One of the brightest young coaches in the collegiate game today, Middle Tennessee's Rachael Short is set to begin her fourth year as head coach of the Lady Raider women's golf program. Short, 27, is quickly leaving her mark on the young program and has the Lady Raiders moving in the right direction at a fast pace.
Short began her reign with the Lady Raiders by setting a goal of finishing in the top five at each tournament. With such a young program that wasa lofty goal, but her hard work and recruiting efforts have made that very attainable. In her first two years, Short's team has garnered 12 top five finishes in 22 events and placed sixth in four others.
In the spring of 2002, Short helped lead the Lady Raiders to their best finish ever in the season's first tournament by placing third at the Lady Eagle Invitational. Later in the season, she helped guideTamara Munsch to a victory in the Chris Banister Classic, which marked the program's first-ever medalist finish. During the 2002-03 season, Short and the Lady Raiders continued to show their improvement by placing a program-best second at the Memphis Women's Intercollegiate and again at the Lady Eagle Invitational.
In 2003-04, Short guided Middle Tennessee to a program-best third place finish at the Sun Belt Conference Championship.
Short, a former standout golfer at the University of Alabama, is in her fourth year as a coach at any level. Coaching, however, is a natural for this Murfreesboro native. Her father, Keith Short, was a veteran mid-state high school girl's basketball coach for 22 years and coached girl's golf at White County High School and Riverdale High School. Short has been exposed to coaching all her life either in a gym or on a golf course.
Short enjoyed a standout prep career at Murfreesboro's Riverdale High School, where she captured the AAA State Championship in 1994 and was runner-up in 1993. The Nashville Banner's 1994 Player of the Year, Short was a two-time all-state performer, while setting the Old Fort Golf Course record with a 66. One of the highlights of her career came during her high school playing days when she was invited to play with U.S. Open Champion Tom Kite at the Legends Golf Club on National Golf Day. Short, who was also a standout basketball player, birdied the one hole she played with Kite.
As a collegian, Short participated for the Crimson Tide from 1995 to 99 and was the team's co-captain in 1998-99. During her four years at Alabama, Short was a member of two teams that appeared in the NCAA Regionals and won two regular season tournaments. Coached by Betty Palmer, Short and the Crimson Tide were consistently ranked in the nation's top 25. One of her more memorable highlights was finishing seventh overall at the 1998 SEC Championship.
Short earned her fitness management degree from the University of Alabama in August of 1999, and is working on her master's degree at Middle Tennessee.
Following her collegiate career, Short spent 1999 doing an internship at the Golf Club of Tennessee. In 2000, she became the assistant professional at Richland Country Club in Nashville.