Entering her second year as head coach of the women’s golf team at Florida, Emily Bastel has quite the resume. As a former collegiate All-American with six years of experience on tour, and with two previous assistant coaching jobs, Bastel knows a thing or two about golf.
Born in Ohio and practically raised on a golf course, Bastel’s life-long passion was passed down by her parents (who own a golf course that’s been in her family since the 1930s). Her father teed her up for the position she’s in now.
“My dad was my mentor growing up. He’s a golf professional and he played collegiate golf, so he got me into the game,” Bastel said. “Growing up on the golf course, I sort of took an interest in the game because I was there at work with my parents.”
What was once a job with her family became her passion. After playing on tour, an unexpected opportunity presented itself to coach. After playing professionally, Bastel was planning on turning in her clubs for the courtroom.
“I actually thought I was going to go to law school. I was preparing for LSAT and applying to law schools when the assistant coaching job at Duke opened up, and that peaked my interest,” Bastel said. “I went and interviewed, and it went really well. The rest is history.”
Bastel is continuing to make her mark. After just 10 months of being an assistant on the University of Florida women’s golf team, she was promoted to coach. Bastel believes all her previous experience prepared her for the role of head coach, and she also believes it’s a way for her players to relate to her.
“I think it helps with my credibility. Most of the girls that we get in here at this point are good enough to play on tour some day, so I think it helps when I give them advice,” Bastel said. “They know that I’ve sort of been there done that and have had the same experiences. So when I’m talking about emotions that I felt on the golf course, I think they know that I can relate to what they’re going through.”
She’s confident in her team’s ability on and off the course, and she believes a successful future is ahead for her Gator golfers.
“I see this as a program where winning multiple SEC and national championships is definitely possible and something that’s an ultimate goal of mine,” Bastel said. “At same time, I want our girls that come here and have a great college experience. That’s a lot of the reason why I’m in coaching now. I want them to experience all the University of Florida has to offer, not just here on the golf course, but on campus as well and in the classroom.”
She went from her parents guidance to her collegiate career, and then to being on tour and now with the Gators. It’s clear Bastel’s quiet confidence and love for golf has driven her into the right profession.