Former professional player and collegiate All-American Janice Olivencia (Oh-lee-vin-see-ya) is the University of Florida assistant women’s golf coach. Olivencia brings experience from her playing career and as a collegiate assistant coach to Florida’s program.
Olivencia, 29, comes to Florida after serving as the University of South Florida’s assistant women’s golf coach last season. The Bulls claimed their first Big East Championships in 2012 and advanced to NCAA Central Regional action. Sophomore Christina Miller was named the Big East Player of the Year in 2012 – another first for the Bulls.
“This is such an amazing opportunity. I’m very excited to be working with Emily. I think we are going to be a really good team together because we share the same views regarding what we want to accomplish. We want the best for our student-athletes and the University of Florida – both are very important to us,” Olivencia said. “We are going to do everything possible to help our players reach their goals.
“Emily and I played together on the pro tour and also played our collegiate golf at major universities. We have been there as competitors and we can relay that experience to our golfers to help them progress,” she continued. “I am very honored to be joining the Gator Nation.”
She joined the USF coaching staff after playing on the Ladies European Tour from 2005-08 and LPGA Futures Tour from 2008-10. She was the first Puerto Rican woman to have ever qualified to play on the Ladies European Tour.
As a professional, Olivencia qualified for the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open in Saucon Valley, Pa. It was another first for Puerto Rico, as she was the first woman golfer from P.R. to qualify for a major event. The last Puerto Rican to qualify for a major golfing event was Professional Golf Association (PGA) Hall of Famer Juan “Chi Chi” Rodriguez.
“I am extremely excited to have Janice join our coaching staff. Initially I have known Janice as a talented and spirited player on the golf course,” Bastel said. “This past year, I had the opportunity to watch her in action both coaching her players and on the recruiting trail. Janice takes that same spirit and enthusiasm that she had on the golf course as a competitor into her role as a coach.
“Janice is a great communicator. She has a sincere passion for coaching and recruiting and is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to support our team and the University of Florida,” Bastel continued. “She will be a tremendous asset for us moving forward and we are happy to have her wearing orange and blue.”
During her collegiate career at the University of Texas, Olivencia earned All-America honors in 2002 and 2003. She twice finished among the top-10 individuals in NCAA Championships play, tying for 10th as a sophomore in 2002 and sharing sixth in 2003. She was named the 2002 Big 12 Player of the Year and was an All-Big 12 selection as a sophomore, junior and senior. As a senior in 2004, Olivencia led the Longhorns to the Big 12 Tournament title with her runner-up individual finish.
Throughout her Longhorn career she recorded two individual wins, Betsy Rawls Invitational and the Lady Northern Invitational, 15 top-10 finishes and 20 top-20 finishes.
While playing at Texas, Olivencia posted impressive results as an amateur. She won the prestigious 2002 Women’s Western Amateur Championship and was a 2002 Co-Medalist U.S. Open Qualifier, and a quarter-finalist and semi-finalist at the North & South Amateur Championship.
Olivencia was a member of the Puerto Rico National Golf team from 1998-04, representing her country twice at the World Amateur Championships. She was a three-time Caribbean Amateur Champion and a two-time Puerto Rico Island Champion.
Olivencia received her bachelor’s degree in communications studies from Texas in 2004.