Former professional golfer Juli Erekson has been named Utah Valley University’s new women’s golf coach, the school announced on Monday. Erekson is being elevated from her previous position as an assistant coach and will replace Dr. Sue Nyhus, who recently announced her retirement from coaching. Erekson will officially take over as the program’s fifth head coach following the 2020-21 season.
Prior to joining UVU’s staff this season, Erekson spent four seasons over two stints as an assistant coach at BYU, her alma mater. After a standout four-year collegiate career at Brigham Young, Erekson then turned professional and played on the LPGA Futures Tour for three years.
“We are thrilled to elevate Juli Erekson to our head women’s golf coach. She has a wealth of experience and it will be a seamless transition for our program going from Coach Nyhus to Coach Erekson,” UVU Director of Athletics Dr. Jared Sumsion said. “Juli has already established a great rapport with our student-athletes as well as the golf community here in Utah. As a former professional, we are looking forward to having Coach Erekson build on our strong foundation and take our program to the next level.”
Coaching alongside her former collegiate head coach in Nyhus, Erekson was instrumental in helping UVU crown its first WAC individual champion and first NCAA qualifier, Victoria Estrada. Erekson also helped guide the Wolverines to seven top-10 team finishes this season, including a fourth-place finish at the 2021 WAC Championship and sixth-place finishes at both the BYU Spring Classic and the Bobcat Desert Classic.
“This past year was truly something special. I will forever cherish my time spent with Coach Nyhus and appreciate her mentorship, love, friendship, and support. It’s been fun to see her as a grandma,” Erekson said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to coach the amazing group of young women that I have grown to love so much. I appreciate their hard work, respect, love, and support as well. I believe in them. We are going to do big things!”
Erekson went on to add, “I’m also thankful to President Tuminez, Vice President Peterson, Dr. Jared Sumsion, and Cathy Nixon for their trust in me to bring our visions to life and continue to make history here at UVU.”
She was part of a staff at BYU the helped lead the Cougars to a West Coast Conference Championship, as well as both NCAA Regional and NCAA Championship appearances in 2018, followed by a second-place finish in the conference the following season. In 2013, during her first year as an assistant, the Cougars finished in third in the WCC.
Erekson also spent the 2015-16 season as a volunteer coach at Texas Tech, helping the Big 12 Red Raiders to an NCAA Regional appearance.
Erekson grew up on the golf course where her father—former UVU assistant coach Via Wightman—worked as a Head Golf Professional at Holyoke County Club in Holyoke, Mass. Originally from Chicopee, Mass., Erekson went on to play collegiately for Nyhus at BYU from 2004-08. She played in all 12 tournaments as a freshman en route to being named the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year. She then posted 11 top-20 finishes over her sophomore and junior years and helped the Cougars to a 17th-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Championships. As a senior, she won the BYU Dixie Classic and earned first team All-Mountain West Conference accolades during both her junior and senior campaigns.
Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from BYU in 2008, Erekson then turned professional playing on the LPGA Futures Tour from 2008-11. Her best finish came at the 2010 Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City Championship where she finished tied for seventh place. After her professional career, Erekson then furthered her golf education, as a Level 2 Junior and Golf Professional with the Titleist Performance Institute and Class B LPGA Professional. She also spends time as a golf instructor at Thanksgiving Point Golf Course, as well as a co-captain to the Thanksgiving Point PGA Junior League.
Erekson is married to Zac Erekson, the current head football coach at Snow College. “It’s a unique experience we are living, and we couldn’t be more grateful. I’m thankful for such a supportive husband and family,” Erekson added. The couple resides in Mapleton with their three children: Elizabeth, Zac, and Caz.