Richard Kim completed his second season as the head coach of the Whittier College golf program in 2009 as he guided the Poets from the cellar of Division III golf to a ranking in the top 26 percent in the country.
The 2009 Poets began the season ranked 265-out-of-265 but finished the season ranked 68th nationally. The rise to respectability featured the Poets having four golfers ranked in the top 30 in arguably the most difficult conference in the country: the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Nikhil Bhardwaj earned the Team's Most Valuable Player award as he ranked 22nd in the SCIAC. Donny Garrison (Co-rookie of the Year) ranked 24th in the conference while Ryan Kitabyashi (Co-Rookie of the Year) ranked 27th.
Andrew Moreno-Hunt rounded out the Top 30 for the Poets as he ranked 28th in the conference that featured the Division III National Player of the Year.
As a team the Poets averaged 313.9 strokes per match and had an individual stroke average of 78.5. Whittier shot a season-low 302 at SCIAC #5 at Redlands Country Club as they finished just three strokes behind Pomona-Pitzer.
At the SCIAC Championships Garrison was one of only four golfers to hole an Eagle during competition.
Kim graduated from Whittier in 1992 with a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education. While at Whittier he lettered in football, golf and track & field.
As an athlete he earned All-SCIAC honors in football in 1989 and 1991 and was a four-time all-conference performer in track & field (1989-92). He was named the Whittier College Athlete of the Year in 1990, a three-time Lineman of the Year ('89, '90 and '92) and a four-time Field Athlete of the Year ('89-'92).
Kim began his coaching career at his alma mater, Schurr High School in Montebello, Calif., where he coached football and track & field for five years from 1983-87. He was also an assistant football coach for Upland High School from 1994-98 and 2006-07 where he led the school to its first CIF Division VI Championship in 1995. He also spent time as the head girls' track & field coach from 1995-97.
The former Poet standout student-athlete as spent the last decade as the head coach of the Upland golf team and the last five years as the Baseline League Golf Manager. He led Upland to their first ever CIF Central Region Championship (2005) and the Baseline League Championships in 1999. He also won five consecutive Baseline League Championships from 2002-06.
Kim's college coaching experience includes a stint as an assistant football coach at Claremont-M-S from 1999-2004 and a graduate assistantship for Whittier in 1993.