As announced by Director of Athletics Al King on Monday (July 23) afternoon, Audrey Nelson has been hired as head coach of Ashland University's women's golf program.
"One of the most satisfying aspects of being in athletic administration is helping someone make their way in this profession," King said. "This will be Audrey's first collegiate head coaching position. She's experienced collegiate golf as a player and been involved as a part-time assistant. This is an opportunity she's craved, the chance to coach her own team and put her stamp on a program.
"In talking to people who know Audrey, the one trait that was mentioned repeatedly was her ability to teach the game. She grew up around the game, and has experienced success as a player. She has some interesting perspectives, and I think those can benefit our student-athletes."
Said Nelson, "I do know the team has had some success in the past. It's a good program. I'm excited to be a part of that, and to see where the future takes them."
Nelson's first collegiate head coaching position follows two years (2016-18) as head coach of Big Walnut High School's girls golf team. Her instructing resume includes stints at Champions Golf Course and Westerville Golf Center (2018), LPGA Golf Clinics for Women (2017), Bent Tree Golf Club (2016-17), Ohio Girls Golf Foundation (2016-17), Olentangy Youth Athletic Association (2013-14, 2017), Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio (2014-15), and Jumpstart Sports (2012). Nelson also was a substitute coach for Columbus State Community College at a tournament during the 2012 season.
As a collegiate player, Nelson competed at both CSCC (2009-11) and Bryan College (2011-13), earning five medalist finishes, 15 top-five showings, Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) women's golfer of the week awards in back-to-back weeks, and two appearances at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championships.
Nelson also earned medalist finishes at the 2012 USGA Women's National Publinks Qualifier and the 2015 Northern Ohio PGA PAT.
She takes over an Ashland women's golf program that has made 10 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division II postseason (2009-18). The Eagles have played in the NCAA Division II Championships three times as a team (2011, 2013, 2015), and last season, Krystal Hu, entering her junior campaign in 2018-19, qualified for the Championships as an individual.
"Our women's golf program has been a consistent winner," said King. "This program has been nurtured by previous coaches, specifically Kory Oslie and Andrew Bolinger. Those two did an exceptional job in building the program in all aspects. It will be interesting to see Audrey connect with our student-athletes and see what ideas she brings to the team."
Nelson added, "It's going to be exciting. Besides getting to know the girls, getting to know the course (at Ashland Golf Club), that will be exciting. Seeing what their goals are, seeing what they want to do with their game. It's really just getting to know the girls, and what they expect of themselves."