Bobby Downes ’86 Returns to Western New England as Head Men’s Golf Coach

Bobby Downes ’86 Returns to Western New England as Head Men’s Golf Coach

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (July 31, 2019) – Western New England University has named Bobby Downes head men's golf coach, Director of Athletics, Recreational Sport & Physical Education Matthew LaBranche announced on Wednesday afternoon.

"Bobby is one of the most well respected golf professionals in our area, and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to add him to our coaching staff," LaBranche said. "His intimate knowledge of Western New England and strong connection to Golden Bear Athletics make him the perfect person to lead our golf program into a new era of success."

Downes brings over 30 years of experience in the golf industry. He currently serves as the head golf professional at the Country Club of Wilbraham, after holding the position of head teaching and assistant professional. Previously, Downes was the head professional at Veterans Golf Course in Springfield from 1992-2004.  

Downes is the son of Arthur William "Red" Downes, who retired last summer following a 50-year tenure at Western New England as a basketball, baseball, soccer, and most recently, golf coach.

"It is an extreme honor to be able to return to the institution where I grew up as the third head coach in the history of the Western New England men's golf program," Downes said. "It means so much to both myself and my dad that I have the opportunity to lead this program. I am looking forward to working with our outstanding group of young student-athletes, and I'm excited about where this program can go from here."

Downes, who earned his PGA Class A membership in 1990, was an instructor at the Mount Snow Golf School in Vermont from 2007-08. He also served as head teaching professional at Golfers Warehouse in Hartford, Conn. from 2005-06.

A 1986 graduate of Western New England, Downes earned his bachelor of arts degree in English. Downes played for his father as a four-year member of the men's soccer team, serving as team captain as a senior.