Long Beach State announced on Friday that women’s golf coach Joey Cerulle will not be brought back for the 2021-22 season. Cerulle was about to start his 13th season at the helm.
“I recently met with Joey and told him that we were moving in a different direction. I want to wish Joey, Sara and their family well in their next endeavor,” LBSU athletic director Andy Fee said in an official statement.
The move surprised some after Cerulle was named named back-to-back Big West Coach of the Year two years ago. This year, Holland Shourds became the third consecutive Big West individual conference champion for LBSU after Jennifer Yu and Haley Tygret won the 2018 and 2019 titles, respectively. The Beach finished third as a team.
“I was completely blindsided by the decision of Long Beach State not to renew my contract as I believed my performance warranted a renewal,” Cerulle said. “To say that I am extremely disappointed is an understatement.”
LBSU women’s golf top donor Dan Gooch said, “Coach Cerulle has brought talented golfers to the program, captured team and individual championships and represented the University well. Individual personnel decisions usually come with some angst and are always the prerogative of the Athletic Director and the University President. I have found coach Cerulle to be a talented and resourceful Coach and wish him well.”
A national search will be conducted to find the ninth head coach of the program, which was instituted in 1966.
“I am forever grateful for my experience with Coach Cerulle, and for the achievements and success that never would’ve happened without him by my side,” said LBSU alum and Big West champion Kassidy Teare. “Coach Cerulle is impossible to replace, he is truly the definition of what we all hope our college coach will be.”
“I want to take the time to say a very special thank you to all of the players and alumni for their support,” Cerulle said. “Seeing my players’ success playing golf, in the classroom and with their own lives after they leave college has always been my greatest reward as a coach. I am extremely grateful for my time at Long Beach State, just not the way it ended.”