CEDAR HILL, Texas -Many of Northwood’s Texas campus golfers don’t have much of a Texas accent. In fact, visit with these talented student-athletes for just a few minutes and you’ll be forgiven if you think you’re at a United Nations meeting rather than on a golf course.
“This year’s team has a pronounced international flavor,” commented Head Coach Ben Belfield. Belfield, who played at and graduated from Northwood, is a native of Manchester, England.
Belfield’s wife, Kezia, is also a Northwood graduate – and a native of South Africa. The couple had their first child, son Isaac John, this past April.
“John was born right here on Texas soil,” noted Athletic Director and fourth generation Texan Jack Allday. “He’s a native Texan!”
“Youngsters from other countries are attracted to American universities because of our collegiate athletics system,” Belfield said. “There is nothing else like it in the world.”
This year Belfield will field a women’s team with golfers from Mexico, Canada, and Singapore, not to mention student-athletes from California and Georgia.
On the men’s side, the team features three Canadians, an Australian, and one golfer from Great Britain. “We also have three Californian golfers,” Belfield said, “plus one each from Iowa and Michigan.”
“And of course,” he added, “we have five Texans playing on the men’s team.”
Asked about Manchester, where he learned to play golf, the third-year coach pointed out that the northeast England city is now home to some eight to ten million people. Located about four hours from London, Manchester is, Belfield said, “one of the largest cities in the world.”
And though his chosen sport is golf, Belfield can be forgiven if there is still a soft spot in his heart for a team that plays what Belfield calls “football.” “My club is Manchester United,” he said, referring to the legendary British soccer club.
And if Belfield offers to help coach one of Northwood’s soccer teams, he should be comfortable with the team’s international flavor. Both coaches, after all – Atanas Arsov for the men and women’s coach Krasi Kolarov – are a long way from their former homes. Both are natives of Bulgaria.
ABOUT NORTHWOOD UNIVERSITY
Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.
Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including an online option. The DeVos Graduate School offers day, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas, Florida and Switzerland. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise in Midland, Michigan, specializes in creative thinking and innovation development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.