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Women's Golf Head Coach Jill Briles-Hinton

When University of Florida Athletics Director Jeremy Foley hired Jill Briles-Hinton in 1998, he knew that the women's golf program would soon be on the rise. Under her direction, nine years later, Briles-Hinton has molded the Lady Gators into one of the top collegiate programs. Hard work, determination and perseverance are all characteristics Briles-Hinton has utilized to help the program climb to the top.

During her nine seasons at Florida, Briles-Hinton has improved the Lady Gator golf program tremendously. The squad has qualified for the NCAA Championships five times, including a sixth-place finish in 2006. At the Southeastern Conference Championship, the Gators have finished in the top-six for eight-consecutive years. She has coached Florida to 10 team titles during the past five years, including three team victories during the 2005-06 season.

Briles-Hinton has seen steady improvement with her golfers. Her first season in 1998-99 saw an 11th-place finish at the SEC Championships, a disappointing result marked by frustration. The second season brought six new faces, a fifth-place showing at the SEC Championships, and an 18th-place showing at the NCAA Championships. This success brought elation and had many people wondering, "Where did Florida come from?"

Much of the success enjoyed by the 1999-2000 squad came as a result of the experience of its coach. That trend continued, with a fifth-place showing at the 2001 SEC Championships and a 2002 season that was one for the record books.

The 2002-03 Lady Gators finished second at the SEC Championships and took home the SEC Individual Title, as Aimee Cho became the second freshman in UF history to win the crown. That year’s contingent finished eighth at the NCAA Championships, with Andrea Vander Lende finishing runner-up for medalist honors in the championship. Falling short of the 2004 NCAA Tourney, the 2005 Lady Gator group was led by a quartet of freshmen who keyed a 10th-place showing.

In 2006, Briles-Hinton led the Lady Gators to yet another top-10 finish at the national tournament. The team’s sixth-place showing marked UF’s best finish at the NCAA Championships since the 2002 season, when it also placed sixth.

A victory at the SunTrust Lady Gator Invitational and a runner-up finish at the SEC Championship highlighted the 2006-07 season, as UF advanced to NCAA Regionals for the eighth-straight year. Briles-Hinton directed Sandra Gal to first-team All-America and All-SEC honors during the campaign, while Gal also picked up the program’s first-ever SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. The Lady Gators ripped off a streak of seven-consecutive top-five team finishes in stroke-play competition during the year – the longest run of Briles-Hinton’s tenure.

Now entering her 10th season at the helm of the Lady Gator golf program, Briles-Hinton made the move from the LPGA to the head of the UF women's golf program on June 18, 1998, after 12 years on the Tour. Briles-Hinton, 45, was an exempt member on the LPGA Tour, posting her top individual finish of second on three different occasions. As a rookie on Tour in 1987, she tied for second place at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic. She also finished as the runner-up at the 1988 Mitsubishi Motors Ocean State Open and the 1994 Children's Medical Center Classic.

In 1991, she was presented with the inaugural Budget Service Award for her contributions to junior golf. In '94, Briles-Hinton received the William and Mousie Powell Award, which is given to the LPGA member who, by her behavior and deeds, best exemplifies the spirit, ideas and values of the LPGA. She posted her career-low round of 66 three times during her LPGA career - first at the 1990 MBS LPGA Classic and again at the 1992 PING Welch's Championship. She later led the 1995 U.S. Open after the first round with a Broadmoor Course record of four-under par 66.

A 1986 graduate of the University of Miami (Fla.), Briles-Hinton played two seasons for the Hurricanes, who finished fifth in 1985 and were the runner-up to Florida in 1986 at the NCAA Championships. As a senior at the 1986 NCAAs, Briles-Hinton led Miami by finishing in a seventh-place tie in the individual standings. She received her bachelor's degree in education from UM in 1986 and was a member of the All-America Scholar Golf Team.

Briles-Hinton, a former Academic All-American, stresses to her athletes the importance of academics while playing collegiate golf. Since her arrival at Florida, Briles-Hinton’s Lady Gators have collected 59 academic honors, including Verizon Academic All-District, SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and National Golf Coaches Association accolades. In addition, she has been a leader in the classroom and earned her master’s degree in sports management from Nova Southeastern University in May 2006.

"Being the women's golf coach at Florida is the best job in the country," the Peoria, Ill., native said. "I know and understand the long and successful history of the Florida women's team and played against that tradition during my college career. I've always wanted to be a Gator, and I'm very proud to say that I am."

In July 2003, Briles-Hinton successfully completed all requirements for the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Membership Class A Certification. She is now one of the few collegiate coaches who are dual members of the LPGA Tour and the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Membership, and have Class A status. Along with that, Briles-Hinton and assistant coach Robin Walton, the only women's golf head coach and assistant coach duo in the nation who have both played on the LPGA Tour, have 32 combined years of LPGA experience.

