July 15, 2006
The University of Iowa Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced Saturday that Kelly Crawford has been named head coach of the UI’s women’s golf program. She replaces Bobbe Carney, who announced her retirement in May.
“I can’t begin to express how excited I am about joining the Hawkeye family,” said Crawford. “This most definitely is a dream come true for me and I can’t wait to get started. I look forward to bringing my playing experience to this program and taking this team to the next level.”
Crawford was the first head women’s golf coach in intercollegiate athletics history at the University of California-Irvine, an NCAA Division I school and member of the Big West Conference. She spent six seasons as head coach of the Anteaters, where she spent the first year recruiting before starting competition the fall of 2001.
During her UCI tenure, Crawford guided teams to three conference championships (2002, 2005, and 2006) and three appearances in West Regional of the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship (2002, 2005, and 2006). Her 2005 UCI team finished 18th in the national championship. UCI teams under her direction won nine regular season tournament championships.
Crawford, a two-time Big West Conference Coach of the Year honoree (2002 and 2006), has had numerous UCI student-athletes named to all-Big West and NCAA post-season teams, conference player of the year and freshman of the year athletic honors and conference and national academic honors.
“We are extremely pleased to have Kelly as part of the University of Iowa intercollegiate athletics staff. She did a remarkable job of building a highly ranked women’s golf program at UC-Irvine. The search committee headed by Mary Curtis believes strongly that Kelly is capable of taking our women’s golf program to a new level of competitiveness within the Big Ten Conference and nationally while also enhancing the overall experience of our student-athletes,” said UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta.
“I can’t begin to express how excited I am about joining the Hawkeye family. This most definitely is a dream come true for me and I can’t wait to get started. I look forward to bringing my playing experience to this program and taking this team to the next level.”
Crawford’s coaching resume also includes one year as head coach of the women’s golf program at Portland State University in Portland, OR (1999-2000) and two years as assistant women’s golf coach at her alma mater, Sacramento State (1997-99).
Crawford’s playing experience includes two years at Sacramento State where she participated in the 1984 national championship and professional experience in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (USA), Women’s Professional Golf European Tour (Europe), Ladies Professional Golf Association (Australia). She spent one year on the Futures Tour where she captured her first professional tournament championship winning the Salisbury Classic.
She is a member of the Sacramento State athletics hall of fame, the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA), the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA).
Crawford fills the vacancy created in May when Carney announced her retirement after four success-filled seasons as head coach of the Hawkeyes. Under Carney’s guidance, the UI finished in the top-five of 16 different tournaments. Iowa won the Hawkeye Intercollegiate the last two seasons. Carney also led the Hawkeyes to a sixth place finish at the 2005 Big Ten Conference Championship, their best finish since placing sixth in 1998.