Coach’s Corner: Shelby DeVore

Trinity graduate Shelby DeVore returns to Trinity as Head Women’s Golf Coach


Claire Sammons

2018 graduate Shelby DeVore returns to Trinity as Head Women’s Golf Coach after three years.

Shelby DeVore joined Trinity’s athletics staff as the Assistant Director of Golf and Head Women’s Golf Coach at the beginning of the fall 2021 season. Although this is DeVore’s first coaching position, she has over a decade’s experience in golf and first hand experience with Trinity’s golf program as a former Tiger.

DeVore not only has experience with the game as a life-long golfer but also as the Assistant Director of Junior Golf with Camp Olympia — where she worked with campers on their golf skills. Most recently she worked as the Director of Marketing and Operations for the Spirit Golf Association — where she’s been able to put her B.A. in communications from Trinity to good use — and the Assistant Tournament Director for The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship.

DeVore kicked off her inaugural season as a coach with individual and team wins at the John Bohmann Memorial Invitational on Sept. 20. There is a lot more to see from women’s golf this season according to DeVore, who talked about the upcoming season, her passion for coaching and her love of the sport.

What brought you back to Trinity?

Well, I am now the women’s golf coach. My old coach, Carla, retired, and I saw that she was retiring and reached out. Coaching is something I’ve always wanted to pursue, and having an opportunity to go back to Trinity was just the cherry on top. So I reached out to her, and here I am.

What are you most excited about the upcoming season?

I’m most excited about this team. This team is maybe one of the best teams that has ever come through Trinity. They are so competitive. Their work ethic is unreal. They’re super talented, this group. You know, I played with some really great golfers at Trinity and against, and this group is just nothing like anything else. There’s a lot of them, which is a good problem to have having so many good players, but it does kind of make it a little challenging when you start qualifying, and you only get to take five and leave six or seven, but definitely this team and I get along so well on and off the golf course. They’re doing great in school and doing great in golf, so I’m excited about that.

How did you know that you wanted to be a coach?

You know, it was something I had, back in college, talked to my coach about. Something that I thought I was good at. I love working with other people; I love mentoring and helping, and I love the game of golf. I played it competitively for 10 years, and as much fun as it was, I kind of always wanted to take the next step into transitioning from player to coach, and so it was something I always wanted to do. I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do it. Just because, you know, right out of college, I went and worked in marketing. I did marketing for a small golf organization and just thought that was my future. And when this position came open, I knew I had to pursue it because it’s just a passion that I thought I could have, and I clearly love it; I mean, I’ve only been here a month, and I’m loving it.

What do you think is the most important aspect of coaching?

Being there for the players. You know, I always tell the girls they’re gonna be harder on themselves than I probably ever will. Golf is such an individual sport. You know, we have this team aspect, but for the most part, it’s only you and the golf course, so I think the most important part is knowing how they can be better with their game, whether that’s mentally, physically, but also being there to help them, like, the competitive side of them, but then being there to help them in other areas of their life. It hasn’t been long since I’ve been in their shoes, and this is a fun, challenging time, so, I think the big thing is just creating relationships with them and figuring out how to help them on and off the golf course.

You said you’ve played golf for a decade. Where does your love of golf come from?

I learned from my dad — he taught me how to swing a club when I was three — and so it was just kind of one of those things, you know, daddy-daughter dates out on the golf course, and I realized I was actually pretty good and wanted to pursue it, and I loved it. I met so many different people at the travel everywhere. It’s a fun sport, and I enjoyed it.

Do you have a favorite memory associated with golf?

Not a specific memory, but I think traveling with the team. Like I said, golf is such an individual sport that, especially before high school and college in the summers, it was all you, and it was always nice to get into school golf because you finally had other girls that had the same passion for a game that you did, and so it was always fun to travel with them, practice with them. That was one thing. I hated going to practice, but once I had a team it became fun, so I would just say traveling [with a team], we went on some really cool trips. We went to Phoenix, Destin, Alabama [and] Indiana when I was on the Trinity team, and those are cool experiences that I wouldn’t have gotten to do.

What is something you wish the casual spectator knew about the sport?

If they’re not golfers, I would say the whole concept of golf, because sometimes you get spectators that come out there that don’t know anything, and they walk around, or they’re loud, but I always hear this comment of ‘Golf is such a boring sport to watch,’ and I don’t disagree with them, but I guess I would tell the casual spectator that it actually is a fun sport if you play it, and if you’re watching it and know it and all the challenges. Golf is like the game ‘Life.’ You’re gonna go out there; you’re gonna have different days; you’re gonna have bad days; you’re gonna have good days; you’re gonna be in rough spots; you’re gonna be in good spots, and it’s all about how you, you know, approach that shot and approach the challenge that you’re faced in that one shot or that hole or that day and how you recover from it all.

If you were stranded on an island, who would you want to be stranded with and why?

Probably my best friend, Brady, just because we could have fun doing anything on an island. She’s kind of my ride-or-die girl.

What three people, alive or dead, real or not real, would you invite to your dream dinner party?

I’m gonna go the golf route. Jack Nicklaus. Jordan Speed. Probably Jessica Corner just because I would love to hear all their stories on the tour — Jack Nicklaus goes way back, he’s kind of the king of golf — and just being able to talk about all their experiences.

What would you serve at said dinner party?

Steak, potatoes, asparagus and rolls because it’s my favorite go-to dinner.

If there’s one thing you can tell the world about yourself, what would you say?

I somehow want to make a difference, whether it is coaching and being here at Trinity with these girls or if it’s somewhere else. My goal in life is somehow to make a difference.