“I am dedicated to building a championship program at the University of South Carolina. The Gamecock women’s golf team is committed to achieving short-game and scoring game excellence, and our much of our practice time reflects this goal. I also place a strong emphasis on building individual relationships and finding what motivates players on an individual level. I focus on individual skill development within a competitive, supportive team environment. I bring intensity to practices and training, while also creating a structure that allows players to lead a balanced life as a student-athlete.” – Kalen Anderson
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS (17th season as head coach at South Carolina)
- 24 tournament wins
- 5 NCAA Regional titles
- 12 NCAA Championship appearances with three top-five finishes
- SEC Coach of the Year (2015, 2021, 2022)
- WGCA South Region Coach of the Year (2022)
- 5 SEC Match Play appearances in five seasons of the new format at the SEC Championship ; finished second twice (2018, 2019)
- Team has won 10 tournaments the past four seasons and won a program record 5 times during the 2021-22 season
- Set program record for season scoring average (287.55) in 2020-21
- 44 All-America honors garnered by 15 different players
- 14 First Team All-America selections garnered by five different players
- 25 All-SEC selections, including 10 First Team All-SEC honorees
- First SEC Player of the Year in program history (Pauline Roussin-Bouchard – 2021)
- 66 GCAA All-America Scholars
- 98 student-athletes on the SEC Honor Roll (3.0 GPA or higher)
- 3 SEC Scholar Athletes of the Year
- 1 NCAA Elite 90 Award winner (Lois Kaye Go – 2021)
Kalen Anderson enters her 17th year as the head coach of the South Carolina women’s golf team in 2023-24 on the heels of 11 NCAA Championship appearances in the past 13 seasons and five NCAA Regional titles since 2010.
South Carolina tabbed Anderson to mentor its program in January 2008. She joined the Gamecocks after two years as an assistant at Duke, where she had an All-American career as a player, and a four-year stint as a professional on the FUTURES Tour. Her philosophy on coaching has led to immediate success for the Carolina program.
In 16 seasons at South Carolina, Anderson has overseen a seamless, successful transition from the previous coaching staff, highlighted by the program’s first regional title at the 2010 NCAA East Regional. In addition, 15 players have garnered 44 All-America accolades, which is more than double the number of All-Americans in program history prior to her arrival. In each of the last eight seasons, South Carolina has boasted multiple All-Americans after accomplishing the feat for the first time in 2014. The team’s three All-American selections in 2017 marked a single-season program record at the time, eventually tied by the 2019-20 squad and tied again in 2022-23.
Under Anderson, the Gamecocks have won five NCAA Regional titles (2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017) and have advanced to 11 NCAA Championships in the last 13 seasons; the program had appeared in the NCAA Championship a total of eight times since 1980 before her arrival in 2008. Carolina has advanced to an NCAA Regional for 24-straight seasons.
South Carolina advanced to match play for the first time since 2016 at the NCAA Championship, culminating another successful campaign in 2022-23. The Gamecocks fell 3-2 in a down to the wire match against NCAA runner-up Southern Cal in the quarterfinals. Carolina punched its ticket to match play comfortably with a fourth-place finish in stroke play. The team’s 1,153, 72-hole total is a new program record at the NCAA Championship by nine shots. The previous low score at NCAA finals was 1,162 in 2016. Carolina broke the 18-hole program record at the NCAA Championship with the team’s 12-under 276 in the second round. The Gamecocks and top-ranked Stanford were the only teams in the country to have three players finish in the top-25 of stroke play. Although the team did not record a win, Carolina finished in the top-five in all 12 of the team’s events which was a new program record. The Gamecocks, who played the toughest schedule in the country via the Golfweek/Sagrain Rankings, finished the season No. 4 in Golfstat which marked the team’s third-straight top-five final ranking (led SEC each year). Hannah Darling was named a First Team All-American again by the WGCA and Golfweek. She joined Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, Katelyn Dambaugh and Kristy McPherson as the only multiple, First Team All-America selections in school history. Senior Mathilde Claisse and sophomore Louise Rydqvist were each named WGCA Honorable Mention All-Americans. Carolina punched its ticket to a third-straight NCAA Championship with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Athens Regional. The Gamecocks nearly took down host Georgia with a field-best 282 (-6) in the final round that pulled Carolina within two shots of the Bulldogs. The team T-3rd at the SEC Championship with a 3-2 win over No. 7 Auburn in the quarterfinals of match play. Darling was named First Team All-SEC again (seventh player in school history to be named First Team All-SEC multiple times). Freshman Mia Sandtorv Lussand earned SEC All-Freshman honors. Her selection marked the fifth-straight season Carolina was represented on the SEC All-Freshman squad. Sandtorv Lussand is the 13th freshmen under Anderson to be named to the league’s all-freshman squad.
