FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista High golf programs are getting a bit of a makeover with new coaches taking over the boys and girls teams.
Tom Yost will lead the boys program, while Charles Druar will take over the girls team.
Yost takes over for former coach Floyd Kurley, who led the Panthers to a fourth-place finish at the 2015 state tournament. PV athletic director Frank Whalen declined to comment on the reason for Kurley not returning to the program, saying he cannot discuss personnel decisions.
Yost has been a fixture on the Farmington and San Juan County golf scenes, serving as the executive director of First Tee of San Juan County and sitting on the board of directors for the Sun Country Section of the Professional Golf Association of America.
"We were lucky he applied," Whalen said of Yost. "He's a PGA pro and works with the First Tee to promote youth programs. It was a no-brainer. I think he's going to make our boys program better. We have a lot of young talent, and I think with coach Yost working with them and teaching them the metal part of the game, we'll be competing at a high level for years to come."
A PGA of America professional, Yost has received national awards from the PGA, winning the PGA President's Council on Growing the Game award in 2007 and 2010.
"I've always been interested in coaching," Yost said. "I work with the First Tee program, and a lot of the kids that go through our program go on to the ranks of playing in high school. I want to help them and see them progress further in their high school careers. But more than anything, I want them to conduct themselves in a positive manner both on and off the course. I hope they can look back at their career and say that it helped them in some way."
Druar takes over a girls program that listed just one player on its 2015 spring roster, leaving him with the task of rebuilding a golf culture for the PV girls.
Whalen said Druar's enthusiasm for rebuilding the program into a state contender helped him stand out during the hiring process.
"He's the right fit, and he's excited about it," Whalen said. "He wants to get the girls program back to where it was a few years ago when they won state titles with coach (Paul) Stewart."
It will be Druar's first coaching job in golf and his first head coaching job after serving as an assistant coach for the PV girls basketball team last season.
Like Whalen, Druar stressed the importance of rebuilding the girls program through youth programs.
"First, we need to get those number up," he said. "I want to have more of a presence in the school to get more girls interesting in playing for the team, and hopefully that can have a bit of a snowball effect. The immediate goal is just to get the numbers back up, but after a few years with kids in the First Tee and the Jr. PGA programs, I think we can develop into a competitive varsity program."