MANHATTAN, Kan. – Rinko Mitsunaga, a highly successful former collegiate and amateur player who has transitioned into coaching, has been hired as an assistant coach for the K-State women’s golf program, head coach Stew Burke announced today.
“I am delighted to have Coach Rinko join the K-State Family,” Burke said. “There was a lot of interest in this position nationally, and I believe that we found the right fit and a rising star in our industry. Not only is she a great recruiter, technician and one of the hardest workers in Division I women’s golf, but I believe she will be a big asset as she fully understands the family values of K-State Athletics and what we are looking to achieve moving forward. I couldn’t be more excited to have her join our coaching staff, and I know that the young ladies that she will coach and mentor in the future are getting an exceptional role model and assistant coach.”
Mitsunaga (MIT-su-NAH-gah), who worked the last two seasons at Tulane under Burke, helped the Green Wave earn a postseason appearance in 2022 thanks to a conference championship as she tutored some of the best players in school history.
“I am beyond excited for the opportunity to join the K-State Family and assist Coach Burke in returning the program to NCAA Regionals and beyond,” Mitsunaga said. “From the moment this opportunity came up, I knew that this was where I wanted to continue my development as a coach and compete on the national stage. I believe that under Stew’s guidance not only will I continue to develop as a coach, but the program will become a national contender.”
A product of Roswell, Georgia, Mitsunaga helped Tulane earn the 2022 American Athletic Conference Championship and berth into the 2022 NCAA Stillwater Regional as she coached three players who earned All-AAC honors. Last season, Mitsunaga helped guide Carla Bernat to AAC Women’s Golfer of the Year, First Team All-AAC and Second Team All-America honors.
Prior to her time at Tulane, Mitsunaga served as the Player Services Coordinator for the LPGA Symetra Tour. In that position, she processed tournament fields, entries and player registrations in addition to collecting caddie forms, member commitments and withdrawals. She also created player memos each tournament week.
Mitsunaga shined as a student-athlete at Georgia, helping the Bulldogs earn 11 team victories while also claiming an individual title in the 2016 Georgia Lady Bulldog Individual Championship. During her collegiate career, Mitsunaga put together seven top-10 finishes and 23 top-20 placings from 2015 to 2019. She earned 2015 All-SEC Freshman honors and 2016 Honorable Mention All-America accolades from Golfweek.
As an amateur golfer, Mitsunaga played in the U.S. Women’s Open in both 2012 and 2016 in addition to winning the 2019 Georgia Women’s Amateur Championship, 2015 USGA U.S. Women’s Four-Ball Championship and the 2015 Georgia Women’s Match Play Championship.