Grand Valley State Golf Camps
Meet The Instructors
Women's Head Coach / Camp Director
Rebecca Mailloux recently completed her eighth season as head coach of the women's golf team at Grand Valley State.
The GVSU women's golf team won three tournaments and had one runner-up finish in the 2016-17 season, including a second place finish at the team's 15th straight NCAA Regional Tournament to advance to the NCAA National Championship tournament. Additionally, five Lakers excelled under Mailloux's instruction and garnered All-GLIAC honors.
Katie Chipman earned First Team honors in her freshman campaign, while Alex Taylor, Maria Sol Pose, Samantha Moss and Julie Guckian all brought home Second Team honors.
Last season, Mailloux led the Lakers to a fourth place finish at the Division II National Championship in Aurora, Colorado, becoming the 12th ranked program (via golfstat) in Division II by seasons end. That, coupled with leading the team to a ninth straight GLIAC Golf Championship , earned Mailloux the GLIAC Coach of the Year for the sixth time in her career. The team tied the GVSU program record with eight team victories, and set a new program best mark for finish percentage at 89.7 percent. The Lakers also set a new program record in total birdies, with 281, and tied the program record for eagles, with five on the season. At the 2016 Division II National Championship, GVSU shattered the previous program record for a team low round, carding a 284 team score in the third round of the event (previous record was 292). Additionally, the Lakers set new program marks in 36 hole and 54 hole low rounds at the 2016 GLIAC Championship.
Under Mailloux’s leadership, senior Gabrielle Shipley had a breakout season, netting four first place and three second place finishes while leading GVSU with a 73.79 scoring average. Shipley capped off her spectacular season with the 2016 individual national championship.
In all, five Lakers earned All-GLIAC honors, as juniors Alex Taylor and Julie Guckian joined Shipley on the First Team, while freshman Alex Amos and sophomore Samantha Moss were each named to the Second Team.
Most recently, Mailloux was named GLIAC Co-Coach of the Year, earning the award for the fifth time in her career. The Lakers, who finished the season ranked No. 17 by Golfstat, won six tournaments, tied for the fourth-most in program history. Moreover, GVSU's 310.14 scoring average was the fourth-lowest in school history, while its 211 birdies were the fourth-most by any Laker team. In its victory at the Perry Park Spring Fling, GVSU broke the program's 54-hole scoring record, totaling a 37-over-par 893. At season's end, Kelly Hartigan nabbed her third WGCA All-America laurel (honorable mention) and Gabrielle Shipley collected a WGCA All-America First Team plaudit. Shipley was also named the GLIAC Women's Golf "Athlete of the Year", Hartigan became a four-time All-GLIAC First Team selection and Julie Guckian and Alex Taylor earned All-GLIAC Second Team laurels. Although the team finished fourth at the NCAA Division II East Super Regional, narrowly missing out on a team spot at the NCAA Championship, Hartigan qualified as an individual, eventually tying for ninth place.
In 2013-14, Mailloux earned her fourth GLIAC Coach of the Year award as she guided the Lakers to seven victories, which were tied for the second-most in program history. The 2013-14 team also won GVSU's seventh consecutive GLIAC Championship, scored its seventh all-time victory at the NCAA Division II East Super Regional and made the program's 12th NCAA Division II National Championship appearance. The Lakers also turned in the ninth-best 54-hole score in school history with a 62-over par 926 at the Perry Park Spring Fling. At season's end, junior Kelly Hartigan became the program's fourth WGCA All-America First Team selection, three Lakers earned All-GLIAC First Team honors, another was named to the All-GLIAC Second Team and a pair were named to the WGCA All-East Region Team. Additionally, Hartigan was named the GLIAC Women's Golf "Athlete of the Year", while Julie Guckian earned GLIAC Women's Golf "Freshman of the Year" honors. The team's 313.31 scoring average was the fifth-best mark in school history and their 174 birdies were the eighth-most in a single season. GVSU's seven victories came at the Gilda's Club Laker Fall Invite, Ferris State University Bulldog Invite, Perry Park Spring Fling, NC4K Classic, JBMF Cavalier Classic, GLIAC Championship and NCAA Division II East Super Regional.
During the 2012-13 season, GVSU won its sixth straight GLIAC Championship with a team score of 943 over 54 holes. Sophomore Kelly Hartigan became the sixth Laker to garner GLIAC Medalist honors after posting a 221 (+5) three-round performance. Hartigan, who won four tournaments individually, was also named GLIAC Women's Golfer of the Year upon the conclusion of the season. GVSU finished fourth place or better in nine of the 11 tournaments in which it competed. Mailloux guided the Lakers to victories at the Las Vegas Classic, Triton Spring Invitational and GLIAC Women's Golf Championship. GVSU finished second at the NC4K College Classic, Bing-Beall Fall Classic and Concordia University Invitational. The Lakers narrowly missed out on an NCAA Division II National Championship berth. GVSU tallied 976 to come in fourth place at the NCAA Division II Super Regional 1, which was just five strokes back of California (Pa.), the final qualifier. Hartigan and freshman Gabrielle Shipley earned All-GLIAC First Team honors, while senior Marni Weinstein garnered Second Team recognition and Veronica Ryan was an Honorable Mention.
