COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Kelly Hovland has been named head coach of the University of Maryland women’s golf team by Athletic Director Damon Evans after the conclusion of a nationwide search for the top position.
“We are thrilled to hire Kelly as the new head coach of our women’s golf program at Maryland,” said Athletic Director Damon Evans. “Kelly has been a vital part of the most successful season in Maryland women’s golf history. We are excited for her to lead the program and build on the momentum of last season’s NCAA Championship appearance and Top-20 ranking. She has a wealth of experience in the state of Maryland and we look forward to her continuing her success leading the Terrapins.”
Hovland served as an assistant coach at Maryland for two seasons (2019-21) before being tapped to serve as interim head coach in June 2021, after Diana Cantú’s departure to her alma mater Tennessee as the new women’s head coach.
While serving as an assistant coach, she helped coach the Terrapins to back-to-back record-setting seasons. Under Hovland’s guidance, Maryland improved its national ranking from 43rd to 14th (school record) over two seasons and improved its scoring average to 294.65 in 2021 (school record).
“I’m excited and humbled to be named the next head women’s golf coach at the University of Maryland,” said Hovland. “Thank you to Damon Evans, Colleen Sorem, Libby Ellis, and the entire leadership team for their support and belief in my vision for the future of this program. I look forward to building on the foundation of success established by Diana Cantú and leading our team to a championship. This is an exciting time to be a Terp and I’m so proud to be part of the history and tradition of Maryland Athletics.”
Maryland’s accomplishments under Hovland include helping coach the Terps to an NCAA regional and first NCAA Championship appearance, seven top-three finishes during the 2020-21 season, a team win at the Hurricane Invitational, and multiple individual performance and academic honors.
Additionally, she played a vital role in developing and executing the player development strategy, individual and team practices, travel and played an active role in recruiting some of Maryland’s top student-athletes.
Before Maryland, Hovland was the associate head coach at the U.S. Naval Academy for seven seasons (2012-19), where she played a critical role in the formation of the women’s program. She helped lead the team to its first Patriot League team title in 2017 and back-to-back runner-up finishes in the two seasons prior.
Hovland is a Class-A member of both the PGA of America (PGA) and Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). She was also an assistant and teaching professional at the United States Naval Academy Golf Club, providing lessons to members, the public, and Midshipmen during her stint at Navy.
Hovland played four years of Division I collegiate golf at Southern Illinois, where the Sparta, Ill. native won the 2004 Missouri Valley Conference individual title and led the Salukis to the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) team title in 2007. The two-year team captain earned MVC All-Conference honors in all four years of her career, including Academic All-American honors in 2005, 2007-08. She was inducted into the Saluki Hall of Fame in fall 2019.
Hovland graduated from Southern Illinois with her bachelor’s degree in political science in 2006 and her Masters of Public Administration in 2010.
The former Kelly Gerlach is married to Ben Hovland. They are the parents of a daughter, Harper, and a son, Henry. They reside in Silver Spring, Md.
– Terps –