LEXINGTON, Kentucky - Martha Freitag of Vanderbilt Unversity was named the 2003 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year for women's golf Saturday. The award was chosen through voting by the conference coaches.

"I feel honored and humbled," Freitag said. "I coach in what I feel is the toughest league in the country and have a lot of admiration for my peers, and to be honored by them I feel very flattered."

In just her third year on the job and with a limited roster she quickly has transformed the Commodores into a national championship contender. They entered this weekend's SEC Championship as the conference's highest ranked team (ninth) in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. In eight events this season VU finished 10th or better in each, including third in its first-ever appearance at the prestigious NCAA Fall Preview. The Commodores won their own event, The Mason Rudolph Championships, and finished second in two others. They did all that with just five players, only one of whom was a senior.

Before she arrived the team never had been among the top 25. Under Freitag, Vanderbilt has become a constant among the top 10.

"I really feel it is a tribute to the kids that I've coached the last three years," Freitag said. "That's why I do it. It makes a statement for Vanderbilt to see how far we've come."

Freitag joins Cindy Parrott (1994) as the only Vanderbilt coaches to win this award.


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