The 2014-15 season will be the fourth for Natalie Martinson (formerly Ruppert) as the head women's golf coach at her alma mater. She was named interim head coach on June 30, 2011, and had the interim designation removed in March 2012.
Martinson helped transition her club from the Great West Conference to the Big Sky Conference in 2012-13 and is coming off a 2013-14 campaign where he squad posted four top-five finishes. UND improved its team score by 20 strokes from its first Big Sky Championship to its second on the same layout at the Octillo Resort in Chandler, Ariz., and placed ninth last season.
During its first year in the Big Sky, Martinson's squad had six top-10 team finishes and three of her golfers were named to the 2012-13 Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) Division I All-American Scholar Team.
As the interim head coach in 2011-12, the team was recognized for the second consecutive year by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) with a Public Recognition Award for its most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR). Juniors Robin Hutchinson and Shantel Montgomery were named to the 2011-12 WGCA Division I All-American Scholar Team.
Martinson spent her first three seasons back at UND as an assistant coach with both North Dakota's mens' and women's programs, during which time she played a significant role in the programs' transition to Division I competition.
In 2010-11, she helped mentor a team that excelled not only in competition, but also in the classroom and in the community. UND earned its second straight fourth-place finsih at the 2011 Great West Conference Championship, where the Sioux placed a pair of golfers in the top 11 individually, including senior Molly Martin was named to the GWC All-Tournament second team.
The program enjoyed a highly successful season in the classroom, with four student-athletes earning 2011 GWC Winter/Spring All-Academic honors. UND also received public recognition from the NCAA for its outstanding multiyear Academic Progress Rate (APR). UND's APR ranked in the top 10 percent of all Division I women's golf programs, which accounts for the 2006-07 through 2009-10 academic years.
The women's golf program also received UND's Female Team Community Service Award after logging 298 hours of community service over 32 events in 2010-11, an average 27 hours per student-athlete.
In 2009-10, Martinson coached a pair of all-conference performers in senior Kristi Lucken and junior Lauryn Job. Lucken and Job also earned GWC Winter/Spring All-Academic honors, while Lucken was named to the 2010 ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VII At-Large first team.
In 2008-09, Martinson's first season on the staff, she helped the Sioux usher in the Division I era in with a fifth-place conference finish in UND's debut season in the GWC. Martin landed on the All-GWC second team, while senior Amanda Kaler earned ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America honors and an NCAA postgraduate scholarship. Kaler became the first UND women's golfer to earn either academic achievement. Additionally, four student-athletes landed on the GWC All-Academic Winter/Spring team.
Prior to joining UND's coaching staff, Martinson was a four-year letterwinner for the Sioux from 2004-08, and earned All-North Central Conference first team honors in 2007-08 after placing fourth at the NCC Championship. She also participated in the NCAA Division II regional championship in three of her four years with the Sioux.
Martinson, a native of Minot, N.D., was a three-time member of the NCC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll and graduated from UND in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a minor in sociology.
Martinson and her husband, Erik, who is a business operations assistant for UND athletics, were married in June 2011 and have one daughter, Blair.
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