Tricia Klein can be found on the golf course. She can also be found in the hospital or in the classroom.
She has found a way to continue her love of golf while working as a full-time registered nurse at Lehigh Valley Hospital and going to school at DeSales University to become a nurse practitioner.
Klein, a four-year varsity golfer at St. Francis, has recently been rehired as the assistant coach for the Lehigh women’s golf team after previously working as the assistant coach for the Mountain Hawks in 2018.
Klein said she started playing golf in fifth grade. She played nearby at Easton High School before beginning her stint at Saint Francis under current Lehigh head coach Mary Kate Lynch.
Lynch said she has a special connection with Klein because she was the first player Lynch ever coached. After college, she said, they became very close friends.
“She brings out the best in me, which is amazing,” Lynch said. “She knows and understands me, and is able to translate my coaching. I am really excited to have her back.”
Golf can be a mentally taxing game, and Lynch said she believes Klein will be of great assistance for the mental aspect of the sport.
Junior Angela Ding, who was coached by Klein as a freshman in 2018, agreed with Lynch that Klein is an important contributor to the team.
“I know personally, for me on the golf course, she was a very calming presence whenever she helped me out,” Ding said. “She helped me out with my mental game and, whenever she would see me start to panic or get nervous, she would be a confidence booster for me and put me back into my own head.”
Ding also said she thinks Klein will bring a positive energy to practice. She said Klein’s background as a nurse makes her sympathetic, empathetic and personable.
Ding said she believes that Klein, having been coached by Lynch in college, will help the team’s current athletes navigate the sport.
“I think she brings a lot of young energy,” Lynch said. “I think the girls can connect with her a little bit better than me, so when they’re having issues, whether it be golf or school-related, she is a really great resource for them.”
Klein said one of the greatest aspects of the sport of golf is that since the game is so long, the dynamic of the day can change quickly.
“It’s fun to have the opportunity to play for four or five hours, and interact with other players and the course,” Klein said. “You have a lot of time to yourself. It’s nice that it’s such a long game that can be challenging, but also forgiving.”
Making time for golf isn’t easy for Klein due to the demands of being both a full-time nurse and a student, she said.
Still, she managed to fit golf into her busy schedule to help Lynch out.
“In the fall we were really missing that energy she brings, and she helped me out with the Lehigh Invitational and saw that I really needed help,” Lynch said.
Lynch and the women’s team are looking forward to having Klein’s presence back on the course with them once more.
Klein said she is excited to resume her passion of playing golf and hopes to make a positive impact on the team.
“I have definitely managed to stay in the game, and it is what I love, so that is my plan for the future — to stay in it as much as possible,” Klein said.
Klein and Lynch hope to coach the Mountain Hawks to victory when they compete in the Benbow Invitational on March 9-10 in Jacksonville, Florida.