Women's Golf photos from the 2014 Saluki Shootout, taken 9.21.14.
Alexis Mihelich has continued the tradition of excellence in Saluki women's golf after four seasons at the helm, accruing 12 team tournament titles and nine individual tournament titles. In addition, the team earned four team runner up finishes and six individual runner ups. In 48 total tournaments spanning four seasons, the Salukis have finished in the top five 34 times. Mihelich was named women's golf head coach at Southern Illinois University on Aug. 5, 2011.
In her fourth season, Mihelich opened the season with back-to-back wins, the third time to recored back-to-back wins as a Saluki. The Salukis won the Jan Weaver Classic hosted by Murray State, firing a round of 291, which included a 68. The Salukis won the inaugural Saluki Shootout, coming away with the program's 11th win under Mihelich. The Saluki Shootout produced an MVC Player of the Week as one golfer tried for medalist honors but was defeated on the third playoff hole to earn an individual runner-up finish. This marks the fifth individual runner-up. The Salukis finished their fall campaign with three top-five team finishes and five top-five individual finishes.
In the spring, the Salukis won the Saluki Invitational for the third consecutive time to remain undefeated at home during her tenure. This victory marked the twelfth team title under Mihelich. One Saluki - Mattie Lindner - was the Individual Medalist at the Saluki Invitational earning MVC Player of the Week and Scholar Athlete of the Week honors. This medalist victory marked the 9th medalist win. In a dual match over SIUE, the Salukis shot the second lowest 18-hole round in school history at a 289. The spring season had three top-five team finishes and seven top-five individual finishes. The team concluded the season finishing third at the MVC Conference Championships where one Saluki (Brooke Cusumano) finished as runner-up, which led to Scholar Athlete of the Week honors. The runner-up finish was Mihelich's sixth runner-up finish and second at the MVC Championships.
Cusumano also earned All-Conference honors, was named to the MVC All-Scholar Athlete First team, and was awarded with the prestigious MVC Elite 18 Academic Award presented at the Conference Championship. The Elite 18 Award honors the highest achievement in academics and athletics by a student-athlete in each MVC sponsored sport. It is awarded to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average after competing in the athlete's respective sport's championship. Cusumano was the only athlete in the top-18 with a 4.0 grade point average. This was the women's golf program's first Elite 18 award.
In her third year, the Salukis won four team titles, the second time in her Saluki career to win four tournament titles in a single season (UMKC, Middle Tennessee, Bradley and Saluki). The team had one Runner Up finish at Murray State. On the Individual side, the team boasted one medalist honor at the Dual at Dalhousie bringing her medalist victory total to eight and having one Individual Runner Up at UMKC bringing that total to four. Five different Salukis placed in the top five individually on the season. The Salukis boasted one MVC player of the week, 1 MVC All Conference selection, and one MVC All-Scholar athlete. For the third consecutive year, at least three Salukis earned WGCA All American Scholar honors.
In her second year at the helm of the program, SIU won the SIUE Intercollegiate, giving Mihelich five tournament titles in two years. Two Salukis both won individual titles on the year (Middle Tennessee and SIUE), giving Mihelich seven medalist golfers in her first two years. The Salukis also had one Individual Runner up finish at Tennessee Tech. The team produced three MVC Golfers of the Week, two All-Conference players, a third-place finish at the MVC Championship, nine straight top-five finishes. Two Salukis earned spots on the MVC Scholar-Athlete team and three players made the WGCA All-American Scholar team -- the second consecutive year Mihelich landed at least three of her student-athletes on the list.
Alexis was featured in the June 2012 Edition of Chicago District Golfer
In her first year, Mihelich led the Salukis to four tournament wins (Ball State, SIUE, Saluki, NIU), the most wins in a single season since records started being consistently kept in 1983. An SIU golfer won medalist honors in five of the team's 11 tournaments (SIUE, NIU, Saluki, MAC preview, and Ball State), and four different Salukis won at least one tournament. Salukis finished runner up as a team three times (Creigton, Bradley, and ISU) and had two individual runner up finishes (SIUE and MVC Championships). For the season, southern finished among the top three teams in nine tournaments, including a third-place finish at the MVC Championship.
Three golfers were first-team All-Conference selections and another was a member of the seven-person MVC Scholar-Athlete team. Alisha Matthews set a MVC Championship record with a single-round score of 67. SIU had six MVC Golfers of the Week. Four players earned National Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar honors under Mihelich's watch.
Mihelich served four years as women's golf head coach at Chicago State (2007-11). At CSU, she turned a last-place program into one that competed for tournament titles. Her 2010-2011 squad won three events (twice at the Chi-Town Showdown and once at the Windy City Triangular) and finished in the top three of four tournaments and top five in 9 events, including a third-place finish at the Great West Conference Championship. Her 2008-2009 squad recorded three team tournament wins (IPFW, Chi-Town Showdown, St Francis), including the program's first team and individual title, one Individual Champion (St. Francis), and one Individual Runner Up (Green Bay).
In 2010, Mihelich was honored with the NIU Huskie Classic Coaches Award, becoming the first coach outside of the Mid-American Conference to win the honor since 2003 after her team's third place finish at the 2010 NIU Huskie Classic. After her final season at Chicago State in 2010-11, Mihelich earned Midwest Section Coach of the Year honors by the LPGA for her outstanding accomplishments in collegiate women's golf. "The dramatic improvement at Chicago State under Alexis' watch is a testament to her ability to lead a collegiate golf program," said Director of Athletics Mario Moccia. "During the interview process, I was impressed with her vision for our golf program. She is committed to helping young women become the best they can be -- academically, socially and competitively on the golf course."
Before coming to Southern, Mihelich was a volunteer assistant at St. Francis (2005-07) and an assistant at Robert Morris College (2007). She also served as interim head men's golf coach at Chicago State for the 2009-2010 season.
Alexis Mihelich is a member of the LPGA and a former Teaching Professional at Green Garden Golf Academy.
"I look forward to being a member of the Saluki community and will work tirelessly to maintain the rich legacy of women's sports that has been created by coaches who have come before me," Mihelich said. "My goal is to lead the SIU's women's golf program to a team title in the Missouri Valley Conference."
Mihelich has family ties to Southern Illinois. Her uncle, Skip Cosgrove, was an assistant softball coach for 22 years before retiring in 2010. Several relatives, including her brother, Adam, are Saluki alumni.
Mihelich played Division I golf at the University of New Orleans. She was a team captain her senior year and represented the squad on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. She graduated with honors in 2005 with a degree in education. She is currently a masters degree candidate in sports studies at SIU with an anticipated May 2015 graduation.
Mihelich has played professionally in LPGA T&CP events including the 2007 and 2008 Midwest Section Championship and the 2008 LPGA T&CP National Championship at Pinehurst. Alexis Mihelich has been an active member of the LPGA since 2005 and a former Teaching Professional at Green Garden Golf Academy (2005-2007).
She completed the United States Army Leadership Training Course in 2003 and is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of America. She provided the golf swing model for the arcade game "Golden Tee Live" that was featured in the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. She was also the personal golf instructor for late comedian Bernie Mac and a consultant on the set of his movie, "Soul Men." MEDIA LINKS