Sofie Aagaard Named Cougar Women’s Head Golf Coach
PULLMAN, Wash. (May 27, 2022) – Washington State University Director of Athletics Pat Chun announced Friday the hiring of Sofie Aagaard as the Cougars' next women's head golf coach. Aagaard, who becomes the seventh head coach in Cougar women's golf history, will be introduced to the Pullman community at a welcome reception in the coming weeks.
"We are delighted to bring Coach Aagaard to Washington State," said Chun. "Coach Aagaard has risen rapidly through the coaching ranks. Her teams have won conference championships and competed at the highest levels of college golf. She has a proven track record in recruiting and developing talent, as well as mentoring student-athletes to reach their highest potential. We welcome Sofie and Christian to the Cougar family."
Aagaard arrives in Pullman having spent the past seven seasons leading Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif. While there, Aagaard guided the Mustangs to three Big West Conference team titles, three NCAA Regional appearances, and was named Big West Conference Coach of the Year on four occasions.
"Thank you to WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun and Deputy Athletic Director Mitch Straub for showing belief in me and for welcoming us to Pullman to lead the women's golf team in this new era of the program," said Aagaard. "Together with assistant coach Emma White, we will hit the ground running and continue to build of the great program Kelli Kamimura has established. My husband, Christian, and I are looking forward to joining the Cougar family and the Pullman community."
In her time at Cal Poly, Aagaard rebuilt the Mustangs into one of the premiere golf programs on the West Coast. Setting up Cal Poly for success, Aagaard's strive for excellence pushed the Mustangs into a perennial conference championship contender, including winning back-to-back titles in 2021 and 2022. She oversaw the development of 13 Big-West All-Conference selections, 12 Women's Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholars, four-straight Big West Conference Freshman of the Year recipients and this past season, the Big West Freshman and Player of the Year in Kaylyn Noh. Additionally, the Mustangs won 10 regular-season tournament team titles in her seven seasons.
Prior to Cal Poly, Aagaard spent three seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater, the University of California. While there, she helped the Golden Bears advance to the NCAA Regionals all three seasons and advanced to the National Championship in 2015. Aagaard also coached the squad to tournament wins at the Ptarmigan Invitational at Colorado State in September 2013 and the BYU Invitational at Entrada in March 2015.
As a collegian at Cal, she was a three-time NCAA Division I All-American and was a part of top five finishes at the NCAA Championships three years in a row (2004-06). Aagaard, who concluded her career with a school-record 74.2 stroke average for the Bears, was a two-time All-West Region honoree and twice earned All-Pac-10 Conference second-team accolades, in 2005 and 2006, in addition to All-Pac-10 honorable mention praise in 2004. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in political economies of industrial societies, was the first three-time All-American in program history, and was inducted into the Cal Athletics Hall of Fame in 2021.
Qualifying for the professional tour right out of Cal, Aagaard spent six years on the Symetra Tour and qualified for the LPGA Tour in 2008. In addition, she competed in two U.S. Women's Open Championships (Oakmont 2010, the Broadmoor 2011).
While competing on tour, Aagaard was also engaged in improving the Symetra Tour from a player's standpoint by being a member of the Player Advisory Board.
Aagaard was a member of the Swedish National Team from 1999-2006, helping her country to the 2004 World Amateur Team Championships gold medal in Puerto Rico and the 2006 silver medal in South Africa. She competed in five European Team Championships, assisting Sweden to a pair of silver medals and two bronze medals, and finished fifth in the 2005 European Individual Championships in Portugal.
Aagaard is a LPGA class B teaching professional and was named 2019 LPGA Western Section Coach of the Year. She served as an assistant coach for the international team at the 2020 Arnold Palmer Cup (the international team won at Bay Hill in December 2020) and was named head coach of the international team for the 2021 Arnold Palmer Cup at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
She and her husband, Christian Aagaard, were married in November 2012.
Aagaard succeeds Kelli Kamimura, who retired from college coaching after spending the past 13 seasons guiding Cougar Women's golf.
What They Are Saying:
"Sofie is a proven leader and coach. Her combined playing and coaching resume make her a rare candidate to lead the WSU women's golf program. She has terrific experience with international golf competition and that will serve her well as she recruits the very best to compete at WSU."
Anne Walker, Stanford University Women's Head Golf Coach
"Sofie Aagaard will be an excellent addition to Washington State Athletics and the Pac-12 Conference of Champions. She holds a high standard for herself, so it is no coincidence that success follows in all of her endeavors. As an assistant at Cal and then Head Coach at Cal Poly, she has made every place better. She was a successful WGCA All-American collegiate player, a conference Coach of the Year, Cal Athletic Hall of Fame Honoree and Palmer Cup coach, always elevating those around her. Sofie is a consummate players coach, and brings an effective balance of challenge, support and inspiration to her players. She welcomes all situations with a positive outlook and we are excited to have her share her energy, enthusiasm and expertise with WSU and our Pac-12 Conference."
Nancy McDaniel, University of California Women's Head Golf Coach
"Sofie has an incredible coaching IQ and a passion for improvement that bleeds into her program's culture. She is respected as a coach and player, both nationally and internationally. The Washington State Women's Golf program will undoubtedly be in great hands."
Ria Scott, University of Virginia Women's Head Golf Coach
"This is a very good hire for Washington State. The program was deserving and needed a head coach who has had success. Sofie has won multiple Big West conference titles and steadily improved the Cal Poly program. Sofie has experience directly with the Pac-12 Conference as an All-American player at Cal and then as an assistant coach with Cal. Her background as a player and coach should allow her to keep Washington State on an upward trend that Kelli Kamimura had started."
Lance Ringler, Golfweek