Getting to know Tomas Adalsteinsson, new golf coach

By Charlie Stanton

After 12 years under Martha Nause, the men’s and women’s golf teams have a new head coach: Tomas Adalsteinsson. Adalsteinsson was formerly head coach at Lakeville South High School in Lakeville, MN and University High School in San Francisco, CA. He takes over a very young program, with nine of the 13 players in either their first or second years. How did you hear about the Mac Golf program? I was an assistant women’s soccer coach at Carleton College last fall, and the head coach there resigned, so I started looking for other college coaching opportunities in the area. I was the head boys’ golf coach at Lakeville South High School in the spring, and when I found out that Macalester was looking for a head golf coach it was a ideal fit to be able to coach golf at the college level, a true passion of mine. What about the Mac Golf program and Macalester as a school made it an attractive job? I truly enjoy working with [Mac students], smart people that are focused on their future, and emphasize academics. I see an opportunity at Mac to develop a strong, competitive golf program, at a prestigious institution, in an amazing urban setting, with people that want to strive for success. Is it a challenge to be responsible for both the men’s and women’s teams? It is a great challenge, to be honest. As a coach you have to be flexible, focused, composed, and confident — all at the same time. But when you enjoy your job as much as I do, it makes it so much easier. I love the challenge of it, the players are supposed to make it challenging. It tells me that they care. And when you have such great student-athletes to work with, it’s more like a hobby that I happen to get paid for, rather than a job. I read that you are originally from Iceland, but have been in the US for a long time. How does golf in Iceland compare with golf in the United States? [That’s a] really hard question to answer. I would say that young athletes here in the US are involved with more things, more sports, and other activities. If you are a golfer in Iceland, you are a golfer 24/7, 365 days of the year. It’s not really easy to compare a population of 300 thousand to a population of 300 million. Just based on numbers, you are going to find a lot more talented players in the U.S. Still Icelandic golfers are playing D1 golf in the U.S., winning tournaments and becoming All-Americans. Iceland doesn’t have many professional golfers, but I am convinced that we will see more of them in the next few years. Golf, along with soccer, is the most popular sport in Iceland, and the country has more golf courses per capita than any other country in Europe…Winter-indoor practices are much more common in Iceland, and that’s where I think golfers gain an advantage. I also read that you were an avid soccer player as a youth. Do you think you could have been a head soccer coach? Or is golf your first love? I love all sports, but golf and soccer were the sports I played the most growing up. I started playing soccer, but a few years after I started playing golf I was selected to represent my country at the international level. That’s basically when golf took over. I became a better golfer than I was a soccer player. I still really enjoy coaching soccer, and I coach year-around at the club level with Eden Prairie Soccer Club. I think I could have just as much been a head coach in soccer, but I feel extremely honored to be coaching golf at Mac and creating the best experience possible for the students that get to represent Macalester College in competition. How exactly do you recruit for golf? Recruiting is a lot about building a relationship between the prospective student-athlete, the coach, team and the college. However I get in contact with prospective student-athletes, it is really important that I am able to assess their fit with the Macalester community. Are they academically strong? Is it a golfer that would make our program better? Would this person enjoy living in the Twin Cities? Does s/he embrace internationalism, multiculturalism, and service to society? These are all questions it is important to ask. At Macalester we are not just looking for THE best golfer out there, we are looking for the best possible fit with our community, an individual that also wants to succeed on the golf course. refresh –>