Family on the fairway; Hoag family steers City’s golf team

City College assistant coach John Hoag watches as sophomore sisters Hunter (left) and Ciera Hoag (right) practice putting before the Big 8 match at Whitney Oaks Golf Course on Sept. 7th. ©2017 Dianne Rose

Megan Swinney
Staff Writer
Sports Editor Nick Pecoraro contributed to this story


Three members of the City College women’s golf team have something in common — their DNA.

Sophomore sisters Ciera and Hunter Hoag share the spotlight as leaders on the golf team, playing under the guidance of their father, John, City’s assistant coach.

This is the second season Ciera and Hunter have played for City College, but the sisters have putted around with their golf clubs since they were little girls. Their interest for the sport continued through middle school and at Kennedy High School, where John was head coach.

“Ever since we were 2 or 3, he gave us a golf club, and we just started swinging,” says Ciera. “It wasn’t until middle school where we played competitively.”

Coach Hoag knew the importance of starting his daughters young, and he knew he could help them reach success. John has some serious experience under his belt, and has played in a handful of PGA tournaments in Northern California.

“I’ve been a golf professional for over 30 years,” says John. “I wanted to teach my daughters how to play golf from an early age. We do enjoy playing golf together as a family”

Ciera and Hunter are used to having each other to turn to for support. They’ve played on the same golf team since Day 1, and having their father as their coach has played a vital role in their golf careers.

“Playing golf on the same team as my sister makes it fun, and also comforting in the beginning, to know at least one person,” says Hunter. “Having my dad be the assistant coach is great because he’s been my coach for both middle and high school. If I’m having a bad day on the course, he’s always there to help me figure out what I’m doing wrong.”

John’s guidance has paid off this season as Ciera and Hunter have steadily improved their game this season. Ciera shot her best score of the season with a 78 on Oct. 12 at Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course. In the same tournament, Hunter recorded her best score of the year with an 80, including a hole-in-one on the par-3 8th hole. Overall, Hunter averaged around 86 in her Big 8 tournaments, while Ciera was just a shot behind, at 87 per 18 conference holes.

As a team, the Panthers averaged around 375 between the five sophomores. City’s highest finish was fourth place, most recently on Oct. 24 at Moffett Golf Club in Mountain View.

The Hoag sisters and the rest of the City golf team competed in the NorCal tournament in Bakersfield Nov. 6–7, placing fifth overall. Ciera and Hunter shot well enough to earn a spot in the state championship tournament Nov. 12–13 in Morro Bay. They chose not to participate, opting to focus on school work instead.

John was there to support his daughters’ decisions, just as he’s done since long before he put the clubs in their hands.

For more information about SCC women’s golf, visit