Posted: 02/14/2012 | Last updated: February 14, 2012 at 10:50 AM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Rob Shutte has stepped down as Lehigh University’s head women’s golf coach to accept the responsibilities as head men’s golf coach at Rutgers University. Shutte was in the midst of his second season at Lehigh, as he helped rebuild the women’s golf program into one that was consistently competitive on the course, while also excelling academically.
“This was an extremely difficult decision to for me to make because of the great relationships I have developed during my time here at Lehigh with the players and administration,” Shutte said. “Life brings you opportunities when you least expect and this was one of those situations for me and my family. The timing is not ideal for a coaching change for either team but I am so confident that the women here at Lehigh are going to take this situation and respond like the champions they are. They are leaders and will continue to perform exceptionally in all they do in the classroom and the course. I am extremely confident in that.
Shutte concluded, “I would like to thank the entire Lehigh family for their support during my time here. The spirit and culture of Lehigh is truly unique and special.”
Shutte was named Lehigh’s head women’s golf coach in June 2010, and in his first full season, guided the Mountain Hawks to top-five team finishes in four of their eight tournaments. The 2010-11 season was highlighted by the Mountain Hawks winning the spring season-opening Sunshine Spring Classic in Florida last March.
This past fall, Shutte mentored the Mountain Hawks in five tournaments, highlighted by a fourth-place team finish in the season-opening 15-team Bucknell Fall Invitational. Shutte also played a major role in the return of the Lehigh Invitational, a two-day tournament co-hosted by Lehigh’s men’s and women’s program, after a one-year hiatus, to Saucon Valley Country Club in late October.
Shutte’s student-athletes also managed to get their work done off the course, with seven of the eight players currently on the roster owning a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
The Rutgers job will be Shutte’s first head men’s coaching job at the Division I level. He served as men’s coach at nearby Muhlenberg College from 2005 through 2009.
Prior to serving as head coach at Muhlenberg Shutte held a number of positions within the golf world, including Teaching Professional at John Jacobs Golf School in Phoenix, Assistant Golf Professional at Arcola Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey, Program Administrator and Teaching Golf Professional at The First Tee of Metropolitan New York in the Bronx, Assistant Golf Professional at Cherry Valley Country Club in Skillman, New Jersey and Assistant Golf Professional at Center Valley Golf Club in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.
Shutte is a Class A member of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) and has also coached basketball on a number of levels throughout the years.
In addition to his work on the golf course, Shutte currently serves as Vice President of Independent Financial Advisors in Easton, Pennsylvania, hosting a weekly financial advice/golf talk show on Nassau Broadcasting’s ESPN Radio of the Lehigh Valley. ESPN Radio 1230-1320 is the radio home of Lehigh Athletics.
Shutte graduated from Penn State in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Parks Management. He also went through a continuing education program at Fairleigh Dickinson in financial planning that spanned one year.
Assistant coach Mary Kate Williams will remain on the staff and will help to guide the program this spring with additional support from the Athletics Department. Lehigh expects to conduct a more complete search for a new head coach soon after the spring 2012 season ends.
The Mountain Hawks are scheduled to play four spring events, beginning with a return to the Sunshine Spring Classic, March 8-9 in Orlando, Fla.