After recent budget issues as well as the tragic loss of coach Gary Engelkin, the Yuba College golf program has been suspended, and others may be in danger of the same fate.
The men’s golf program was started in the fall of ’96, and the women’s began in the spring of ’97. The program has been running over four years and developed a strong following until its untimely suspension this year.
Fourteen men and women were forced to leave their respective teams after the program’s suspension.
Yuba College athletic supervisor Rod Beilby stated, “The decision (to suspend the program) was made by both myself and President Epler. Every division at Yuba College and throughout the district was asked to share in the cuts that were deemed necessary to balance the district budget.”
The salaries of the instructors and coaches, stipends, cost of van transportation, money for food, entry fees, and equipment of the golf program cost roughly $30,000 for both the men and women’s programs together.
Bielby continued, “I did not feel comfortable in making line item cuts that would have a major impact on all athletic programs that we offer. Instead, I was willing to offer both golf programs as our ‘share’ of the cuts. It would have the least impact on the number of students that we serve in the athletic department.”
The golf program may not be the only suspended program at Yuba College, other programs are always in danger if their enrollment drops to a certain level and sufficient funding is not able to keep the program running.
“If we were told by the president that more cuts were necessary, there might be other programs that would be suspended, depending on the severity of the cuts necessary,” said Beilby.
“Both programs could be brought back if the district or possibly ‘outside’ funding was made available to adequately operate the programs.” Yuba College currently has two instructors in mind to run the men and women’s golf programs.
“The women’s coach would probably be interested in coaching if the program was brought back. We currently have the men’s coach teaching a beginning golf class at Yuba.”
Beilby stated, “The program could be re-instated once the district budget is solidified and the president wants to fund the program again.”Expect to see the program’s return if sufficient outside funding is found.