Navy head women's golf coach Nadia Ste-Marie has announced that former Southern Illinois standout Kelly Gerlach has been named assistant women's golf coach, as Navy elevated its women's golf program to varsity status in October and will compete in a Division I schedule this spring.
"I am excited to have Kelly join our program. She brings strong experience from Southern Illinois University and her enthusiasm and passion for the game will be a great asset to the Navy Women's Golf program," said head coach Nadia Ste-Marie.
"I am excited and humbled for the opportunity to be part of the United States Naval Academy women's golf program. I am eager to be part of the traditions, customs and honor of the Academy and look forward to helping Coach Ste-Marie build a program that is both competitive on the golf course and maintains the high level of academic leadership expected at the Naval Academy," said Gerlach.
Gerlach, a Sparta, Ill., native, is a 2007 graduate of Southern Illinois University where she earned a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in public administration. While at SIU, she served as a two-time captain of the women's golf team, leading the Salukis to the 2007 Missouri Valley Conference title and a berth in the NCAA Championships.
As a freshman in 2004, Gerlach won the Missouri Valley Conference individual title and earned All-MVC honors all four seasons of competition. She was a two-time Academic All-American (2007 and 2008) and was a three-time member of the Missouri Valley Conference All-Scholar Team. She was also named to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Centennial Team, which honored the top 20 golfers in conference history.
Following her career at SIU, Gerlach began a career in public policy that included positions in both state and federal government as well as the private sector, which precipitated her move to Washington, D.C.
Along with duties as assistant coach for the women's program, Gerlach will also serve as an assistant professional at the United States Naval Academy Golf Club.
Kelly and her husband, Ben Hovland, reside in Washington, D.C.