Program creator, legendary UT women’s golf coach dies

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Pat Weis - Texas women's golf coach

Photo provided by UT athletics

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The creator of the University of Texas women’s golf program and the team’s first head coach died Sunday in Austin, according to a release from UT athletics.

Pat Weis died at the age of 89 after a long, successful life on and off the golf course.

Weis led the Longhorns to become an official university team in 1973-74 achieving varsity status in 1974-75. She remained the Longhorns’ coach from 1973 to 1993.

The golfers that Weis coached who enjoyed professional success on the LPGA Tour after their time on the Forty Acres included Debbie Petrizzi, Susan Watkins, Nancy Ledbetter, Sherri Steinhauer, Sue Ginter, Kate Golden, Michiko Hattori and Charlotta Sorenstam, according to UT athletics.

Weis still holds a firm place in the program record books. Weis’ teams at Texas won seven Southwest Conference titles and finished in the top-10 nationally 11 times. Weis coached 11 All-Americans, 21 all-conference golfers, four Southwest Conference Players of the Year, one National Player of the Year, three Honda-Broderick Award winners, one AIAW National Champion and one NCAA Champion.

In 2008, the practice tee at the UT Golf Club was dedicated in Weis’ name.

“Coach Weis was an anchor for Texas Women’s Athletics in its first two varsity decades. She loved taking her teams across the country to compete and promote The University of Texas. In the mid 80s, one Eastern golf writer told me Texas had the classiest, best-playing, best-dressed women’s golf team in America. Pat started our great fan base for women’s golf,” UT Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director Chris Plonsky said.

Weis started the annual Betsy Rawls Invitational, named after the 1950 Texas graduate who became a 40-time tour champion, in 1974. The tournament held its 46th event in October 2019.

“It’s a very sad day for Texas Women’s Golf and for collegiate golf in general. Coach Weis meant so much to so many people and she was a giant within our sport. Everything we have today can be largely attributed to Coach. She started a program that would ultimately impact hundreds of lives over four-plus decades. Coach will be sorely missed and will be in our thoughts and prayers as we continue through this season,” UT women’s golf coach Ryan Murphy said in a statement.

Details regarding a funeral service and celebration of life will be announced at a later time.

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