Head Women's Golf Coach Eric Sieger
Eric Sieger, 12th season
Eric Sieger moves into his 12th season, having led the Knights to their best season in program history a year ago. The Knights, with four first-year players in the starting five, set a new school stroke average record and have now posted the five lowest season averages over last seven years.
The Knights recorded a record-setting campaign in 2011-12. The youthful squad, which started four first-year players, was nationally- and regionally-ranked for nearly the entire season. The Knights obliterated the school scoring mark by more than 11 shots and improved on last year’s scoring average by a whopping 20 shots. In addition to setting a new single-season standard, the Knights posted 11 of the program’s top 20 single-round scores this year and six of the best 10 36-hole scores. Rookies Gina Kabasakalis and Taylor Wells both broke the previous school single-season scoring mark. Kabasakalis now holds the mark with an 80.3 average over 16 rounds this season, while Wells was a mere 11 shots back with an 81.0 average. Classmate Kelsey Moede ended with an 84.3 average, which now ranks as the eighth-lowest in school history. Both Wells and Kabasakalis earned All-MIAC and NGCA all-region honors, making Carleton the lone team in the nation to place two first-year players on any of the five all-region teams. Kabasakalis was co-MIAC freshman of the year and the Knights ended the year ranked 20th in the GolfWeek/NGCA Division III Coaches poll. Wells and senior Traci Johnson were named NGCA Scholar All-Americans.
In 2009-10, the Knights were ranked in the GolfWeek/NGCA Division III Coaches poll, peaking as high as 19th in the poll. The team shattered the single-season school scoring mark by nearly seven full shots, notched four the five lowest 36-hole totals in school history and the four best single-round totals in program history. Hope Keaney '13 was named MIAC freshman of the year and tied the Carleton 36-hole scoring mark at the Knights' own spring home invitational. For the second straight season Carleton had a pair of NGCA Scholar All-Americans, while Laura Knutson '11 repeated as an All-MIAC honoree.
The 2008-09 season saw the Knights post their best MIAC Championships finish ever, as a final-round 335 carried the Knights to a third-place finish. Laura Knutson '11 and Katrina Wood '09 earned All-MIAC honors after finishing in a tie for second at the conference tourmanet, with Wood becoming the first Knights' women's golfer to earn multiple all-conference honors. The Knights had two players earn NGCA All-Scholar honors. The Knights were nationally ranked for most of the season.
In 2007-08 Sieger was named the MIAC and MWCGA Coach of the Year. The Knights were nationally ranked the entire spring season, rising as high as 17th in the GolfWeek/NGCA Division III Coaches poll. Carleton didn't lose to an unranked team the entire spring season, and defeated three nationally-ranked teams in the spring and posted wins over three NCAA Championships team qualifiers. For the second straight year, the Knights had an individual qualifier to the NCAA Championships, as Katrina Wood '09 tied for 37th. Laura Knutson '11 set new first-year scoring records for 18-, 36- and 54-hole totals, as well as single season average.
For two consecutive seasons Golf Digest has ranked Carleton's program as one of the best in the country, regardless of Division, in the magazine's "Academics First" category, which recognized collegiate programs where student-athletes can receive a top-notch education and be a part of a very competitive golf environment. The magazine also ranked Carleton in the top 20 percent of all programs in terms of player improvement. Carleton is one of only three programs nationally to earn the NGCA's team academic award in each of the first three seasons of the awards existence.
Under Sieger's direction the Knights improved their MIAC Championships team finish in each of his first four years, culminating in a fourth-place finish at the 2006 MIAC Championships. The Knights spent much of the 2006-07 season ranked in the top 30 and finished third in the final Golfstat/NCAA rankings among conference programs. The Knights ended the regular season with one of the lowest rounds in school history, finishing third at the Minnesota State Championships. Kassie Wells '07 and Katrina Wood '09 earned the program's first all-conference citations and Wells repeated as an all-region player. She capped her career as Carleton's first female representative at the NCAA Championships, finishing 34th at the national championships. Everyone in Carleton's starting line-up qualified for Academic All-Conference honors and National Golf Coaches Association's (NGCA) Academic All-Scholar honors, and Wells capped her career with an NCAA Championships appearance, the first for the program. She also earned a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. The Knights collectively posted a 3.749 team grade-point average, the third-best in all of college golf to earn the NGCA's All-Scholar Team award for the third consecutive year.
In 2005-06 the Knights were ranked in the national top 30 and region’s top 10. Wells was named to the NGCA all-region squad and set a new single-season school scoring record. For the third straight year, Carleton sported a trio of NGCA Scholar All-Americans and placed 21st in the country in team grade point average.
In 2004-05, the Knights set a new 18- and 36-hole school record by firing a 677 team score at its own Small College Desert Classic. For the second straight season, three players were named to the of National Golf Coach Association (NGCA) Scholar All-America squad. The Knights ranked ninth in the nation in team grade-point average, second among all Division III schools, and ranked 19th in the “Academics First” category in Golf Digest’s College Golf Guide.
In the 2003-04 season, the Knights moved into the national top 30 and the regional top 10 for the first time. The team rewrote the school record book, setting a then 18-hole mark with a 335 at the MWCGA State Championships and broke 700 for 36 holes for the first time in school history. The team also featured a trio of NGCA Scholar All-Americans, one of the few programs nationally to place multiple players on the prestigious team.
After finishing eighth at the MIAC Championships in 2000 and 2001, Carleton moved up to sixth in 2002 and fifth in 2003. The 2002-03 season saw the Knights improve their team stroke average by 73 strokes over the previous season. The Knights were ranked in the top 15 of the region for much of 2002-03 and set new 18-hole school scoring records three different times. The first-year class in 2002-03 was ranked in the nation's top five for most of the season as well.
An active member of the NGCA, Sieger is the chairperson of the Division III awards committee and serves as a voter in the NGCA Division III top 25.
Sieger, also the College’s director of media and public relations, comes from a strong high school and college golf background. He was a two-year letterwinner for Luther College (Iowa), as the Norse captured the 1997 Iowa Conference championship, their first league title since 1973. At the high school level, Sieger competed for three years at the varsity level for Durango (Colo.) High School, as the Demons produced 12 collegiate golfers and four touring professionals in the 1990s. Still an avid golfer, he maintains a handicap of less than five.
Sieger came to Carleton as the school's first-ever full-time sports information director in September 2000. He previously served in the same capacity at Carleton when the position was at the internship level during the 1997-98 school year. He was Alma College (Mich.) sports information director from July 1998 to August 2000, and also served as Alma's assistant director of athletics for one year. He has previous coaching experience as Northfield High School’s ninth-grade boys’ basketball coach from 1997-98, and held a similar position at North Winnishiek High School (Iowa) from 1995-97.
Sieger and his wife, Amanda, reside in Dundas with their son, Evan, and daughter, Marea.