KOKOMO, Ind. — Lela Crawford makes Cougar athletics history for the second time, as Indiana University Kokomo’s first two sport athlete.
Crawford (Tipton/Tipton HS) signed a letter of intent to join the first-ever women’s golf team, beginning play in the fall. She also is a member of the women’s basketball team that recently completed its first year.
“My dad owns a golf course, so I’ve been playing golf all my life,” said Crawford, a secondary special education major, noting that she first started learning to play around age 4. “I thought this would be a great addition to my experience here at IU Kokomo. It will keep me competitive all year long.”
Four additional current IU Kokomo students joined the team as well, including two women with prior college golf experience. Bailey Troutman (Anderson/homeschool) previously played at IU East, while Kait Wickersham (Logansport/Logansport HS) golfed one semester at IUPUI.
“I’m excited to take what I learned there and to grow as a player,” said Troutman, a communication arts major. “It’s going to be exciting to learn together and grow together as a team. I think we’re going to have a big year.”
Wickersham said she can help her teammates know what to expect from college tournaments. She likes the idea of being part of the first team.
“We set the way for everyone else,” she said.
Kelsey Crabtree (Elwood/Elwood Community HS) previously played in high school and in Indiana Junior Golf Association tournaments. She looks forward to taking her game to the next level.
“I always dreamed of playing college golf, and I’m excited to have this opportunity,” she said.
The four women join incoming freshmen Abby Houlihan (Wabash/Southwood HS) and Austina Cansler (Marion/Eastbrook HS) on the inaugural women’s team.
On the men’s side, Derek Glass (Alexandria/Alexandria-Monroe HS), a senior, is happy to get back into playing golf. He looks forward to working with Coach David Hancock, a sports psychology specialist, to improve his game.
“I expect we’ll make a lot of growth this season,” he said. “Starting a new program is a great opportunity to leave a legacy.”
Glass joins incoming students Austin Welch (Westfield/Westfield HS), and Alex Beale (Cicero/Hamilton Heights HS), and senior Ben Constable (Kokomo/Western HS) on the men’s team.
With six women and four men on the teams, Hancock said he now has enough golfers to compete. He plans for three fall tournaments and three spring tournaments for the first year, and to build from there.
“We have some outstanding golfers, and our team should be competitive in the conference,” said Hancock.
He continues to recruit additional athletes, with a goal of eight golfers per team. For more information about the IU Kokomo golf program and other Cougar sports information, go to iukcougars.com.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.