"I want my program to be a stepping stone to the next level - the LPGA - because I know what it takes to be a member on the Tour. There is a whole lot more to achieving success on the LPGA than just putting your tee in the ground. All of this, I can offer a student-athlete. I can teach them what it takes to make it as a Tour Professional."

"As a coach, I want my players to beat me. But, the player in me doesn't want to finish second to anyone in golf or anything else. If my kids can beat me day-in and day-out, then we are going to have a very good team. That's one of my goals as a coach."

What Briles-Hinton wants to emphasize to her student-athletes and recruits are the qualities and characteristics of a champion.

"My goal is to produce an atmosphere conducive to winning, both on and off the golf course," said Briles-Hinton. "I have a strong desire to go the extra mile to help every one of my student-athletes excel both academically and athletically. I want them to graduate and taste and experience championships during their collegiate careers."

Briles-Hinton was an active member of the LPGA's Crayola LPGA Tour Junior Golf Clinics, which has sponsored more than 25 LPGA events each year. She and her husband, Bob, have a son, Bert, who turned 12 on Aug. 6, 2007.

Bert had epilepsy and was cured from a special ketogenic diet that has controlled his seizures. The diet was designed by the Johns Hopkins Ketogenic Diet Research program in Baltimore, Md. Bert has been seizure-free and medicine-free for more than six years. Jill and Bob are very grateful to Dr. John Freeman and his staff at Johns Hopkins.

Student-Athlete Honors Under Briles-Hinton
Verizon Academic All-America Team

  • Jeanne Cho (third team)

Verizon Academic All-District Team

  • Jeanne Cho – 2001-03

All-American

  • Aimee Cho (honorable mention)
  • Sandra Gal (first team, honorable mention)
  • Andrea Vander Lende (honorable mention)

All-SEC

  • Tiffany Chudy - 2005
  • Aimee Cho - 2003, 2004
  • Jeanne Cho - 2000, 2001, 2002
  • Amanda Dick - 2003
  • Sandra Gal – 2006, 2007
  • Paula Marti - 2000
  • Brittany Straza - 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
  • Andrea Vander Lende - 2002

All-State

  • Tanja Arnold - 1999
  • Jeanne Cho - 2001, 2002
  • Paula Marti - 2000
  • Andrea Vander Lende - 2002

SEC Academic Honor Roll

  • Mallory Blackwelder - 2006
  • Jeanne Cho - 2001, 2002, 2003
  • Aimee Cho - 2004
  • Tiffany Chudy - 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Whitney Code - 2003, 2004, 2005
  • Amanda Dick - 2004
  • Laura Erzisnisk - 2006, 2007
  • Sandra Gal - 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Camila Gonzalez - 2004, 2005, 2006
  • Ornella Jouven - 2005, 2006, 2007
  • C.J. Kim - 2006, 2007
  • Tarah McNaughton - 2004, 2005, 2006
  • Brittany Nelson - 2007
  • Lauren Shniderman - 2000, 2001
  • Joy Stephenson - 2001, 2002, 2003
  • Brittany Straza - 2001, 2002, 2003
  • Eleanor Tucker - 2006, 2007
  • Andrea Vander Lende - 2005
  • Dana von Louda - 1999, 2000

NGCA All-American Scholar Golf Team

  • Mallory Blackwelder - 2006
  • Aimee Cho - 2003, 2004
  • Jeanne Cho - 2001, 2002, 2003
  • Whitney Code – 2002
  • Sandra Gal – 2005, 2006
  • Camila Gonzalez - 2003, 2004, 2005
  • Ornella Jouven - 2006
  • Tarah McNaughton - 2004

Collegiate Coaching Highlights

  • Has guided UF to four top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships in the past six seasons
  • Led the Gators to a tie for sixth place at both the 2002 and 2006 NCAA Championships
  • Directed UF to a fourth-place performance at the 2002 and 2006 NCAA Central Regionals
  • Finished second at SEC Championships in 2007
  • Finished fifth at SEC Championships in 2001 and 2004 and tied for fifth in 2000
  • Placed second at SEC Championships in 2003
  • The six-place jump at 2000 SEC's from 1999 was the largest in school history.

LPGA Highlights

  • 12-year LPGA Tour Professional
  • Top LPGA Finish: 2nd (three times)
  • Career Earnings: $589,211
  • Status: Exempt for 12 consecutive years

Briles-Hinton Amateur Playing File

    • 1986 Academic All-American
    • Top NCAA Individual Finish: Tied for 7th in 1986
    • Top NCAA Team Finish: 2nd in 1986
    • Captured several amateur championship medalist honors, including the 1986 Women's Western, 1981 Trans-National, and 1984 Broadmoor Invitational
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