St. Louis, Mo., July 27, 2018 – Washington University in St. Louis Director of Athletics Anthony J. Azama announced the hiring of Mary Swanson as head women's golf coach.
Swanson arrives on the Danforth Campus after spending the past eight seasons as the head women's golf coach at Bradley University. She is the third women's golf coach in WashU history.
"I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead Washington University as the next women's golf coach. I want to thank Athletic Director Anthony J. Azama for having the faith in me to lead the team and asking me to serve in this role," said Swanson. "The coaches before me, alongside the leadership from the athletic department, have laid a solid groundwork of success on and off the golf course that I look forward to building upon. I am excited to get started with the current team and help them to reach their goals in the classroom, on the course and in life. My family and I are very excited to join the WashU Bears family!"
Swanson replaces Ellen Port, who resigned in May after leading the Bears the past three seasons.
During her eight-year run with the Braves, Bradley student-athletes claimed four Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Golfer of the Year awards, 13 First-Team All-Valley selections and a trio of league Newcomer of the Year honors. She was also named the 2012-13 MVC Coach of the Year.
"We are excited to welcome Mary and her family to WashU. As a head coach at both Yale and Bradley, Mary has demonstrated the importance of academic commitment and community involvement alongside athletic achievement in women's golf," said Azama. "In addition to being a former student-athlete at Princeton, Mary will relate well to the WashU scholar-champions' development and growth."
Swanson served as head women's golf coach at Yale University from 2000-05, directing the Bulldogs to a pair of Ivy League championships in 2002 and 2003. She had 13 student-athletes earn all-conference honors, including the 2005 Ivy League medalist.
Following five seasons at Yale, Swanson pursued a full-time professional playing career, qualifying for the LPGA's developmental Duramed Futures Tour each of her last five seasons. As part of her qualification, she boasts four professional wins on the Moonlight Golf Tour and a pair of top 10 finishes on the SunCoast Ladies Series.
Swanson won 16 collegiate tournaments during her undergraduate playing career at Princeton, including the 1997 Ivy League championship. She was a 1997 National Golf Coaches Association All-America selection after qualifying for the NCAA Championship. Swanson earned her bachelor's degree in history with a certificate in American studies from Princeton in 1997.
She began her coaching career as an assistant coach at the University of Florida from 1998-2000, and earned her master's degree in exercise and sport sciences with a concentration in sport management from Florida in 2003.
A native of Far Hills, N.J., Swanson and her husband Darmon have two children: Lauren and TJ.
She begins at WashU on Aug. 13.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT MARY SWANSON
DR. MICHAEL CROSS
Assistant AD, Penn State University; Former Bradley Director of Athletics
Mary is an incredible fit for WashU. She has worked with elite student-athletes during her entire professional career. Mary cares about the student-athletes and helps them achieve their highest potential. Her experience as a professional on the tour, coupled with the ability to connect with student-athletes is a great fit for WashU. It's a match made in heaven.
Professional Golfer-Symetra Tour; 2016 Bradley Alum
Washington University is extremely fortunate to have gained Coach Swanson as the new women's golf coach. One of the main reasons I attended Bradley University was because of Coach Swanson and her eagerness and passion for her players' development and success. Since graduating two years ago, she has continued to help and mentor me in my professional golf career and also in my life. Coach has always gone above and beyond for all of her players. She does everything necessary to make sure her players reach their full potential. There are not enough words to express all that Coach Swanson has done and continues to do for me. Her love for the game of golf is contagious, while her patience, positive attitude, and drive will be a real plus for the university and the growth of its program.