Truman State University mourns the passing of Sam Lesseig, Associate Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Head Women’s Golf Coach. Lesseig joined the university as a member of the Mathematics department in 1963 and started the women’s golf program in 1985. He was the only head coach in the 28-year history of the Truman women’s golf team after helping a motivated group of golfers initiate the program.
Lesseig coached two all-Americans and 14 academic all-Americans while leading the Bulldogs to 11 postseason appearances at the National Golf Coaches Association Division II National Championships and the NCAA Division II and III Women’s Golf Championships. In 1999-2000, four members of the team were named to the NGCA all-academic team, the most in school history.
The Bulldogs qualified as a team for the inaugural NCAA meet and returned as a squad after a thrilling second place playoff finish at regionals in 2006-07. Truman finished eighth that year at the national meet held in Houston, Texas. Lesseig served on the NCAA Women’s Golf Committee for a total of nine years and was Truman’s interim athletics director during the 1988-89 school year.
Lesseig had been a mathematics professor at Truman since 1963. In 1961, he received a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University (Kan.), and in 1963, he earned a master’s degree from Kansas State University.
He is survived by his wife, Dee, and their three children. Sons Vance (’87) and Corey (’89) both competed for the men’s golf team at Truman, while his daughter Kristen (’88) was a two-time academic all-American for the women’s squad.