Amy Bush-Herzer enters her 10th season as head coach of the UNLV women’s golf program in 2020-21.
Bush-Herzer has taken the Rebel women’s golf program to new heights during her time here, winning four Mountain West Championships in a span of seven years, including three straight from 2016-18.
Before the 2020 season was cut short due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Rebels captured the 2019 Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown team title at their home tournament – the second time in the last three years they have done so. Freshman Elina Saksa also captured the individual title at the event, the first of her career. UNLV also saw three players – Samantha Fuller, Cathy Liu and Saksa – finish in the top-20 at Wisconsin’s Westbook Invite in late February to help the team finish in sixth overall. Fuller was tabbed a Mountain West All-Conference First Team selection while Saksa garnered a second team honor.
In the 2019-20 season, the Rebels saw senior Elizabeth Prior and sophomore Polly Mack win four medalist honors during the spring season, with each going on to compete in NCAA Regionals as individuals. Mack was a Mountain West All-Conference First Team selection, while Prior earned her third career MW All-Conference nod with a second team selection.
In 2017-18, Bush-Herzer earned her third career Mountain West Coach of the Year honor after leading the Rebels to a third consecutive league championship and their 16th straight NCAA regional. In all, UNLV took home four tournament titles – the most in a single season in program history – with two being clean sweeps with Elizabeth Prior (2017 Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown) and Mackenzie Raim (2018 Jackrabbit Invitational) both capturing medalist honors in addition to the team wins. The Scarlet and Gray won the league championship tournament by eight strokes over San Diego State, with senior Mackenzie Raim taking second at 2-under in the final league event of her career. UNLV also swept the MW postseason honors as freshman Polly Mack became the first Rebel to earn MW Freshman and Player of the Year honors in the same season to go along with Bush-Herzer’s COY award. Mack was also named a first team selection, while junior Elizabeth Prior earned her second career honor with a second team selection and sophomore Nastasia Kossacky picked up her first career honor, also with a second team selection.
In 2016-17, Bush-Herzer led the Rebels to its 15th consecutive regional appearance and first back-to-back Mountain West titles since the program won three-straight from 2004-06. It was the team’s sixth overall in the program’s 16 years while it was the third under Bush-Herzer. The Rebels had three of the top seven finishers at the Conference Championship, led by a sophomore Elizabeth Prior, who tied for fourth at 2-under. Prior was honored with her first career All-Conference award as a second team selection. Mackenzie Raim earned her second-straight first team selection while senior Alexandra Kaui got a first team nod a year after earning a second team selection.
In 2015-16, the Rebels captured its second conference championship under Bush-Herzer’s tenure, and she was also named the MW Coach of the Year for the second time, joining Missy Ringler as UNLV coaches to earn the record twice. Then-junior Alexandra Kaui helped the Rebels sweep the MW Championships by winning the individual championship by five strokes, the largest margin in MW Championship history. Two Rebels were selected to the all-conference first team, Mackenzie Raim and Kaylee Benton, who was also named freshman of the year. UNLV also won the Battle at Boulder Creek II and shared the team title at the annual home tournament, the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown.
In 2014-15 Bush-Herzer guided the Rebels to its fourth NCAA Championship appearance in program history. UNLV also finished in the top-four eight times, including a first place finish at the Betsy Rawls Invitational. In the previous season she helped guide the Rebels to a regional appearance and led the team to nine top-10 finishes, including a tie for second at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown. As a team, UNLV finished as the 46th ranked team in the country by Golf Stat.
Under Bush-Herzer’s guidance, Dana Finkelstein became the second UNLV women’s golfer in school history to earn All-American First Team Honors by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association in 2014-15. The three-time Mountain West Golfer of the Year finished her career as the winningest golfer in program history with five victories. Finkelstein also finished with the most career rounds at par or better (56) and top-five finishes (18). She ranked second with 363 career birdies in UNLV history and finished with the third lowest scoring career average at 73.26.
During her third year at the helm of the women’s golf program in 2012-13, she earned Mountain West Coach of the Year honors. The season was also highlighted by the Rebels capturing their fourth Mountain West Championship. With the title, UNLV earned a spot at an NCAA Regional. At the NCAA West Regional in Stanford, Calif., the Rebels finished tied for 15th. As a team the Rebels recorded nine top-10 finishes on the season and finished the year as the 41st ranked team by Golf Stat.
In 2012, Finkelstein and Mayko Chwen Wang became the fourth and fifth UNLV golfers to be named Mountain West Freshmen of the Year. One year earlier, Therese Koelbaek became the fourth women’s golfer to earn MW Player of the Year honors. The Denmark native dominated all season, racking up 10 top-10 finishes in 11 events, including winning the MW Championship Tournament by a record-tying seven-stroke margin. Koelbaek became the first golfer in program history to earn All-MW honors four straight years and collected a slew of postseason accolades, including the 2011 Mountain West Female Scholar Athlete of the Year and a CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America First Team selection.
During the 2011-12 season, Bush-Herzer helped guide the Rebels to their 10th straight NCAA Regional, posting nine top-10 finishes in 11 events. UNLV posted top-five finishes at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown (5th), UNLV Spring Invitational (2nd), Bruin/Wave Invitational (4th) and at the Mountain West Championship Tournament, finishing runner-up to TCU.
The 2010-11 squad also earned the program’s first top-25 finish in the nation in team GPA, tying for 24th on the National Golf Coaches Association’s top 25 listing. UNLV was the highest nationally ranked team to appear on the list.
Before taking over, Bush-Herzer had spent the previous three years as the top assistant to former head coach Missy Ringler. During that time the Rebels made three consecutive appearances in NCAA Regional competition and one trip to the NCAA Championships, where they turned in a program-best finish of 16th overall in 2008. Since 2007, the program has posted 25 top-10 finishes in regular-season tournament play.
Prior to joining Ringler’s staff, Bush-Herzer was the Chapter Coordinator for the Southwest Section PGA, where she was responsible for the overall operations for Las Vegas from 2005 to 2007. She was the tournament director for numerous events, including the PGA Junior Series, Arizona Open and the Southwest Section Championship. She earned the 2006 Las Vegas Chapter Golf Professional of the Year while working at the Southwest Section PGA.
Bush-Herzer served as the assistant golf professional from 2001-05 at SouthShore Golf Club at Lake Las Vegas Resort, working on the day-to-day operations at the course. She also served as an assistant golf professional for the TPC at Summerlin where she assisted with a PGA Tour event and a Champions Tour event.
Bush-Herzer graduated from New Mexico State in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in professional golf management from a program that is sanctioned by the PGA. In 2007, Bush completed her master’s degree in sports and leisure management from UNLV. Bush graduated from the NCAA Women’s Coaches Academy in Denver, Colo., in 2008. In 2010, she also attended the NCAA Women’s Coaches Academy Dimension 2, which was held in Boston, Mass.
Bush-Herzer has more than 12 years of experience as a golf professional and is a Class A member of the PGA of America. In addition to coaching, Bush is active with the PGA, serving as the President for the Southern Nevada Section PGA (the first woman to be elected to that post) and also a board member for the Southwest Section PGA. She has also presented at the PGA Fall Expo Main Stage and serving on the boards of The First Tee and Southern Nevada Golf Association. In 2009, Bush-Herzer was again honored by the PGA and was named the 2009 Bill Strausbaugh Award winner for community service. In 2011, Bush attended the NACWAA Institute in Denver, Colorado.
Bush-Herzer and husband Kendall Herzer resides in Las Vegas with their two dogs, Apollo and Atlas.