Red Raider Finds Himself Back Home
Oct. 6, 2006
By: Brandon Hughes
It seems as if Lubbock has a way of keeping its own around. In some cases, Texas Tech graduates end up starting a new job and, soon there after, a family, here in the Hub City. For others, a year or two is enough to bring them back to the friendly confines of West Texas.
For Bryan Novoa, it's a different story.
Novoa, the assistant coach for the Tech women's golf team, is enjoying his new job here at Tech, but Novoa didn't always believe he'd end up here doing what he's doing now.
"I've been touring for the last nine and a half years of my career since 1997," Novoa said.
Novoa, a 1996 graduate of Tech, has spent his time playing in four different golf tours across North America: the Texas Tour, the Hooters Tour, the Canadian Tour, and the Mexican PGA Tour.
After graduating from Tech, Novoa said he believed he was good enough to make it on the PGA Tour. He believed he could play with anybody and he said that looking back it just wasn't true.
"I look back, and in 1999, I reevaluated my goals and what needed to happen." Novoa said. "I started to try to get my technique better, number one, and get my mind stronger, number two, and get my body in a better place to compete at a top level."
"In professional golf, it's such a different animal. You need be in the top two percentile of your profession or you're not going to be successful."
After working with top instructors, most notably Hank Haney, and notching some victories along the way, Novoa said he decided to pursue a different route.
Novoa said that he really enjoys teaching the game and that is a lot of fun for him. He said it is very helpful because teaching other helps his own game because it is a constant reminder how he needs to act towards his own game.
He said that head coach Stacey Totman had approached him, they talked, and she appreciated what he had to say and his perspective.
Novoa and Totman aren't just familiar faces, though, they're long-time friends.
They both played golf for the Red Raiders back in the `90's where Novoa had a standout career. At Tech, Novoa is ranked first in all-time tournament wins with four, is ranked among the top five in career stroke average at Tech, and was a Southwest Conference tournament medalist in 1996.
With that experience, Totman said she's glad to have him around.
"He's got a lot of great ideas and I learn a lot from him," Totman said. "It's easy because he's really laid back, and easy going, and he's so eager to help people in general."
Totman said that she felt she had ten girls on her team that could play at any given moment and that she was not able to give the girls enough individual attention. She had decided to bring in somebody that could teach the golf swing and have plenty of knowledge to share and Novoa fit the description.
Totman said she knows the girls are in good hands because Novoa has played the role of student-athlete before.
"He knows any given round what's going to face them," Totman said. "So, to me, he's more than a swing teacher; he's somebody who can get out there in the trenches with him and do golf course management things and decision making things."
"It's nice for us to split up the team so we can work with them all."
In talking to Novoa, one can just feel his wisdom and enthusiasm he has towards the game. Above all else, though, Totman said it his communication skills and his sense of humor that are paramount.
"His sense of humor is just unbelievable," Totman said. "I mean, he makes me laugh everyday and he makes the girls laugh all the time. He just makes it really enjoyable and relaxed.
"That has already transformed into the girls' games. They're much more relaxed than they were even a year ago and a lot of that is thanks to him."
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