The Gamecocks reloaded yet again in 2021-22, welcoming four new players to the lineup and winning a program record five times in eight regular season events. Carolina advanced to its 11th NCAA Championship under Anderson after taking second at the NCAA Tallahassee Regional. Carolina finished 14th and shot a field-best 288 (E) in the medal round. Freshman Hannah Darling put together one of the finest seasons in program history as she was a consensus First Team All-American (WGCA and Golfweek) after recording eight top-20 finishes in 11 stroke play starts. She was also a finalist for the ANNIKA Award. Fellow freshman Louise Rydqvist was tabbed a Golfweek Honorable Mention All-American. It marked the first time ever in program history the team had multiple freshman All-Americans. Anderson was tabbed SEC Coach of the Year for the third time and she was also named WGCA South Region Coach of the Year for the first time in her career. Carolina had a program-record four players earn All-SEC honors: Darling (First Team), Tai Anudit (Second Team), Mathilde Claisse (Second Team) and Rydqvist (Second Team). Darling and Rydqvist were each named to the SEC All-Freshman Team as well. Carolina finished the season ranked No. 4 in the final Golfstat Team Rankings.
Carolina had one of its best season in program history in 2020-21, winning a program record four tournaments (The Ally at Old Waverly, Moon Golf Invitational, Valspar Augusta Invitational and the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic) during the regular season en route to earning the No. 1 overall seed for the 2021 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship. The Gamecocks, who were ranked in the top-five most of the season, rose to No. 1 the Golfstat Team Rankings in the spring. The team advanced to the NCAA Championship in dramatic fashion winning a five-player team playoff at the NCAA Louisville Regional over SEC foe Arkansas. Carolina made four birdies and an eagle on the playoff hole to survive and advance. The Gamecocks would rally at the NCAA Championship at Grayhawk after a difficult opening round to finish 13th, just seven shots back of the top-eight for match play. Sophomore Pauline Roussin-Bouchard earned First Team All-American Honors from both the WGCA and Golfweek after winning four times. She had the finest season in program history with four wins. Roussin-Bouchard was medalist at the SEC Championship after carding a conference and program record 54-hole score of 199 (-17) to help the team advance to match play. Her 70.66 season scoring average was also the lowest in program history. Senior Ana Pelaez was also named a Golfweek First Team All-American and was tabbed a WGCA Second Team All-American. It marked the first time in program history the team has had multiple First Team All-America selections. Roussin-Bouchard, Pelaez, freshman Paul Kirner and senior Pimnipa Panthong also all played in in the 2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, held a week prior to the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.
The 2019-20 season was shaping up to be a return to form for the Gamecocks as the team won a pair of tournaments in the fall, the Windy City Collegiate Classic and the Landfall Tradition behind stellar seasons from freshman Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, and the senior tandem of Lois Kaye Go and Ana Pelaez. Roussin-Bouchard took medalist honors at the Windy City Collegiate Classic and finished the abbreviated season with First Team All-America honors from both the WGCA and Golfweek. Go and Pelaez also notched All-America honors, tying the record for most All-America honorees in a single season for the program. Before the team had a chance to compete in the postseason the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancelation of the SEC and NCAA Championships.
Anderson’s squad again peaked in the NCAA postseason in 2017, capturing the 2017 NCAA Columbus Regional Title to earn its third-straight regional championship. Freshman standout Ana Pelaez paced Carolina in the victory and grabbed her first collegiate medalist honors along the way after totaling a 216 (E). Senior Katelyn Dambaugh and junior Ainhoa Olarra also placed inside the top five for the Gamecocks, which rallied from eight shots back to finish atop the leaderboard on the final day.
Carolina’s victory in Columbus marked its second win of the season. The Gamecocks, who have won 10 tournaments under Anderson, closed 2016 with a win at the Landfall Tradition. Carolina has boasted multiple wins in a season three times under Anderson.
The Gamecocks produced a solid showing at the 2017 NCAA Championship, earning the program’s fourth top-10 finish (10th) at the event. Olarra’s strong postseason played continued, and the San Sebastain, Spain, native tied for 10th at Rich Harvest Farms. Her performance marked the fifth-best individual showing in school history, and Olarra capped off her spring with All-America Honorable Mention accolades from the WGCA and Golfweek.
