Brian May just completed his seventh season as an assistant coach with the University of Kentucky women’s golf team in 2020-21 after serving as the head golf professional at the Frankfort Country Club for two and a half years.
May has played an integral part in Kentucky’s success over the last seven seasons with countless new marks in the school record books, a breakthrough NCAA Championship Finals berth in 2021, three team postseason appearances, an individual NCAA Championship Finals qualifier (Isabelle Johansson) in 2015 and another individual regional qualifier (Leonie Bettel) in 2019.
With May playing a key role in recruiting and on-course coaching, UK has posted some of the best scoring averages in school history.
The program appears to be stronger than ever after its NCAA Championship Finals berth in 2021. With virtually the same team back from its record-setting 2019-20 group, the Wildcats navigated through a difficult schedule and placed fourth at the NCAA Columbus Regional to earn a spot in the national finals for the first time in 29 years.
The NCAA Championship Finals breakthrough was two years in the making. In 2019-20, with a mix of the strongest recruiting class in school history and a balance of talent and experience, the Wildcats won two tournaments in the fall and finished the season ranked No. 25 in the Golfstat rankings. UK was poised for a strong NCAA run but the postseason was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The back-to-back championships in 2019-20 marked the first multi-win season since 1997-98 and were the first consecutive titles since 1990-91, when Kentucky would go on to win a school-record four tournaments. The 2019-20 group shattered the school scoring record by nearly seven strokes while freshman sensation Jensen Castle posted the best 18-hole scoring average in program history and became UK’s first All-Southeastern Conference First Team pick since 1989.
In 2018-19, UK collected four individual championships (three from Bettel) while the team won the Bettie Lou Evans Invitational, Kentucky’s first team title since 2013. Bettel was named All-SEC Second Team for the Wildcats’ first All-SEC honors since 1997, and Bettel (Golfer of the Week) and Josephine Chang (Freshman of the Week) each picked up All-SEC weekly honors during the season. May served as the interim head coach for several weeks in the spring with head coach Golda Borst on maternity leave.
In May’s first season as an assistant, the Wildcats finished seventh at the 2015 NCAA South Bend Regional, just narrowly missing out on an NCAA Championship Finals berth with a furious last-day comeback. In addition to what was then the best NCAA finish of the Borst era, Johansson qualified for the NCAA Championship Finals as an individual, becoming the first Wildcat to do so since Heather Kraus in 1998.
Academically, Kentucky has been strong with May as an assistant. The program consistently finishes among UK’s team grade-point average leaders, including a 3.679 GPA during the 2021 spring semester as the Wildcats made their push towards the NCAA Championships Finals. The program has also won four straight NCAA awards for finishing in the top 10% of all women’s golf teams in the Academic Progress Rate, which measures academic eligibility, retention and graduation. Rikke Svejgård Nielsen won SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2021, Kentucky’s third all-time winner and the first since 2009.
A native of Frankfort, Kentucky, May graduated from the Golf Academy of the South in Orlando, Florida. May received his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky in 2017.
A PGA Level 3 Apprentice, May continued his golf career at the Frankfort Country Club where he served as the assistant golf professional for two years before being promoted to head golf professional in January of 2013.
A 2003 graduate of Franklin County High School, May is married to the former Corie Broering. They have two children.