Nov
13
2014
Phil to fly (interim) coach to ASU
By Stephanie Wei under College Golf

Phil Mickelson has found a way to spend part of his offseason. Mickelson has been named the interim assistant golf coach to Arizona State University. The connection is that he’s obviously a former Sun Devil, where he won three individual NCAA titles, but also, his brother Tim is the head coach of the men’s golf team.

Golfweek, which first reported the arrangement, says Phil’s role isn’t expected to be long-term.

The appointment will place the older Mickelson on the coaching staff and allow him to operate under the same rules as a staff member or a coach – they are different rules than those of an alumni. It allows Phil Mickelson to be more involved with the program in areas of recruiting, and even allows him to be with the team on a daily basis. Don’t expect to see Mickelson driving the cart and handing out snacks, but this does allow him to be involved in the same way any coach can – including making phone calls to recruits. The extent of Mickelson’s coaching responsibilities are uncertain.

Basically, it allows Mickelson to help with recruiting. Perhaps because he may have violated an NCAA rule just prior to this arrangement. As you probably know, NCAA rules are quite stringent, and boosters and alumni are prohibited from contacting potential recruits.

Mickelson called 16-year-old Australian junior Ryan Ruffels about attending ASU, according to a Sydney Morning Herald on November 6th.

“I was out here putting and I got this call from an international number and I jumped on the phone and he said, ‘Hey, it’s Phil Mickelson,’” Ruffels said. “I thought one of my mates from school was giving me a prank call.

“We chatted for an hour and I’m just starting to get some exposure to those big players and it’s great.

“They’ve obviously won majors and that’s something I’m trying to do when I’m older, so learning the ropes from them is pretty cool.”

For Phil Mickelson, the alumnus, the call was a no-no. For Phil Mickelson, the assistant coach of ASU, it’s now OK.

Tim Mickelson, who is in his fourth season of the head coach at ASU, confirmed that his brother would be joining his staff temporarily on Wednesday.

“The timing of an assistant coach job opening and my brother always showing an interest in helping ASU has allowed Phil to join us as an assistant coach on interim basis,” said Tim. “To share the Arizona State experience with my brother is a dream come true for our family, as he will be able to help in many ways as an official member of the Sun Devil staff.

“The timing was ideal as we began talking about his role last month. We look forward to having Phil as a member of our Sun Devil athletic staff on an interim basis.”