Ryan Darling to Play Golf at Minnesota State-Mankato


Joey Bonadonna, Sports Editor, Online Tritonian

College athletics signing season is raging on as last Monday, senior Ryan Darling signed his letter of intent to play collegiate golf at Minnesota State University at Mankato, a Division II institution.

Darling, a two-time all-conference recipient, announced his commitment a few weeks ago and made his signing official at a ceremony, with his family and friends in attendance.

Notre Dame head golf coach Brian Bobinski, who also spoke at the ceremony, said Darling has been one of the most talented golfers in program history.

“Ryan made the varsity team for us as a freshman and has always been a player of tremendous potential,” Bobinski said. “He really started to grow as a player and as a person last season. This year, we’ll be depending on him as anchor for a team with conference and state hopes.

Darling said the biggest lesson he’s learned from his time playing golf at Notre Dame was how to be a leader.

“Learning how to be a leader is a key quality in being successful,” Darling said. “I really want to thank Coach Bobinski for giving me an opportunity to be a leader at NDA.”

Mankato was one of many programs that recruited Darling but what stuck out to him was the Mavericks’ new head coach Alex Schmitz.

“(Schmitz) was just hired in August and he and I already have a good relationship,” Darling said. “I’m looking forward to helping a team out at the next level, and I cannot wait to make a difference right away.”

Bobinski said he knew right away when Darling started his career as a Triton that he would have an opportunity to play at the next level.

“He’s always been incredibly naturally talented,” Bobinski said. “Over the last eight or nine months, he’s really started to see his scores match his potential which is why college attention really started coming his way.”

Darling is projected to be the #1 golfer this upcoming season for a Notre Dame team that consistently competes at a high level in conference and playoff action.

In Darling’s freshman and junior seasons (with no sophomore season due to COVID-19), the Tritons fell short in the sectional round of the WIAA playoffs, but he says that this year’s team can make that extra push.

“The tighter-knit we get as a group, the stronger we are as a team,” Darling said. “I will put my best foot forward in my final year to make state for the first time.”