Kim Kester has been named head coach of Northern Illinois University’s women’s golf team, NIU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher announced Wednesday.
“It is my pleasure to welcome Kim Kester to the Huskie family,” Compher said. “Kim brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to our women’s golf program as well as a thorough understanding of the Mid-American Conference. Not only does she know what it takes to coach in the league, she knows what it’s like to compete in the MAC, having been a very successful golfer in the conference.”
“I’m very excited,” Kester said. “I come from the MAC, having been at Toledo the last three years, so I am very familiar with the Northern Illinois golf program. I’m ready to take the team to the next level.”
Kester comes to Northern Illinois after spending the past three seasons as a graduate assistant for the women’s golf team at her alma mater, Toledo. She helped lead the Rockets to a third-place finish at the Mid-American Conference Championship in 2010 and 2012. During her tenure at Toledo, Kester served as academic coordinator and assisted in the recruiting duties for the Rockets.
“The MAC is a strong conference and it’s a good conference,” Kester added. “There is a lot of talent [in the league] and the schedule everybody plays is pretty competitive.”
Prior to returning to Toledo, Kester was the head girls golf coach at Forest Hills Northern High School in Grand Rapids, Mich. from February 2008-May 2009.
A standout golfer for the Rockets, Kester is a two-time second-team All-MAC honoree and posted the second-lowest single-season stroke average in school history with her 76.5 mark in her junior campaign. In that season, she led UT with six top-five finishes and tied for the team lead with eight top-10 showings. She also helped the Rockets post a school-best runner-up finish at the 2006 MAC Championship. A three-time team captain for the Rockets, Kester was Toledo’s MVP in 2006-07.
Kester, a native of Ada, Mich., had a solid amateur career as well. She captured the Golf Association of Michigan Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in August 2011 with a four-under 140. Kester captured the Grand Rapids Women’s City Championship in 2005 and 2006. In 2005, she finished with a three-day total of eight-under 214 (76-66-72) posting a course-record 66 in the second round. Kester also placed fourth at the 2005 GAM Women’s Championship and reached the Sweet 16 of the 2005 Michigan Women’s Amatuer.
A 2007 graduate of Toledo, Kester earned her bachelor’s degree in recreation and leisure studies and received her master’s degree in special education in 2011.
Kester begins her duties at Northern Illinois Aug. 16, when she takes over for Pam Tyska, who retired after 26 years at NIU.