Kari Williams, Columbia’s Head Women’s Golf Coach since 2006, is leaving Morningside Heights to be the Head Women’s Golf Coach at Rutgers University.
“Kari has made a lasting impact on our women’s golf program,” said Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education. “While we are sad to see her go, we are thrilled for her to have the opportunity to direct a Big 10 women’s golf program.”
Under Williams’ direction, the Lions have been Ivy League title contenders year-in and year-out. Throughout her tenure, Williams’ golfers have been named to the All-Ivy League team 13 times, including three in both 2007 and 2008. Her golfers have won 23 individual tournament titles, including two Ivy League individual championships and 13 all-academic honors.
“Leaving Columbia is a very difficult decision,” Williams said. “I have loved my time here. I am so proud of all the student-athletes that have contributed to making the women’s golf program a perennial contender in the Ivy League. I want to thank Dianne Murphy, Rich Mueller, alumni and friends of Columbia Golf particularly for their continual support.”
Williams coached Columbia’s first-ever Ivy League individual champion, Sara Ovadia ’08CC, and led the team to its first-ever Ivy League championship in 2007.
In 2011, then-first-year Michelle Piyapattra ’14CC became the second Columbia student-athlete to win the Ivy League Women’s Golf Individual title, winning the tournament by a dominating 10 strokes. In 2012, Piyapattra was named Ivy League Player of the Year and became the first Columbia women’s golfer to compete at the NCAA East Regional since the 2007 team.
Williams came to Columbia rich with experience in the golf world and beyond. The Evanston, Wy. native played for the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she was a two-time team captain, All-Big West selection with an individual fourth-place finish at the Big West Championships and qualified for the NCAA Regionals as a senior.
“We thank Kari for her dedication and service to Columbia over the past eight years,” Murphy said. “I know she will do an amazing job at Rutgers, and lead the Scarlet Knights in their transition to the Big 10. We wish her the best as she moves on to this exciting phase in her career.”