OU, golf community mourn loss of former coach Carol Ludvigson

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NORMAN – Dr. Carol Ludvigson, the head women’s golf coach at the University of Oklahoma for 24 years, passed away Thursday from cancer at the age of 63. Ludvigson was currently the Deputy Athletics Director of Student-Athlete Experience and Well-Being at OU.

Ludvigson spent more than 40 years serving the athletics department as a student-athlete, coach or administrator. A selfless and dedicated ambassador for the university and its athletics community, she influenced the lives of countless OU students, athletes and co-workers with her unique zeal and her spirited, upbeat and infectious demeanor, day in and day out.

“Carol fought her illness bravely for some time, and yet her loss still comes as a great shock,” said OU Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. “Ever positive, the resiliency she demonstrated throughout her health struggles masked the great difficulty she faced. We are wrecked with grief, but thankful that Carol is now finally at peace.

“Carol’s impact on our department, our staff, coaches and student-athletes is simply unmatched. The care she took with everyone she engaged illustrated her deep awareness and appreciation for each individual’s value. She was intentional, carving out space in her day to make sure that we felt loved, supported, heard and seen. She seized life and all it had to offer, making sure she and those around her recognized that we all have a responsibility to contribute to something larger than ourselves. She did that for us here.”

An OU golfer from 1978-82, Ludvigson earned four letters and was a three-year team captain and three-time Academic All-American. She served as the Sooners’ head women’s golf coach from 1985 to 2009, mentoring several All-Americans and Academic All-Americans. She guided OU to the 1991 Big Eight Championship and 2000 Big 12 Championship, becoming one of only a few coaches to win team titles in both leagues.

Under her tutelage, the Sooners won 31 tournaments and made five NCAA tournament appearances. She was named co-national coach of the year in 1995, Big Eight Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1995, Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2001, and earned several regional coaching honors.

Following her coaching career, Ludvigson transitioned into an OU academic advisor role, overseeing men’s golf, men’s gymnastics, soccer and wrestling. She was elevated to OU’s director of student-athlete development in 2013 and served in that capacity for two years before her promotion to deputy athletics director, overseeing the student-athlete experience.

In her role, Ludvigson presided over the areas of academics, sports nutrition, strength and conditioning, sports medicine, psychological services, student-athlete development and conduct and accountability. She worked closely with coaches and academic advisors to support the development needs of student-athletes. Ludvigson also played an integral role in staff development and worked on special projects for overall professional development.

In addition to her work with athletics, Ludvigson served as a professor, teaching graduate courses for OU’s College of Professional and Continuing Studies and coursework in the Master of Liberal Studies program. She taught undergraduate courses throughout her career and a master’s course in health and exercise science called “Women in Sport.”

In recognition of her service and leadership, in 2022, the Dr. Carol Ludvigson OU Women’s Golf Leadership Award was established with Carol as the first recipient. The honor goes to those who demonstrate exemplary leadership and embody a team-first mentality, characteristics synonymous with Carol.

“In every position she held, Carol was a champion for our student-athletes and our staff,” said Castiglione. “She relentlessly pursued ways to provide for the holistic development of our student-athletes and, with the same fervor, she focused on how to support our staff in their own professional enrichment. We are forever grateful to have had her in our lives because among the many things she taught us, she modeled what it means to be a Sooner. Her legacy of seizing the moment, showing care for all and putting others before herself will stand for years to come.”

Ludvigson earned three degrees from OU, including her doctorate in adult and higher education in 2013. While serving as head women’s golf coach, she received her master’s in health and exercise science.

Ludvigson is survived by her lifelong friend, Jerilyn Britz, and son, Jackson.


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