Richard "Doc" Sauers is in his 15th season as the women's golf head coach. He took over the program in its third year of existence in 1997-98 and made the transition from the Division II level to Division I in 1999. Sauers coached the program's first four-year Division I scholarship athlete, Katie Wachtl, from 1999-2003.
The Great Danes joined the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for golf following the 2010 season, in which UAlbany claimed the America East Conference championship title for the second straight year, and Sauers repeated as the conference's coach of the year.
The Great Danes posted a record-breaking fall season in 2008, competing in five tournaments. With both individual and team records falling, the Great Danes accomplished several milestones in their nontraditional season in preparation for the spring championship season. Three members of the UAlbany team broke the individual record for best average, held by Diane Onofry, who averaged an 83.11 in the fall of 2003. Freshman Annemarie Kissane became the first Great Dane to average lower than 80, recording a 79.2 stroke average in the five tournaments over the fall. Kissane, who recorded two eagles on the season, shot 1-under par on the back nine at the Princeton Invitational and helped lead UAlbany to a third-place team finish at the Rutgers Invitational.
Corrin Conroy, the team's top returner from the 2009 championship squad, averaged an 80.1 in the fall, recording a program-record 14 birdies. Conroy, who finished second overall at the Rutgers Invitational, the best finish in the program's Division I history, recorded the best-ever two day total at that tournament with a 36-hole score of 152. Her first-round total of 75 was also UAlbany's best-ever one day score. Stephanie Klein averaged an 82.1 over five tournaments. She led the team in three categories as a rookie, including fairways hit (104), greens hit (104) and pars (97).
The women's golf team was crowned the America East champion for the first time in 2004 under Sauers' tutelage. Three of UAlbany's golfers finished in the top five, with Diane Onofry earning medalist honors. In 2005, Onofry shared those honors with teammate Jill Friedman, as the Great Danes finished second at the conference championship.
Sauers was inducted into the University at Albany Athletic Hall of Fame in the fall of 2004, having previously served as the men's head basketball coach from 1955-1997. One of the winningest coaches in the history of college basketball with 702 victories, Sauers led the UAlbany men's basketball program to eleven NCAA and four NAIA post-season tournament appearances. Sauers, whose teams averaged more than 17 wins per season and had just one losing campaign, became the University's head coach in 1955, when the school was known as the State College for Teachers and the team's nickname was the Pedagogues. During his tenure, the institution evolved into a top research center with a broad mission of undergraduate and graduate education. Meanwhile, the basketball program moved from the NCAA's College Division, to Division III, and then to Division II, while the nickname was changed to Great Danes.
UAlbany teams under Sauers were always geared toward the postseason. From 1975 to 1995, the Great Danes qualified for 10 NCAA tournaments. In 1993-94, UAlbany established a school record for victories with a 25-3 mark, and reached the Division III East Sectional final. Albany also qualified for the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) playoffs seven times and won a pair of championships in 1978 and 1989.
Coach Sauers guided the Great Danes to 20-win campaigns on 10 occasions, and incredibly his clubs reached the 17-victory plateau in 26 different seasons. He was named the 1985 NCAA Division III Coach of the Year after Albany went 22-6 and gained a national tournament berth. In 1994, he was chosen as both the East Region and New York State Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. Sauers was inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame
in 1992. He has also been enshrined by Slippery Rock University and the Capital District Sports Hall of Fame.
Sauers, who retired in March 1997 as basketball coach, finished his career with a 702-330 record in 41 seasons. He stands alongside such legendary mentors as Kentucky's Adolph Rupp and North Carolina's Dean Smith in the 700-win club. Sauers achieved that prestigious mark on Feb. 8, 1997 in an 89-71 victory over Bridgeport. In his final season, Albany went 17-10 as a member of the New
England Collegiate Conference, and rebounded from his lone losing record the previous year. At the time, Sauers was one of two active coaches with more than 40-plus seasons at the same school. He became the 15th person to coach his 1,000th game at the collegiate level in February 1996.
A native of Harrison City, Pa., Sauers is no stranger to coaching other sports at the school, as he served as the head men's golf coach from 1962-79. He guided his squad to a winning dual-match record and a ninth-place NCAA finish in 1963. Sauers also served as head baseball coach in the late 1950s.
Sauers and his wife, the former Elaine Sykes of Schenectady, have two children, Cheryl and Stephen, and two grandchildren, Jordan (11) and Cameron (7). Cheryl resides in West Chester, Pa. Stephen played for his father in the late 1980s, and is presently the director of basketball operations at Seton Hall University. He previously served on the men's basketball staffs at Marist College, Iona College, and Seton Hall University.