Caroline O'Connor, the Margot and Mitch Milias Director of Women's Golf, spent 17 seasons as head coach of the program which has become a perennial postseason presence under her guidance.
Taking the helm of the Cardinal program in 1996-97, Stanford made 14 trips to the NCAA Championships under O'Connor. Stanford has enjoyed three top five finishes at the NCAA Championships in her tenure, including a second place finish at the 2000 event held in Sunriver, Ore., marking the program's best NCAA finish in school history. Stanford also placed fourth in 1997 and fifth in 2007.
O'Connor also guided Stanford to the 1999 Pac-10 Conference Championship, as the Cardinal won the title on its home course. Stanford also made strong runs at the conference championship in 200 and '01, eventually finishing second.
Since O'Connor's first full season as head coach of the Stanford program in 1996-97, Stanford has produced seven first team all-conference selections and 11 second team honorees. Cardinal players have also excelled in the classroom during O'Connor's reign, with 15 first team academic all-conference selections since 1996-97.
Four of O'Connor's former players--Hilary (Homeyer) Lunke, Mhairi McKay, Stephanie Louden and Kim Hall--have gone on to make their mark on the LPGA Tour. Lunke captured the 2003 U.S. Open while McKay is a two-time Solheim Cup team member.
In 2010-11, O'Connor led the Cardinal to a fifth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships. Stanford returned to the NCAA Championship field, finishing 23rd in the team event. Sophomore Sally Watson led the Cardinal with a tie for 45th. Kristina Wong was named second-team All-Pac-10 and Watson received an honorable mention.
In 2009-2010, the Cardinal returned to the NCAA Championship field after a two year absence, finishing 19th in the event held at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C. Freshman Sally Watson fired a final round 66 to finish ninth in her first NCAA Championship appearance, while fellow frosh Kristina Wong shot a closing round 67 secured a tied for 27th place.
In 2007-08, O'Connor led Stanford to a sixth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships. The Cardinal tied for eighth at the NCAA Regionals and narrowly missed out on a trip to the NCAA Championships, losing in a one-hole playoff. Angela King qualified for the NCAA Championships as an individual, while Mari Chun was named NGCA All-America honorable mention. Stanford also won its home tournament, the Peg Barnard Invitational in April.
The 2006-07 campaign was one of the most memorable during O'Connor's tenure, as Stanford advanced to the NCAA Championships for the 19th consecutive season. The Cardinal finished fifth overall, representing the club's first top-10 finish since a ninth-place effort back in 2001. Stanford qualified for the NCAA Championships after tying Oklahoma State for first place at NCAA Regionals. The Cardinal finished sixth at Pac-10 Championships and also captured team titles at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational and Peg Barnard Collegiate.
Also in 2006-07, three golfers (Jennifer Tangtiphaiboontana, Lauren Todd and Mari Chun) were named 2007 All-Pac-10 Second Team selections. Chun, Todd and Tangtiphaiboontana were named Golfweek All-Americans while Chun and Todd were recognized for the same distinction by the NGCA.
Stanford advanced to the NCAA Championships for an 18th consecutive year in 2005-06, tying for 13th place with the help of Tangtiphaiboontana's 16th-place performance. Just days earlier, the Cardinal rallied for a fourth-place finish at the NCAA West Regional. Stanford collected two more top-three performances, finishing second at the Kent Youel Invitational and third at the Peg Barnard California Collegiate. Tangtiphaiboontana and Kelly Husted garnered All-Pac-10 honors and Tangtiphaiboontana, Husted and Stephanie Lue were named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team.
In 2004-05, Stanford finished 19th overall at the NCAA Championships. The Cardinal notched nine top-10 finishes, including four top-five efforts. Husted and Tangtiphaiboontana earned all-conference honorable mention honors while three golfers (Jenna Seki, Wendra Liang and Husted) were tabbed NGCA All-America scholar athletes.
The Cardinal made its 16th straight appearance at the NCAA Championships in 2003-04 after placing third at the NCAA West Regional Championships. Stanford recorded seven top-10 finishes, including a tournament victory at the Peg Bernard Collegiate. Three student-athletes earned Pac-10 All-Conference honorable mention nods, including Todd and Tangtiphaiboontana. Four Cardinal golfers were also named to the Pac-10 All-Academic Team.
In 2002-03, Stanford again reached the NCAA Championships and tallied four top-five finishes, including a runner-up finish at the Peg Barnard Collegiate. At that event, Wendra Liang took top medalist honors while teammate Kim Rowton was crowned the individual champion at the Kent Youel Invitational.
In 2001-02, a young Stanford squad notched four top-10 finishes, including three top-five performances. The Cardinal made its 14th straight appearance at the NCAA Championships after taking fourth at the NCAA West Regional. At the NCAA Championships, Marcia Wallis turned in her best collegiate performance to date, placing eighth on the individual leaderboard and earning All-America honors.
Under O'Connor's guidance, Stephanie Keever earned first team All-America honors as a senior, and honorable mention and second team All-American accolades during her first three years. Keever was a first team All-Pac-10 performer (four-time All-Conference), winning the Edean Ehlanfeldt Invitational and the PING/ASU Invitational.
Hilary Homeyer, a second-team 2001 All-America selection in her senior year, had four top-10 finishes, nine in the top-25 and was an honorable mention and second team All-American during her first three years. Homeyer also received All-Pac-10 First Team honors (four-time all-conference selection) and was tabbed a District VIII Verizon Academic All-American (three-time All-Scholar Team).
O'Connor's first full campaign saw Stanford finish fourth at the 1997 NCAA Championships, at the time tying the school's best NCAA finish ever. Her squad also finished third at the West Regional Championship and fourth at the Pac-10 Championships. Over the course of the season, the Cardinal captured six individual and team tournament titles while Andrea Baxter and Mhairi McKay earned first-team All-American honors.
In the summer of 1997, O'Connor coached the U.S. team that competed in the inaugural World Students Golf Championships Pacific Rim Tournament in Tsu City, Japan. In 1996, O'Connor led Stanford to a third-place finish in conference play and a fifth-place finish nationally.
O'Connor was named head coach of the Stanford women's golf program on an interim basis on February 1, 1996 and took over as head coach prior to the 1996-97 season. O'Connor was a member of the NCAA Women's Golf Committee from 2000 through 2004 and was voted the 2000-01 West Region Coach of the Year by the NGCA (National Golf Coaches Association). She was a Co-Chair of the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee for five years and has been a member of the Golf World collegiate rankings committee, College Golf Foundation rankings committee and the NCGA fundraising committee.
Before coming to Stanford, O'Connor was a golf instructor at the Academy of Golf in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for three years. She also played on the Futures Professional Women's Golf Tour for two years. In 1990, O'Connor earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from St. Francis College, where she was also the school's student body president. She enjoys skiing, water sports, traveling, reading and playing the piano.