 and 2014.

When the Hope, Ark., native took over the program in 2010, Brown-Lemm immediately established a goal of taking the program “2 Levels Up” or “2LU” each season.

During her first season with the Bulldogs, her team posted the lowest 54-hole tournament card in over a decade with an 883 in the Price's Give 'Em Five Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M. During that same event, MSU posted a second-round 291, which was the fourth-lowest round in program history at the time.

The 2010-11 group carved nearly five strokes off its average and improved the tournament average by a commanding 15.16 strokes.?Brown-Lemm guided two Bulldogs to Top 10 finishes and 13 golfers to Top 20 finishes in her first season. Following her inaugural year in Starkville, Brown-Lemm secured the fifth-best freshman class according to GolfStat.com.

In her second campaign, the Maroon and White chiseled another two strokes off its round average, lowering it to 308.44. For the first time since 2008-09, MSU had a sub-310 tournament card and its best scoring average since the 2005-06 season.?The Bulldogs posted three Top 10 finishes and six Top 15's. Behind an 891 in the John Kirk/ Panther Intercollegiate, MSU posted a 2nd-place card, the best finish in five years.?Individually, MSU turned in five Top 10 cards and eight Top 25's.

When her third season arrived, most believed Brown-Lemm had one more season before her club was built for a lengthy postseason run. But the Arkansas-native and former Texas Longhorn had other ideas. After a stellar SEC Championship that saw the Bulldogs paired with defending national champion Alabama for the final round and post a program-best fifth-place finish, MSU earned a bid in the NCAA Central Regional for the first time since 2006.?But while most fans were content with a return to the postseason, Brown-Lemm, again, had other ideas. State trekked to the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla., and fired the program’s second-lowest 54-hole card, an 8-over-par 872. MSU would finish third in the event to advance to the NCAA Championships, but equally as impressive was the school-record 10- under-par 206 Ally McDonald notched to win the NCAA Central Regional.?MSU would go on to be the first women’s golf program from the state of Mississippi to compete in the NCAA National Championship.?

Then came 2013-14, the most successful in school history.

In 12 events, the Bulldogs posted an incredible scoring average of 293.65 and finished in the Top 10 nine times and the Top 5 on five occasions. They also won two events, the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational with a single-round, regular season, Division I record 275, -13 under par, and a program low 54-hole record of 844, -21 under par.   The second win was in the spring with a trip to Hawaii at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational.

Led by All-American Ally McDonald, MSU finished its magical season sixth at the NCAA National Championship after placing third at the Central Region at Oklahoma State.  Later in the summer, McDonald went on to make the round of 16 at the prestigious U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.

In her most recent list of accomplishments, during the 2015 season she led the Bulldogs to break a three-round score card record at the Belmar Golf Club during the Schooner Fall Classic of shooting an 818.

But it’s not just on the course where Brown-Lemm’s teams excel. Her players perform at a high level in the classroom as well. The team’s cumulative GPA has improved each year during her tenure, including a then-school record fall GPA of 3.73 in 2012.

During her time in the Maroon and White, Brown-Lemm has also been instrumental in enhancing Bulldog golf facilities. In only her first season at the helm, she helped establish the Maroon Tee Club, a booster organization for the Mississippi State men’s & women’s golf programs.

In spring of 2012, the university announced that Old Waverly Golf Club, one of the South’s premier gold destinations in West Point, Miss., and home to the 1999 U.S. Women’s Open, will become the new home of both the men’s and women’s teams. The facility will feature a 6,300-square foot clubhouse with locker rooms, players’ lounge, coaches’ offices and an indoor putting center. The completion of this project is set for the 2015-16 season.

Prior to taking over at Mississippi State, Brown-Lemm earned her first collegiate head-coaching seat at Arkansas State. While there for a two-year stint, she improved the team's scoring average by 12 shots and guided two of her players to medalist finishes as well as an All-Sunbelt Individual.?

She is a 20-year, PGA class "A" professional and a former All-Southwest Conference performer at the University of Texas at Austin.

She also played professionally on the LPGA's Futures Golf Tour.?During her time as a PGA professional, she was recognized as one of the "Top 40 under 40" among Business and Community Leaders, by Arkansas Business, and by running a “Top 5 Model Junior Program” by Golf Digest magazine. The majority of her career serving as a PGA club professional as well as ran a PGA Buy.com tour event at Diamante Golf Club in Hot Springs Village, Ark.

Brown-Lemm is married to Floyd Lemm, and the couple has two children: Parker and Paige.

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