LINCOLN–(NU Athletics July 5)–Nebraska Coach Lisa Johnson has named Chessey Thomas as associate head coach for Nebraska women’s golf program. Thomas becomes the second full-time assistant coach in the history of the Husker program.
“Chessey brings a wealth of knowledge to Nebraska, both from playing professionally and coaching at the highest level,” Johnson said. “I admire her work ethic, competitiveness and her ability to relate to her players. I cannot to wait to work with her again.”
In four seasons as a collegiate assistant, all four teams Thomas has coached have advanced to at least NCAA Regional play, while she helped her final two teams at Washington to NCAA Championship appearances (2018, 2019). In her four seasons as a golfer at Tennessee, she was also a part of four NCAA Regional teams, including two teams that advanced to the NCAA Championships (2011, 2012).
Thomas, who began her coaching career as an assistant under Johnson at the University of Idaho in 2015-16, came to Nebraska after three successful seasons at the University of Washington. In 2018-19, Thomas helped the Huskies to an 18th-place finish at the NCAA Championship in Fayetteville, Ark., after taking second at the Cle Elum Regional in Suncadia, Wash. In her second season at Washington, Thomas aided UW to a tie for ninth at the NCAA Championship in Stillwater, Okla. In her first year as an assistant in Seattle, Thomas was part of a Washington team that finished eighth at 2017 NCAA Regionals.
In her lone season working with Johnson at Idaho, Thomas helped the Vandals to the 2016 Big Sky Conference Championship and an NCAA Regional appearance. The Vandals also featured the Big Sky individual champion and the Big Sky Freshman of the Year, while earning three all-conference selections. Idaho also produced three WGCA All-American Scholars while posting the No. 23 team GPA in the nation.
“I am really looking forward to working with Coach Johnson again,” Thomas said, “and am grateful to her and the University of Nebraska Athletic Department for this great opportunity.”
Thomas played her college golf at the University of Tennessee, lettering from 2011 to 2014. She completed a standout career with second-team All-SEC honors as a senior. Her 74.32 stroke average led the Lady Vols in 2013-14. In her career, she competed in 38 tournaments and produced 15 career top-25 finishes, including a tournament title at the Lady Bulldog Invite as a senior. As a junior, Thomas tied for eighth individually at the 2013 NCAA East Regional with a career-low 66 in the final round.
During her four-year career at Tennessee, Thomas was a key part of four teams that advanced to NCAA Regional play. She also helped the Lady Vols to berths in the NCAA Championship as both a freshman (2011) and sophomore (2012).
She continued her competitive career following graduation, advancing to all three stages of the LPGA Qualifying School, barely missing the final tour card cut.
Born in Santiago, Chile but raised mainly in Spokane, Wash., Thomas won two-straight Class 4A Washington State Championships in 2009 and 2010 and was ranked as high as No. 24 among GolfWeek’s Class of 2010 commitments. She was also a standout high school basketball player, scoring more than 1,300 career points in just three seasons while earning Washington Class B All-Tournament honors for Saint George’s School.
Thomas majored in journalism and electronic media at Tennessee and was heavily involved in producing web and social media content for the golf team as a player for the Lady Vols. She spent three months as a tournament operations intern for the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) in 2015, while also spending several months as assistant golf pro at Manito Golf and Country Club in Spokane, Wash., before accepting her first full-time assistant coaching position with Johnson at Idaho.