In 2011-12, The Lakers took home a seventh-place finish as the NCAA Division II National Championship, the 11th appearance at the tournament for GVSU. A fifth straight GLIAC Championship was captured with a 963 three-round performance, including a final round 319 to win the event by five strokes. For the team's performance, Mailloux was honored for the first time as the Division II Eaton Golf Pride NGCA National Coach of the Year. The Lakers won seven tournaments on the season, the second-best single-season total in GVSU history, including a team round of 292 at the Bulldog Invitational, the lowest in school history. Senior Sarah Hoffman capped off her stellar career with a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championship and was named an NGCA First Team All-American after finishing second in NCAA Division II in scoring average (74.76), the lowest single-season scoring average in GVSU history. Hoffman tied a school record with five tournament wins on the season and claimed the GLIAC Championship and GLIAC Women's Golfer of the Year award. The Lakers swept the GLIAC Awards as Mailloux was named the GLIAC Coach of the Year and Kelly Hartigan was named the GLIAC Freshman of the Year in addition to Hoffman's Player of the Year honor. Hoffman and Hartigan were both named First Team All-GLIAC as well as sophomore Veronica Ryan. Junior Marni Weinstein was named All-GLIAC Second Team and junior Ashley Beard earned an honorable mention accolade. Hoffman and Hartigan were both honored as part of the NGCA All-East Region team, as well.
In 2010-11, Grand Valley finished in sixth-place at the NCAA Division II National Championship. It was the tenth National Championship appearance for the Lakers. GVSU won its fourth straight GLIAC Championship by coming from behind on day two of the competition to finish with a score of 649 (+73). Mailloux was also named GLIAC Coach of the Year for the second straight season. The Lakers also claimed their fourth consecutive NCAA Regional Tournament Championship besting their closest competitor by nine strokes. Grand Valley also won the Classic Club Invitational in Palm Desert, California and finished second at the Tom Kirinovic Classic, Bing Beall Classic, Zippy Invitational, and the 5th Annual Women's Vulcan Invitational.
In 2009-10, Mailloux led the Lakers to a sixth-place finish at the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championship, marking the ninth time in program history that GVSU has advanced to the national tournament. Grand Valley State also won its third straight GLIAC Championship, capturing the title by a 26-stroke margin, and took home its third consecutive NCAA Regional Tournament championship, winning the 2010 Super Region One Tournament by 13 strokes. GVSU won eight different tournaments throughout the year and placed in the top-six spots in 12 of the 13 tournaments it played in during the 2009-10 season.
After the season, Mailloux was named the NGCA (National Golf Coaches Association) East Region Coach of the Year for the second straight season, as four Lakers earned all-region status and two GVSU golfers were named NGCA All-Americans. Mailloux also was named GLIAC Coach of the Year for the first time, as four Lakers were tabbed as All-GLIAC First Team selections. In 2009-10, GVSU swept the individual all-conference honors, also earning the Women's Golfer of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards.
During her first year at the Laker helm in 2008-09, she helped lead GVSU to a second-place finish at the 2009 NCAA Division II National Championship, the highest finish in program history. Grand Valley State also captured its second straight GLIAC Championship, winning the 2009 title by 25 strokes, and dominated the NCAA East Regional, bringing home the team title by a 42-stroke margin.
Mailloux was tabbed the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) East Region Coach of the Year, as one of just two regional coaches to win the award outright. She coached two NGCA All-Americans in 2009, four NGCA All-East Region selections, and all five golfers were named to either the All-GLIAC First or Second Team, including the GLIAC Women's Golfer of the Year.
In the fall of 2008, she inherited a program that finished third at the 2008 NCAA Division II National Championship, won the 2008 GLIAC Championship, and returned four of its top five golfers.
Mailloux joined the Laker program after a four-year stint as head coach at St. Leo in Florida. While at St. Leo, she guided the Lions to five top-10 finishes during the 2007-08 season, including three top-5 finishes. During her tenure, St. Leo competed in what is widely regarded as perhaps the best women's golf conference in the country. In 2008, five of the top seven schools in the final Division II Golf Coaches Association poll were from the Sunshine State Conference.
A 2001 graduate of South Florida, Mailloux spent two years on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Futures Tour. She totaled a career-best 15th place finish at the Denver Futures Classic, shooting a 220 (74-74-72). Mailloux gained full exemption status in her second year on the tour. While at South Florida, she played at No. 3 on the golf team and helped the Bulls win the Conference USA championship twice and reach the NCAA Tournament during her junior and senior years.
She attended Longwood College in her first two collegiate seasons, winning medalist honors at the Longwood Invitational as a freshman.
