COLUMBIA, Mo. – Caroline Westrup, a former LPGA player and collegiate standout, has been named the University of Missouri’s sixth women’s golf head coach, Director of Athletics Desireé Reed-Francois announced Saturday.
Westrup comes to Mizzou after a highly successful 2021-22 season as an assistant coach at Georgia. She will be introduced to the Tigers community at a welcome reception in the week ahead.
“When we started our search, we sought a leader with the character, competence and competitive drive to successfully lead our women’s golf team,” Reed-Francois said. “Coach Westrup’s determination, tactical expertise and recruiting abilities stood out from an impressive field. Her extensive experience and success as an amateur and professional golfer along with her methodical approach, focus on her student-athletes and ability to build community were difference makers as we moved through the search process. She has the vision to build upon our foundation and lead our women’s golf program to incredible success athletically, academically and as leaders. We have a great golf community here in Columbia and throughout Missouri and we are proud to welcome Caroline, Ivan and their family to Mizzou.”
“I am elated to join the Missouri family and am extremely grateful to Desireé Reed-Francois and the search committee for this incredible opportunity,” Westrup said. “During my visit to campus, I was struck by the vision for excellence across the entire department while the complete focus on the student-athlete experience spoke to my core values. We have big expectations for the program and want to compete with the best in the Southeastern Conference and nationally. I am fired up to get started in Columbia and develop outstanding student-athletes for their careers at Mizzou and beyond.”
Westrup helped lead a Georgia team which tied for fifth at the 2021-22 NCAA Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Bulldogs were eighth in stroke-play qualifying – reaching the match-play bracket. UGA’s Jenny Bae and Candice Mahé both tied for sixth place in stroke play, making the Bulldogs the only team in the nation with two top-10 individual finishers. Georgia dropped a 3-2 decision to Stanford – the No. 1 seed and eventual national champions – in the match play quarterfinals.
Westrup became part of the Georgia program in July 2021 as an assistant coach. Following her retirement after a nine-year professional career in 2018, she started her coaching career at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The native of Ahus, Sweden has a long and distinguished competitive resume. She joined the Swedish national team at 14-years-old and won the 2006 Espirito Santo Trophy as medalist at the World Amateur Team Championships. Westrup helped lead Sweden to the three European team championships and also was a member of the victorious European team at the 2003 Junior Solheim Cup.
Westrup went on to play at Florida State from 2005-09, winning a school-record five individual tournament titles while becoming the only four-time All-American and the only four-time All-ACC honoree in program history. She was inducted into the FSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019.
She was a standout off the course as well and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team twice, the WGCA All-American Scholar Team three times and the All-ACC Academic team on four occasions.
Westrup competed on the LPGA, LET and Symetra Tours and won two professional events, the LET’s 2005 Ladies Finnish Masters (while still an amateur) and the Symetra’s 2015 Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge.
She received her bachelor’s degree in Sport Management from Florida State in 2009. Caroline and her husband, Ivan Gaeta, have a son, Alexander, and are expecting a baby girl this fall.
Follow Coach Westrup on Twitter and Instagram.
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