Dambaugh closed her decorated collegiate career this past season in style, capturing the individual title at the 2017 SEC Championship with a historic showing. The Goose Creek, S.C., native, whose 72.67 career stroke average ranks first in program history, set a school and tournament record with a 54-hole mark of 204 (-12) at the conference championship. Dambaugh’s 71.68 scoring average as a senior ranked 12th in Division I, and she earned First-Team All-America honors from Golfweek and Second Team accolades from the WGCA. The Gamecock standout’s five All-America selections mark the most in program history.
Pelaez rounded out the group of Gamecocks to earn All-America laurels during the team’s 2016-17 campaign. The Malaga, Spain, native became the first freshman All-American (Honorable Mention, Golfweek) in school history after posting the lowest scoring average ever (73.12) by a Carolina newcomer. Pelaez totaled two top-five finishes in her first season, including her win in Columbus.
South Carolina reaffirmed its place among the nation’s elite during the 2015-16 season following a historic postseason run. Jumpstarted by a program-record 277 (-11) in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional, the Gamecocks claimed their second-straight regional title. South Carolina carried that momentum into the 2016 NCAA Championship, where it reached match play for the first time in school history. The Gamecocks’ fifth-place finish matched their best showing at the NCAA Championship, and their 1162 stroke-play score at Eugene Country Club was the program’s lowest 72-hole score ever.
Dambaugh turned in one of the finest years in program history in 2015-16, setting school records for single-season stroke average (71.62) and most top-five finishes (6) by a junior. She matched South Carolina’s then-low 54-hole mark (207) twice, including at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional when she claimed her first collegiate medalist honors. Dambaugh and Sarah Schmelzel both garnered All-America honors for the Gamecocks, who posted the fourth-lowest single-season stroke average (294.19) in program history.
South Carolina followed up a historic 2013-14 by raising the standard in 2014-15. Kicking off the season by capturing the inaugural ANNIKA Intercollegiate crown, the Gamecocks earned their first-ever No. 1 ranking from both Golfstat and Golfweek. In four fall events, South Carolina captured two team titles (ANNIKA Intercollegiate, Mercedes-Benz Collegaite), produced two individual medalists (Justine Dreher, ANNIKA Intercollegiate; Nanna Madsen, Mercedes-Benz Collegiate) and did not fall out of the top three at a tournament. During the spring, the Gamecocks ran their streak of regular-season stoke play top-five finishes to 15, and for the second year in a row, South Carolina was the runner-up at SEC Championships. As a reward for their historic season, the Gamecocks were given the program’s first No. 1 seed for the NCAA Regional round and went on to capture the NCAA East Regional title. The win solidified the program’s sixth-straight NCAA Championship appearance and gave the Gamecocks a school-record 10 top-five finishes on the season. South Carolina finished the season ranked No. 6 in both polls.
For leading her team to unprecedented accomplishments, Anderson was named SEC Coach of the Year for the 2014-15 season, her first honor and just the second in South Carolina women’s golf history. She now owns seven tournament wins, the most by a head coach in program history. A pair of Gamecocks also earned All-SEC honors, and Justine Dreher became the program’s third First-Team All-American and its second SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year.
The 2013-14 season was undoubtedly one of the most successful campaigns in program history. Anderson led the Gamecocks to nine consecutive top-five finishes, including two tournament titles. South Carolina made their fifth-straight NCAA Championship appearance and was one of only seven teams to compete in the last five national championships. The Gamecocks appeared in their 16th consecutive NCAA Regional and turned in a second place finish. South Carolina made a charge at the SEC Championship and finished in second, marking the program’s highest finish since winning the event in 2002. Three Gamecocks earned All-SEC honors after the 2013-14 campaign and two of those golfers were also named All-Americans.
During the 2012-13 season, Anderson and the Gamecocks didn’t let the loss of two key pieces to the line up slow down the program’s success. South Carolina finished in third place at the SEC Championship and then carried that momentum to the NCAA West Regional, where they finished fourth and secured a berth to the NCAA Championship.
In 2011-12 Anderson guided the Gamecocks to new heights as South Carolina claimed the 2012 NCAA East Regional title in State College, Pa., and went on to finish fifth at the NCAA Championship in Franklin, Tenn., which is the best finish in program history at the national championship. Katie Burnett led the way with a fifth-place showing, the best ever by a Gamecock at the event. Burnett wrapped up her career with a scoring average of 74.18, which ranks first all-time at South Carolina, as she earned second team All-America honors from both Golfweek and the National Golf Coaches Association.