A native of West Warwick, R.I., Mailloux was the Rhode Island women's amateur champion from 1996 to 2000, finished second in the Massachusetts Open in 2001, returning in 2003 to win the championship. She was voted the 2002 Rhode Island female athlete of the year.
Men's Head Coach
Gary Bissell recently completed his third season as the head coach of the Grand Valley State men's golf team.
Most recently, Bissell led the Lakers to four tournament victories and a pair of runner up finishes. Bissell was recognized as the GLIAC Coach of the Year for the first time in his career as a result. Among the tournament wins was a first place finish at the GLIAC Golf Championships, the program's seventh overall title, and a qualifying berth at the 15th straight NCAA Regional Tournament, where the team just missed qualifying for the national championship with a fifth place finish.
Four Laker golfers were recognized to All-GLIAC teams under Bissell's tutelage, with Bryce Messner, Domenic Mancinelli and Alex Scott earning First Team accolades, and Alex Nannetti garnering Second Team honors. Mancinelli and Scott were also named to the DII PING All-Midwest Region Team.
In his second season, Bissell led the Lakers to two tournament victories as well as two runner up finishes, including a second place finish at the 2016 GLIAC Conference Championship, falling short by just one stroke. The Lakers swept the GLIAC North and South Invitationals in the fall and spring season, respectively.
Under Bissell’s guidance, four Lakers were named to the 2016 All-GLIAC team. Sophomore Domenic Mancinelli was a First Team selection, junior Alex Nannetti and freshman Bryce Messner earned Second Team accolades, and freshman Alex Scott was named an Honorable Mention.GVSU also made its 14th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance by earning a berth in the Midwest Super Regional hosted at The Meadows Golf Course in Allendale, Michigan.
During his first season at the helm, the Lakers won a pair of tournaments, took runner-up honors at an NCAA regional event, and tied for fourth in a loaded field that featured six ranked clubs at the Brickyard Crossing Intercollegiate. At the GLIAC Championship, GVSU tied for third place with a 7-over-par 871, the fourth-lowest 54-hole score in program history. Moreover, the team's 7-under-par 281 on day three was the third-lowest in school history, while its 5-under-par 283 in the opening round was tied for the seventh-lowest score to par by a GVSU team. At season's end, Jack Rider, who claimed medalist honors at the Brickyard Crossing Intercollegiate, earned All-GLIAC First Team honors, Tyler Polulak was named to the All-GLIAC Second Team, and Domenic Mancinelli collected GLIAC Freshman of the Year and All-GLIAC Second Team plaudits. GVSU also made its 13th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance by earning a berth in the Midwest/Central Super Regional.
Bissell played at Ferris State for five seasons under head coach Mike Mignano, the 2010 Midwest Region Coach of the Year. During his time with the Bulldogs, Bissell accumulated a 76.1 career scoring average and earned the Bulldog Award - given to the player who best displays work ethic and commitment - as a senior following the 2011-12 campaign.
In his final collegiate season, he helped Ferris State finish second in four tournaments and earn an NCAA Division II Midwest/Central Super Regional berth. Individually, Bissell tied for fourth place at the Wisconsin-Parkside Invitational and tied for 15th place against Division I competition at the Detroit Titans Invitational.
Shortly after he graduated from Ferris State in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in marketing, Bissell gave private lessons at the Rick Smith and Jason Guss Golf Academy at Treetops Resort in Gaylord, Michigan for two years. During the winter of 2013-14, he played professionally on the Florida Professional Golf Tour.
Most recently, he was an instructor for the Jason Guss Golf Academy at Hawk Hollow Golf Course in Bath, Michigan.
Prior to his time at Ferris State, Bissell earned four all-area and two all-state plaudits for the Haslett High School men's golf team. As a senior, he captained the 2006 group, which claimed the MHSAA Division 2 title.
Women's Assistant Coach
Axel Ochoa is entering his first year on the Grand Valley State women’s golf coaching staff as an assistant coach. This is Ochoa’s first coaching job.
“I am so thrilled to have Axel join our coaching staff and am looking forward to working together,” said Mailloux. “His experience as both a collegiate and professional golfer will be a great asset to the team.”
Ochoa, who hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina, played collegiate golf for Oklahoma Christian University from 2007-2011, where he was a member of two NAIA National Championship teams.
Since his time at Oklahoma Christian, Ochoa has held multiple positions in the golf world. Most recently, he’s been the owner and head golf recruiter of his own website, which looks to connect South American golfers with universities in the United States. In addition to his work in golf, Ochoa has also held jobs as a commercial analyst and public relations and sales manager in Buenos Aires.
“I would like to thank Rebecca for believing in me and giving me this great opportunity,” said Ochoa. “ I am very excited to get my first experience as a coach, especially at such a great university like Grand Valley State. I can already see a unity in the group that is special and great things are ahead of us this upcoming season.”
Ochoa and his wife, Jenna, currently reside in Grand Rapids and are expecting a baby this winter.