Tim Lang has been appointed as the new head coach of the Foxes’ girls golf program and, even before meeting the players in person, he already is excited about the possibilities and potential of the team.
Coach Lang’s optimism is warranted. He is taking over a team, formerly led by teacher and coach John Broderick for 25 years, that placed fourth at the WPIAL Class AAA championship last season and were undefeated section champs the past two years. Additionally, last season, two talented sophomores qualified for the individual WPIAL and PIAA playoffs and one was the WPIAL runner-up.
Even with all of those achievements, Coach Lang believes the team has a great opportunity to showcase itself even more during the 2020 season. He says, “The strengths of this team are their experience, dedication, and ambition. Many of the players are in spring and summer tournaments. They have a lot of drive and will be driven to push themselves even further this year. If you are just going to say, ‘I’m happy with winning the section title,’ you’re limiting yourself. I want them to win the WPIAL and PIAA championships. This team has a lot of potential and there are a lot of talented girls.”
As a former assistant for the Foxes’ boys varsity golf team and the junior varsity head coach, Lang knows what it takes to win the big trophies. Last season, the boys team won the school’s first state championship. Coach Lang is also the assistant coach of the Foxes’ ninth-grade boys basketball team, which serves as a highly successful feeder group for the varsity squad. Last season, the varsity team tied the school record for most consecutive section wins and was ranked as the top WPIAL 5A team for most of the regular season.
“The last time the girls golf team won the WPIAL Class 3A championship was 10 years ago when they also were the PIAA runner-up,” says the Fox Chapel Area 1975 alum. “We can do something special again this year. Although it is an individual sport, it plays into a team concept with the right frame of mind. I think it is time to win another championship title.”
Lang’s philosophy for building successful teams stems from decades of professional leadership experience, genuine concern for the players, and years of coaching experience in multiple sports.
“First and foremost, I care about the players, and I make it known to all of them,” explains Coach Lang, who wrote heartfelt handwritten cards to each of his JV boys golfers at the end of last season. “I’m not only concerned that they just play well, but that they also mature through the experience. I love to help the athletes grow within their sport as well as personally. Coaching is similar to teaching; you have to be able to recognize what a player needs and then be able to communicate that in various ways. I also like to focus on the small successes and most of all, listen.”
Coach Lang entered the ranks of coaching with a basketball gig when he was in his 20s and helped lead middle school through junior high school players. That was when he was still in pharmacy school and the rigors of doing both things well was too much. After he married Lisa, his high school sweetheart – who taught in the Fox Chapel Area School District until her retirement this year – and had two boys, he started coaching their teams. A change of careers and a burgeoning business interrupted his participation. It was several years ago that Coach Lang finally got back to helping young people achieve their goals in sports.
He credits his current involvement with the Fox Chapel Area golf program to boys’ coaches and mentors Bryan Deal and Jeremey Bennet. Additionally, Coach Lang frequently golfs with former Coach Broderick and has heard about the special girls that make up the squad.
“I believe there is an opportunity for this team to showcase themselves, perhaps more than they have in the past,” says Coach Lang. “To be in a position to coach these individuals is a special opportunity to see them grow and build relationships beyond golf. I am really looking forward to getting started!”
The 2020 Fox Chapel Area girls golf team tryouts will be held on Aug. 17-18 at the Pittsburgh National Golf Club, 287 Monier Road, Gibsonia, PA, 15044. For more detailed information about tryouts and the team, log onto “Announcements” on fcasdathletics.org, or contact Coach Lang at email@example.com.