Peabody’s Daly named new golf coach at Salem State

Kevin Daly has been named the new golf coach at Salem State. (COURTESY PHOTO )

SALEM — Peabody High School Athletics Hall of Famer Kevin Daly is the new men’s golf coach at Salem State University. A 1986 Peabody High graduate, Daly played for beloved coach George Hennessey and was the Most Valuable Player of the Greater Boston League in 1986.

The 2016 Peabody Athletics Hall of Fame inductee was a 2-time captain and 2-time NCAA All-American at Salem State, from which he graduated in 1991. He had previously served as an assistant coach for the Vikings, commencing in  2015. A Beverly resident, Daly is also a member of the Salem State Hall of Fame.

Daly replaces veteran head coach Steve Campbell (SSU 1972), who coached the team since 2002. Campbell will remain with the golf program as an assistant coach.        

“We are elated that Kevin has decided to take over the reins of our men’s golf program,”  said SSU director of athletics Tracey Hathaway. “He is a former All-American who is well known in the golf community on the North Shore. He will continue to mentor our student athletes to be successful on the course and in the classroom.”   

While at Salem State, Daly claimed the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA) championship in 1990 and earned the Guy Tedesco Award in 1991, which is presented to New England’s top collegiate golfer.

As a player, Daly led the Vikings to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and three straight top-10 Division III rankings. In 1990, he earned First-Team All-American honors with a fourth-place finish in the NCAA Tournament, just three strokes behind the national champion. He followed with a 14th place finish in 1991 to notch Third Team All-American honors. Daly earned MVP and Salem State’s top male athlete honors for the 1990-1991 academic year.   

“I’m excited to lead a program that has such an admired tradition. Those of us who have played and coached for Salem State golf know it’s more than a college sports program; it’s a family,” said Daly, who learned the game as a youngster at North Reading’s Thomson Country Club. “I feel fortunate to have played for two greats in George Jacobson and Jerry Driscoll — and to later coach alongside Steve Campbell. I’m honored to follow them and will do all I can to ensure each of our student-athletes has a tremendous experience playing golf and representing Salem State.

“We’re so fortunate to have extraordinary support from our local golf community. I’d challenge any college program to equal the exceptional courses our young men get to play on a regular basis. Our home course, Kernwood C.C., has a generous membership that has welcomed us for over 40 years. With continued backing from local clubs, the talented players that emerge from Massachusetts’s junior programs, and a top-notch competitive schedule so we have teams that are motivated and primed for success. I can’t wait for the season to start.”

Campbell led the SSU golf program to 34 team tournament titles and 35 individual champions. Campbell was named the Division III NCAA Northeast District 1 Coach of the Year in 2007.  

Campbell directed Salem State to two NCAA Tournament appearances and seven Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference championships, including six individual titles and one North Atlantic Conference Championship with one individual champion. He has also coached seven All-Americans and five All-Region golfers during his tenure.

Like Daly, Campbell was a two-time captain at Salem State. He competed in three NCAA Championships and won the ECAC Regional Tournament in 1972.

“Kevin will be a great head golf coach at Salem State,” said Campbell. “He was an All-American golfer for George Jacobson and a winner of the President’s Cup. He has been great with the players over the last couple of years as an assistant. He is a believer in the concept of student-athlete and will continue our great team GPA and 99 percent graduation rate.”

Daly plays an active amateur tournament schedule. He is a 3-time club champion at  Salem C.C., (2016-2018), his most recent victory coming earlier this month.

“It was very hard as I had to play my son, Ryan, in the semifinals,” said Daly. “At first I was excited, but then got to the first tee and said this just stinks to have to play him. We were thrilled he qualified and he played some great golf to get to the semis, but while it was memorable and created a real buzz at the club, it was tough.”

Wednesday, Daly helped son Ryan move in at Bentley University where the freshman is playing on the men’s golf team.

The Daly duo teamed up together Aug. 14 at the Massachusetts Father-Son Championship at Ledgemont C.C. in Seekonk when they shot an even-par round of 71 and finished fourth.

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