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Rocksund, Schulz step into leading Bulldog golf

Rocksund, Schulz step into leading Bulldog golf

In a transitional time for Whitefish High School golf, the already successful program is set up to continue thriving for years to come.

Over the summer Tait Rocksund, the former assistant coach, moved into the head coach role as Bill Kahle stepped down from the helm. That left a vacancy in the secondary position, but former WHS golfer and state champion Coral Schulz had her eye on the potential gig the entire time.

Although each person involved in this transition now are in new roles, all are familiar with the team and what’s best for the program.

Kahle had already planned on resigning from the coaching position after his son and standout golfer Cameron Kahle graduated last spring. He told the Pilot last fall that would most likely be his last season coaching and he was preparing Rocksund to take over. Kahle remains a huge supporter of the program.

Rocksund says that Kahle’s guidance and the five years he spent in the assistant position truly helped prepare him for this transition. And because of that, this changeover in coaching staff has been nearly seamless.

“I think I’m just much better off now as the head coach having had those five years as the assistant because I’ve met the other coaches, I understand how we do the tournaments, the travel, all that stuff, so it was a really invaluable experience,” he expressed.

Rocksund grew up on the golf course, often spending all day at Meadow Lake throughout his summers growing up in Columbia Falls. He says the lessons taught on the course are valuable ones that helped him in life. He hopes to help the golfers he coaches to find those meaningful experiences as well.

“I love coaching because the sport of golf has done so much for me personally… there’s all these ups and downs on the golf course that I feel are very similar to life and it builds good character,” Rocksund said. “That’s a big part of the program for us, kind of our values on the team: character, teamwork and academics.”

Rocksund is a Whitefish High School science teacher. He has a wife and a 5-year-old daughter. He says he’s constantly looking to find balance between the different parts of his life while maintaining his family as a priority. Previously he was a fly fishing guide as well as a Forest Service campground manager. He says these experiences helped him become a good communicator and coach.

Schulz had been in contact with Rocksund and it was always her plan, or really her hope, that she could return to Whitefish to coach.

Schulz moved to Whitefish as a junior in high school from Helena and then her senior year became a golf state champion. She went on to play college golf at the Division I level at Montana State University. She spent four years golfing and getting her English teaching degree, and then finished up one year of student teaching in May.

This summer an English teaching job opened up at Whitefish High School, as well as the assistant golf coach position, and it happened to be a perfect timing of fate as Schulz finished her schooling.

“Ever since I came [to Whitefish], I knew I wanted to end up here,” Schulz said. “So the fact that I’m back here, I feel extremely lucky.”

Schulz says she knew she didn’t want to play golf professionally, but she has always wanted to coach. She’s coached younger kids in the sport of golf since she was in high school. She also draws inspiration to teach kids from her high school golf coaches, Christine Newton and Tim Olson.

“They were such role models to me that I want to do the same for students now that they did for me,” she expressed.

Schulz is looking forward to making a competitive golf team and offering the perspective from a successful Division I college golfer. Her main focus in addition to instilling that competitive spirit in her golfers is to bring positivity and keep the game fun as well.

Both Rocksund and Schulz agreed that they are excited to have both a male and female coach leading the team now, as each brings a different perspective.

“I don’t think I would have grown as much (without both high school coaches),” she said. “Honestly I learned so much from both of them and totally different perspectives.”

Rocksund echoed those sentiments, expressing his excitement to have Schulz join the program again, this time as a coach.

“I think it’s very important to have a female staff member on the coaching staff,” he said. “So not only were we able to get that, but then we got a state champion and college golfer, and just awesome person, Coral Schulz. So we couldn’t have asked for a better fit.”

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