RIVERSIDE — St. Mary Academy – Bay View, announced that Terry Kling, Bengals golf coach since 2007, has been named the 2019-20 Rhode Island Girls Golf Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHSA) and the Rhode Island Interscholastic League.
The award recognizes coaches who are leading their sport, shaping their athletes and contributing to their community. In a Jan. 21, 2021 letter from NFSHSA announcing the award, Kling is recognized as a leader and role model at the interscholastic level.
In a year unlike any other for virtually every sports team, Kling is looking forward to meeting the challenges ahead in the same way she always has — with an optimism and enthusiasm for golf matched only by her dedication to her students. Despite restrictions imposed by COVID-19, she’s found creative ways to keep her all-girls Bay View team — the only all-girls golf team in the state – focused on the game.
“COVID certainly has impacted us all,” Kling said. “Last spring we met virtually, and I created a golf dice game we all played together. Using Google Earth, we played at actual courses, and it was a great way to stay in touch with the players and keep them focused on their game. They were just as competitive playing virtually as they were on the actual course.”
Kling, who is also assistant to the executive director for the Tiverton Housing Authority, acknowledges that while COVID has affected the game of golf far less than most sports, she overcomes that obstacle with the same motto she uses as a coach: by telling her students they can do anything they want to do.
So far, that can-do attitude has worked for her. Since her arrival 14 years ago, the team’s record proudly stands at 87-108-1 (w-l-t). And with the spring season just around the corner, Kling is confident her students will continue to shine, both on and off the course.
Jennifer Wasson, Bay View’s director of athletics, has no doubt Kling has another stellar season ahead, despite the obstacles presented by COVID-19. “Our fall and winter sports have been able to move forward by adhering to strict guidelines and game modifications,” Wasson says. “We welcome new guidance and modifications just to get back on the course and return to some sense of normalcy, thanks to coaches like Terry.
“She is a tremendous role model, not only for the girl’s golf program but also for the entire Bay View community,” Wasson adds. “Her commitment and hard work have positioned Bay View as the only all-girls golf team competing in a very rigorous Rhode Island Interscholastic League Golf Division. She develops these young ladies into great leaders on and off the course. We’re extremely proud that Terry has been recognized as Coach of the Year by the National Federation of High School Sports.”