Kansas Legend Jerry Waugh Dies

Former Kansas student-athlete, coach and administrator Gerald “Jerry” Waugh died Saturday at his home in Wichita, his family confirmed with KU athletics. Waugh was 95 years old.

Waugh was associated with KU since he became a member of the basketball team in 1947. The Wellington, Kansas, native was a standout guard and named team captain in his senior season. In 1956, he returned to Kansas as an assistant basketball coach for Dick Harp until 1960. During that time, he pulled double duty as he was also the men’s golf coach from 1958 to 1959. He left KU in 1960, but returned to his alma mater in 1974 to serve as an assistant athletic director where he worked with Olympic sports.

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Waugh also worked as a liaison between the University and the athletic department, and served as the men’s golf coach once again in 1976. He returned to KU in 1992 to be the head women’s golf coach, where he coached Holly Reynolds to a 15th-place finish in the 1993 NCAA Championship. He retired from coaching in 1999, but still remained a viable part of the University of Kansas. In 1977, Waugh was also the founder and organizer of the K Club Board of Directors.

Waugh graduated from Wellington High School in 1945 and then served in the United States Army for 18 months before attending KU. While playing for legendary coach Phog Allen at Kansas, Waugh was the lone non-senior to be a starter his sophomore year. The following season, KU won the conference title and finished runner-up in the league his senior campaign in 1951.

Following KU, Waugh first became the high school boys’ basketball coach at Emporia and then returned to Lawrence to coach the Lawrence boys high school team. Then KU head coach Dick Harp hired Waugh as an assistant coach. With Waugh on the KU sidelines in 1957, KU won the conference title and advanced to the NCAA title game with legendary center Wilt Chamberlain. Starting in 1960, Waugh made basketball coaching stops at Arizona, Chico State and San Francisco State. He then returned to KU in 1974 as an assistant athletics director.

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In 1977, Waugh was named the chairman of the Kansas Open Golf Tournament, a position he held until 1995. He also served as president and board member of the Kansas Golf Association and was a 10-year member of the United States Golf Association. In 1990, Waugh helped form the Kansas Golf Foundation. In 1992, he returned to coach the KU women’s golf team until he retired in 2000.

Waugh was inducted into the Kansas Golf Hall of Fame in 1998, Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000, the Wellington Crusader Wall of Recognition in 2013, and the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

In May 2022, Kansas Athletics and Kansas Endowment created the Coach Jerry Waugh Women’s Golf Endowment. The endowment was instigated by former KU women’s golfers and head coach Lindsay Kuhle. It was clear the lasting impact these alums would have on the future of the program would come in the form of a KU women’s golf endowment in honor of their coach – Jerry Waugh.

Waugh and his first wife, Ada, had three children, Carrie, Sarah and Marc. Ada died in 1980 after battling cancer. Waugh later married Dolores who died in 2021.

Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas Jayhawks