DENVER -- Metro State Director of Athletics Joan McDermott announced on Monday the addition of women's golf as the University's 16th NCAA Division II varsity sport and that Ben Portie has been hired as the head women's golf coach. Portie brings four years of collegiate coaching experience to the Roadrunners as he starts the first-year program.

“We are excited to announce both that we are adding women's golf as a program and that Ben [Portie] will be our first head coach,” McDermott said. “He has all of the qualities we were looking for when we began the search for a coach and [we] think his knowledge of the Denver area will help him both in recruiting and helping us find a home golf course.

“We have been looking to add women's golf as a varsity sport for some time now and are pleased to finally be able to move forward with it. This helps us stay in compliance with Title IX and will offer the opportunity for many young women to continue their education while competing in a growing sport.”

Portie has been an assistant men's and women's golf coach at Northern Colorado for the past three seasons. With the Bears, he coached seven (four women) all-conference selections and led the women's team to its all-time low 18, 36 and 54-hole tournament school records at the Big Sky Conference tournament. He also helped to lead the women to the 2012 conference tournament championship and a third-place finish in 2013. In 2012 he coached the individual conference tournament champion and conference freshman of the year.

Prior to UNC, he served as an assistant men's coach at Colorado for one season in 2007-08, helping the Buffaloes to an NCAA tournament appearance.

“I would like to thank [MSU President] Dr. Stephen Jordan and Joan McDermott for the opportunity to allow me to start up a program and see it through to be successful,” Portie said.

Portie currently is also a golf instructor at the Trent Wearner Golf Academy and served as the golf professional at Pawnee Pines Golf Club in Sterling, Colo. from 2008 to 2009.

A native of Westminster, Colo., Portie was a four-year letterwinner at CU, where he earned all-region honors and twice led the Buffs in stroke average. He earned his bachelor's degree in communications.

As an amateur, he was nationally ranked and was the 2001 Colorado Golf Association player of the year. Following his collegiate career, he has continued to play at the professional level including mini-tour events, South American Tour, European Challenge Tour, Canadian Tour, Nationwide Tour and PGA Tour events. He has won more than 30 professional events and was the 2011 Colorado Open champion. In 2002, he competed at the U.S. Open and finished 107th, ahead of the likes of Paul Azinger and Hale Irwin.