Dr. Carol Ludvigson, longtime OU women's golf coach, dies at 63

Apr. 18—A cornerstone of the Oklahoma women's golf program and the university's athletics department, Dr. Carol Ludvigson died on Thursday after a battle with cancer at the age of 63.

Ludvigson was an Oklahoma golfer from 1978-82, earning team captain honors for three seasons and three Academic All-American honors. She later became the program's head coach. She held that position for 24 years and continued to work for the university for over a decade in an administration role.

"Carol fought her illness bravely for some time, and yet her loss still comes as a great shock," OU vice president and athletics director Joe Castiglione said. "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."

Ludvigson coached the OU women's golf team from 1985 to 2009 and was named co-national coach of the year in 1995. During that time, the Sooners qualified for five NCAA tournaments and won 35 tournaments, including the 1991 Big Eight title and the 2000 Big 12 title.

Ludvigson was named a conference coach of the year three times — twice in the Big Eight and once in the Big 12.

She worked as an academic advisor at OU, working with athletes from men's golf, men's gymnastics, soccer and wrestling. In 2013 she was promoted to director of student athlete development and again to deputy athletics director two years later.

The university created the Dr. Carol Ludvigson OU Women's Golf Leadership Award, which is given 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," Castiglione said. "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 is survived by her lifelong friend, Jerilyn Britz, and son, Jackson.