SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo University Director of Athletics Francis X. Reidy announced the addition of Erika Danford to the Lions’ coaching staff as she has been tabbed the new head women’s golf coach.  Danford comes to Saint Leo after a two-year stint as an instructor for the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Orlando, Fla.

"We are very pleased to add someone of Erika's experience and energy to our program," Reidy said.   "Her background from the Leadbetter Academy, business side of golf and balanced collegiate resume made her a great fit for our developing program at Saint Leo."

Although new to the collegiate coaching ranks, Danford’s resume is thick with experience on the course.  Prior to her time at the Leadbetter Academy, she served as an Operations Intern for the American Junior Golf Association where she organized golf tournaments and served as a rules official during competition.  Danford also holds the unique honor of being the only female certified instructor in North America for the Leadbetter Academy.

"In the interview process Erika was able to articulate a vision and direction for the program not only for the short term, but for the long term, putting her ahead of the other fine candidates considered for this position," Reidy said.

A 2006 graduate of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, Danford played on the Catamount women’s golf team where she finished her career ranked in the top-20 in the Southern Conference and sits ninth all-time at WCU in scoring average.

“I feel extremely honored to be joining the Lions, and I am excited to begin working alongside the ladies,” Danford said.  “They all have tremendous potential, and this program is most certainly on the rise.  I look forward to the opportunity to help our team excel not only on the golf course, but within the classroom as well.”

Another focal point for Danford is in the classroom where she is no stranger to success with academics.  During her time at Western Carolina she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 3.79 grade point average and made the Dean’s List every semester.  The vice president of the Western Carolina Student-Athlete Advisory Council was also named to the WCU Honors College and was the Catamount’s Female Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2005.

Danford will immediately begin her coaching duties as she will take the Saint Leo women’s golf team to Ft. Lauderdale next Monday and Tuesday where they will participate in the Nova Southeastern University Shark Invitational played at the PGA National Resort.