Joe Tesori leads the ‘Phins men’s golf program
Joe Tesori not only made headlines as a former player at Le Moyne, but now as the head coach of the golf program. Graduating from Le Moyne in 1971, Tesori is a member of the Central New York PGA Hall of Fame, the Le Moyne College Gold Wave Hall of Fame and is a former PGA Tour Player. Under his lead, the golf team won their first ever Northeast-10 Conference Championship in 2008.
Five years ago, Tesori was approached by former athletic director Dick Rockwell to return to Le Moyne to coach the men’s team. It was an easy question for Tesori, who answered with a resounding yes.
“Anyone that has had a great experience as a player and has the opportunity to come back and coach at their alma mater would want to coach. I had such great coaches as a student, and wanted to impact future players as my coaches had impacted me,” said Tesori, remembering the day when he decided to return to Le Moyne as not just a former player, but to become head coach.
Tesori’s most memorable moment of his own golf career at Le Moyne was getting to represent Le Moyne at the NCAA Championships in California, becoming the first player in the college’s history to do so.
“I had two great coaches, Bill O’Leary and Mike Bellow, and it was a great honor to be there with them at the tournament, representing them and the school. They had a profound impact on my career, not only as golf professionals but father figures as well,” Tesori said. “The athletic director at the time, Tommy Niland, was a great support to me and the team.”
Many changes have been made to the golf program since Tesori was a student, one being that the budget has increased incredibly. The team now has their own golf balls, uniforms and even bags.
“We never thought of getting stuff like that as players,” said Tesori. “The players are so much better now than we were, and there are more of them. There is 10 total on the team and they are all interchangeable. . . The talent level compared to when I was a player has increased dramatically.”
There are many great aspects to being a coach, but the one that matters the most to Tesori is the chance to make a positive impact on his players.
“Every year I am given the opportunity to mold the golf lives, academic lives and future of these players. I can have an impact on them and represent the college positively,” he said. “Le Moyne is lucky to have high quality student athletes and I look forward to every season when I get to coach. It is such a rush to coach a new season, and I hope to make an impact on players’ lives even after they graduate.”
The golf team is currently preparing for their upcoming spring season, looking to get back to the NCAA Championships this year.
“We have been fortunate to get to Regionals every year, and we hope to continue to better ourselves, and get more people talking about golf and the dolphins as a team that others aspire to,” Tesori reflected.
Losing two major senior players, Chris Silva and Anthony Viskovich, this year, Tesori and the team hope to win their own invitational and make this a great final season for the two seniors.
“We hope to make their final semester meaningful as they have been an integral part to our success. We want to make the spring season a great send off for them,” Tesori said.
The golf team will kick off their spring season March 24 at the St. Thomas Aquinas Spring Invitational.