PISCATAWAY, N.J. (June 10, 2014) - Maura (Waters) Ballard, who competed as a student-athlete at Rutgers University before mentoring the RU golf programs for the past 21 years, has decided to step down as head women’s golf coach.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my coaching career at Rutgers,” said Ballard. “I absolutely cherish the memories and friends I’ve made, and the many student-athletes who were an inspiration to me over the years. I look forward to new opportunities in my career. As an alumna, I will be on the sidelines cheering on the Scarlet Knights, so this is not good bye, it’s ‘see you at the game!’”
"We are incredibly grateful for the years of dedicated service Maura has provided Rutgers and its student-athletes," said Athletic Director Julie Hermann. "Not only has she been a tremendous coach and ambassador for RU, she has been an invaluable mentor and friend to so many on our staff. Her love for Rutgers is contagious. It has impacted so many over the years and I'm certain it will continue to do so. We wish Maura nothing but the best in her future endeavors.”
Ballard was named head coach of the men’s golf team in January of 1993 before assuming head coaching responsibilities for both the men’s and women’s programs in September 1997. For the past two seasons, she has exclusively coached the women’s team.
Throughout her tenure “On the Banks,” Ballard’s teams excelled both on the course and in the classroom. The men’s team won 17 tournaments, placed second 12 times and 12 players earned individual titles. In 2005, the Scarlet Knights ranked third among 60 teams in the Mid-Atlantic region to earn an NCAA Regional berth and Ballard was named the Big East Men’s Golf Coach of the Year. The women’s team won five tournaments, placed second 17 times and had eight players capture individual titles under her leadership.
In the classroom, five players have been cited as All-America Scholars, with Brent Pittman (’05) earning honors on the men’s side and Lauren Huhnerkoch (‘08), Jeanne Waters (’10), Elisa Mateer (’12) and Taylor Clark (’14) receiving accolades on the women’s side. In Big East Conference play from 1997 to 2013, her athletes earned Big East All-Academic honors 107 times. The women’s team recently earned a perfect multi-year academic progress rate (APR) score of 1000 for data concluding with the 2012-13 academic year. It marked the second consecutive year and the third time since the data began being tabulated in 2004-05 that the team earned a perfect multi-year mark.
A 1988 graduate of Rutgers College with a BA in economics, Ballard was a four-year letterwinner under head coach Jan Unger from 1984-1987. She won the 1986 Yale Invitational and had several other top-three finishes while earning MVP honors all four years.
A national search for Ballard’s replacement will begin immediately.