After five years as the co-head coach for the New Mexico State women's golf team alongside Paul Brilliant, Jackie Booth now heads up the team on her own, the university announced, Thursday. Brilliant retired at the end of the 2011-12 season.
This is the second stint for Booth as the Aggie women's golf head coach. Booth was also the head coach at NM State from 1992 until the 1996-97 season, before leaving to the University of New Mexico where she coached for 10 years. She returned to NM State in 2007 to assist Brilliant. In 2011, Brilliant and Booth earned Western Athletic Conference Co-Head Coach of the Year honors.
"I am thrilled to be the head coach of the very successful NM State women's golf team," Booth said. "The team has a storied history that was created by coach Brilliant, and I have had the privilege of being a part of it in the past and will strive to continue the tradition of success in the future. It is an honor to be a NM State Aggies' coach."
Booth will start her 20th season as a head coach or co-head coach with an Aggie team that has the experience of three seniors and two juniors, but also lost a couple of their better players from last year, Ashley Elias to graduation, and Demi Mak to a transfer.
Although born in Kansas, Booth and her family moved to Las Cruces before her first birthday. She considers herself a native of the area and knows how important the community of Las Cruces is to the program.
"This community has always backed up the women's golf team and made our success possible," Booth said, "and I know we will once again need their help and support to continue to be successful at the conference and national levels."
Booth graduated from Las Cruces High School in 1974. While at LCHS, she played on the boy's golf team and was the first female to letter in a boy's sport. She then went on to play collegiate golf at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, from 1975-78. She graduated from BYU in 1978 with a degree in recreation education.
Booth first came to NM State in 1982 as a volunteer assistant. In 1988 she was named assistant coach by then head coach Brilliant. Booth took over for Brilliant in 1992 and started her first season as a head coach. During her first run as the Aggie head coach, Booth led NM State to the NCAA tournament in 1996 and 1997. She was named Big West Coach of the Year for three consecutive years, from 1995-97.
As the UNM head coach, Booth led the Lobos to four consecutive Mountain West Conference championships, from 2000-03. She was also named MWC coach of the year for three consecutive years (2001-03). While at UNM, Booth was also named LPGA Coach of the Year twice, earning the award in 1998 and again in 2002. The award is considered the highest award in the country for a women's golf coach. She is one of only three coaches to receive the LPGA award twice.
Booth is a member of the US Bank/NM State Athletics Hall of fame, to which she was inducted in 2005. She is also a member of the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame. Booth has coached eight All-Americans and over 50 all-conference and all-scholar golfers.