The only golf coach the Youngstown State women’s program has ever known, Roseann Schwartz, announced her retirement following the recent Horizon League Championships. She guided the program to a pair of league titles in her tenure.
Schwartz, a respected local professional and instructor and former middle school teacher and reading specialist, was given the task of creating the YSU program by then-Athletic Director Jim Tressel in January 1996.
“Roseann Schwartz is one of the area’s most knowledgeable golf instructors, and we are most happy to be adding a coach of her caliber to our athletics family,” Tressel said in the Jan. 19, 1996 release. “Her experience, enthusiasm and knowledge for the game is exactly what we are looking for as we build what we hope will be one of the most respected women’s golf programs on the Division I level.”
Tressel hit the nail on the head and during her 17-year career the enthusiasm and passion for YSU, her alma mater, never wavered and her love and pride for Penguins golf was something enjoyed by her student-athletes.
The program thrived under Schwartz’s leadership. Her recruiting base was primarily standouts from Ohio and Pennsylvania with an occasional regional player or Floridian like Brittany Jones sprinkled in. Locally she had showed that golfers like Gina Abruzzino, Katie Rogner, Stephanie Matasek, current star Allison Mitzel and many other standouts could play close to home and be successful.
“The Youngstown State women’s golf program will always be Roseann’s program,” Ron Strollo, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics said. “She was a dedicated coach who worked hard and made sure her student-athletes had an enjoyable college experience. We wish her and her husband, Dick, nothing but the best.”
YSU spent its first few years finding the fairway, but once Schwartz organized the program things began to take off. In the program’s second year in the Mid-Continent Conference, Matasek finished second at the conference championships. She went on to place second again in 2001.
After a transitional year between the Mid-Con and Horizon League, the Penguins won the first-ever Horizon League women’s title by 10 shots in 2003. YSU finished either second of third each of the next six years before claiming the title again in 2009. She rounded out her tenure with two more second-place finishes, including the 2013 HL Championships which wrapped up on Sunday.
Individually, Mitzel (2013), Formeck (2009), Rogner (2008) and Lori Hatcher (2003) all won Horizon League Championships. Four times a Penguin was selected Golfer of the Year and twice Schwartz received Conference Coach-of-the-Year accolades. YSU had 16 top-five finishes at the Horizon League Championships, had 16 all-conference selections.
In 2013 she coached her granddaughter, Emily Rohanna, who placed 11th in her first conference championships.
Courtesy: YSU Sports Information