One of the elite golf coaches across the nation, Tyrus York is in his fourth full season as the Transylvania women’s golf head coach.
Since taking over the program in March 2016, Transylvania women’s golf has reached milestones unforeseen before York’s arrival. A two-time PGA Teacher of the Year award-winner, York has led the Pioneers to two straight NCAA Championship appearances, a first for the program.
A native of Harlan, Kentucky, York brings a unique combination of professional golfing experience along with a rich and far-reaching teaching pedigree to the position. York has been a Class A-certified PGA Professional for seven years and instructs as a PGA Teaching Professional at the High Performance Golf Academy in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
York brings a wealth of acclaim to the women’s golf head coaching position at Transylvania and his mantle of accolades bears witness to his acumen; York was one of nine professionals selected to Golf Digest’s “Best Teachers in Your State” list for the state of Kentucky for 2017-18. He was one of seven professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region to be chosen to Golf Digest’s “Best Young Teachers in America” list in 2016-17.
In addition to his most recent awards, York was named 2017 Kentucky Section PGA Teacher of the Year award, the second time he has received such honors. York was also named the Kentucky Section PGA Teacher of the Year in 2014 and has also been nominated for the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Junior Golf Leader of the Year awards in the Kentucky Section.
Over the past two seasons, the Pioneers have reached new milestones under York’s guidance by repeating as Heartland Collegiate Conference Champions in the falls of 2017 and 2018. By winning the HCAC Conference Tournament in consecutive seasons, Transylvania women’s golf advanced to back-to-back national championship appearances for the first time in the history of the program. York leads the Pioneers into the 2019-20 season as the standard of excellence in the HCAC.
In the 2018-19 season, York led the Pioneers to a repeat as conference champions for the first time in program history. The Pioneers also clinched back-to-back NCAA Championship berths for the first time ever by winning their second consecutive conference title. Junior Rachel Fine finished as the individual champion of the conference while the Pioneers won by 13 strokes over the conference runner-up. Four players were named to the All-HCAC team for their conference performances. Transylvania finished off a historic year with a 15th-place finish at the national championships at the Bay Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas in May 2019.
The 2018-19 campaign followed a landmark season the year before wherein York oversaw the most successful year for the Pioneers women’s golf program on and off the links in 2017-18. In October 2017, York’s Pioneers won the HCAC Conference Tournament team championship for the first time in nearly a decade as junior Meredith Moir won her second consecutive HCAC Most Valuable Player award with a first-place finish. Transylvania captured the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament the following May and recorded its best finish at a national championship in program history, making the cut and placing 15th. The Pioneers also recorded the third-highest grade-point-average of any women’s golf program in the country to top off an extraordinary 2017-18 campaign.
In his first full season at Transylvania during the 2016-2017 season, instant results came for the Pioneers women’s golf team; the Pioneers finished the 2016 portion of the fall season strong as sophomore Meredith Moir captured the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference individual championship with a first-place finish at Hulman Links Golf Club. Both Moir and fellow sophomore Jenna Soderling notched first and second place in the 2016 HCAC Women’s Golf Championships under York’s guidance while Moir was named the conference player of the year.
The Pioneers completed 2017 on a high note as they won the team title at the Transylvania Spring Invitational at Keene Run Golf Course, their home venue. Following the conclusion of the 2017 season, the team received the inaugural WGCA Mark Laesch Award, which recognizes the team from each NCAA Division that attains the greatest improvement in stroke average from one season to the next; the Pioneers improved from a 382.92 stroke average in 2016 to a 343.50 stroke average in 2017, York’s first full season at the helm of the program.
While the evolution of the Transylvania program has been swift under York’s management, his procession to becoming the Pioneers women’s golf head coach has been a steady drive from a playing career that began as an eighth-grader, led to a college career at the University of the Cumberlands, and bloomed into a coaching career following graduation in 2005.
York served as the boys and girls high school head coach at the Sayre School in Lexington for three years from 2012 through 2015. In all, York has been involved in golf instruction for over a decade prior to his current stint as the women’s golf head coach at Transylvania.
The love of the game and the love of teaching it are two passions that fuel York's daily drive as a coach: “I began teaching golf shortly after the conclusion of my college golf career and knew that coaching was something I wanted to do for a long time,” says York. “I’m fortunate that my primary focus has been on instruction, and subsequently improving these teaching skills. Along the way I’ve been able to contribute to the marketing efforts of the facilities I’ve worked with, as well as manage the financial responsibilities of running my own teaching business.”
York touts a relationship-first teaching philosophy based upon initially evaluating the learning style of each of his students, and developing a method that best aligns with their abilities and talents prior to developing the optimal golf swing. “My philosophy as an instructor is do something every day to better yourself and personally adopt that in my own life,” said York.
As a resident of the Lexington area for a decade, York commands an understanding of the university and top-level aspirations for his program: “Transylvania has a rich history here in the state of Kentucky for both academics and sports,” said York. “The university has long been a very important landmark in Lexington. Having produced extremely talented student-athletes already, I want to see more women’s golfers be a part of that legacy. I am humbled to be the coach to take these ladies to the next level.”