What was thought to be a rebuilding year in 2011 – one junior, two sophomores and three freshmen comprised the entire Carolina roster – turned into unforeseen success as the Gamecocks battled through being shipped to the West Coast for their NCAA Regional to finish in sixth place and earn their third NCAA Championship berth in four years. Suzie Lee and Samantha Swinehart led the charge at the West Regional in Auburn, Wash., tying for 15th place after battling through cold, wind and rain for three days. The team would finish in 18th place at the NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas, setting the stage for what could be a very strong 2011-12 campaign.
The 2010 season was a banner year for Anderson and the Gamecocks, capped by the team’s second NCAA Championship appearance in three years where they earned a tie for 14th place. This followed Burnett’s and the Gamecocks’ triumph at the NCAA East Regional in Greenville, N.C., where Burnett earned medalist honors in leading Carolina to its first regional title.
In 2009, her first full season at Carolina, the team grew together as the season progressed and earned a spot in the NCAA East Regional in Gainesville, Fla. Highlighting the year was Benedicte Toumpsin’s tie for medalist honors at the LSU Golf Classic and the emergence of a freshman star in Burnett.
Her first season in 2008, Anderson guided the Gamecocks into the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2003. Team leader Toumpsin earned third-team All-America status from Golfweek and an honorable mention All-America nod from the National Golf Coaches Association, becoming South Carolina’s first All-American since Kristy McPherson earned the honor for the third time in her career in 2003.
Anderson joined the staff of Duke’s Hall of Fame head coach Dan Brooks in the spring of 2006 and helped the Blue Devils to their second-straight national title. Duke went on to add a third title in 2007. Duke also claimed back-to-back Atlantic Coast Conference championships in her time on staff. Anderson was the designated coach during several tournaments and saw four Blue Devils earn All-America status in 2006, including three first-team selections.
“In coaching, we work on skills and techniques during practice, so when we get to tournament play, my major role is to help players keep a positive attitude and stay in the right frame of mind to let their hard work and talent shine,” Anderson said. “In addition to being a resource to help players make smart decisions during competition, I like to use humor to keep them loose while also pushing them toward productivity.”
“I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be mentored by Coach Brooks and be part of an elite program both as a player and a coach,” Anderson said. “My many experiences at Duke have taught me how to keep players motivated, excited about golf and focused on attaining their goals. I will draw on that experience to help build South Carolina women’s golf into a championship program.”
Prior to her start in coaching, Anderson played golf professionally from 2001 through 2005. She played a total of 56 events on the FUTURES Tour, recording her best finish at the 2002 Florida Hospital FUTURES Golf Classic in SeBring, Fla., where she tied for fourth. Anderson also participated in four LPGA Qualifying Schools and played in the 2000 U.S. Women’s Open. While playing, she also worked to network and generate sponsorships to support her career, raising $120,000 of capital.
Anderson kicked off her college career by earning Atlantic Coast Conference co-Rookie of the Year honors in 1998. Playing in the NCAA Championship all four years of her career, she helped the Blue Devils to their first national title in 1999, finishing 12th in the individual standings. She captured All-ACC and Academic All-America honors that year, a feat she would repeat over the remaining two years of her career. With the nation’s top-rated total short game in 2000, Anderson picked up second-team All-America status. Finishing ninth in the NCAA Regional in 2000, she was the Blue Devils’ top finisher at the NCAA Championship, claiming 21st place. In all, Anderson collected 16 top-10 finishes in her career, including the individual title in the 2001 Liz Murphey Intercollegiate.
A native of Edina, Minn., Anderson earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a certificate in markets and management from Duke in 2001.
The Anderson File
2008-present: Head Coach, University of South Carolina
2006-07: Assistant Coach, Duke University
2001-present: Instructor, Private clients and various clinics
2001-05: FUTURES Tour, LPGA Qualifying School
2000: Competed in U.S. Women’s Open
1997-2001: Duke women’s golf team
NGCA Second-Team All-American (2000)
All-Atlantic Coast Conference (1999, 2000, 2001)
ACC Co-Rookie of the Year (1998)
Academic All-America (1999, 2000, 2001)
Liz Murphey Intercollegiate Individual Champion (2001)
NCAA Team National Champion (1999)
ACC Team Champion (2001, 2000, 1999, 1998)
Bachelor of arts in psychology, certificate in markets and management, Duke University, 2001