Returning to Lehigh as an assistant coach for the women’s golf team, Mary Kate Lynch will play a crucial role for the team this year, both on and off the course.
While serving as head coach for the women’s golf team at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania, she met her husband, Ryan Lynch. The two of them decided to come back to Bethlehem to work for Lehigh Athletics, Ryan Lynch as the athletic trainer for the Lehigh football team and Mary Kate Lynch as a coach for women’s golf.
Ryan Lynch is originally from the Bethlehem area, making it convenient for them to have family right in the neighborhood. Mary Kate Lynch’s family lives in New Jersey, also a convenient location for them.
Although she’s transitioning from head coach at St. Francis to assistant coach at Lehigh, Mary Kate Lynch said she absolutely loves her position and has even become a better coach going from one position to another.
“I’ve definitely changed and grown,” Mary Kate Lynch said. “I have a different and better philosophy going back into this role.”
Having had experience in the highest leading role as the head coach, Mary Kate Lynch is able to apply the same leadership skills she used at St. Francis in a different role at Lehigh. She says that having an authority above her is something that she enjoys, especially working with a coach who values and respects her as a coach and individual.
Living out her passion, Mary Kate Lynch is able to help her players achieve goals both on and off the course. She believes her strengths as a coach have always been encouraging her players as well as portraying positivity and genuine belief in the team. Senior Elizabeth McGarrigle echoed Mary Kate Lynch when talking about her strengths as a coach.
“She is so encouraging,” McGarrigle said. “Any time we feel down or (are) just not performing well, Coach MK (Lynch) is able to pick us up and give our team the confidence we need.”
Mary Kate Lynch acknowledges the significance of bringing the absolute best out of her players, both individually and collectively.
“Her relationship with the players is so real,” McGarrigle said. “She is somebody we can go to when we need advice because she is so comforting and trustworthy.”
Feeling comfortable enough to step into Mary Kate Lynch’s office at any moment after having spent less than an entire season with her, McGarrigle said she and her teammates feel as though Mary Kate Lynch has established a professional and comfortable relationship with her players.
McGarrigle said the time and commitment Mary Kate Lynch puts forth each day is definitely noticeable among the assistant coaches from the previous years.
“She really goes above and beyond for our team,” McGarrigle said. “Our previous assistant coach was great too, honestly. What she does is just noticeable and doesn’t go without appreciation because I know she could be doing plenty of other things and to see her time being spent traveling and coaching us is really nice.”
Coach Judith Dwyer also sees the similar supportive qualities McGarrigle sees in Mary Kate Lynch as this year’s assistant coach.
“I have known Mary Kate (Lynch) through our team’s competitions over the past four years,” Dwyer said. “She has always been warm and friendly with all of our players . . . Our players also always got along well (with her) which reflected her style of coaching.”
Working together striving to accomplish the goal both players and coaches train for — a Patriot League Championship — Dwyer, Mary Kate Lynch and McGarrigle believe the team has the right personnel to achieve this goal.
“We are thrilled she is helping with the team,” Dwyer said.