Murray State University announced plans to honor the distinguished legacy of Coach Velvet Milkman, who elevated the university’s women’s golf program to a championship level, with a dedicated fall tournament.
The inaugural 54-hole event, aptly named “The Velvet,” will take place at The Country Club of Paducah, Kentucky on September 18-19. It will serve as the 2023-24 season opener, a fitting tribute to a coach whose dedication to the sport and its players left an indelible mark on women’s golf.
Coach Milkman led the Murray State women’s golf team, the Racers, for 29 seasons from 1993 to 2022. Under her leadership, the team clinched 12 Ohio Valley Championships, and Milkman herself received 12 OVC Coach of the Year awards. Her tenure saw 53 All-OVC honors and seven players clinch 11 OVC Golfer of the Year awards, speaking volumes about the culture of excellence she cultivated.
Milkman was instrumental in shaping modern women’s golf, launching the Racers program in the fall of 1993 and serving on the national stage with the NCAA. Besides her coaching duties, she also contributed significantly to Murray State Athletics, serving as the Senior Woman Administrator and Interim Athletics Director until her retirement in 2022. Her services were recognized in the same year with the prestigious Gladys Palmer Service Award, presented by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).
MSU Coach Philip Nelson praised the initiative, saying, “To be able to honor Velvet with this event is important for our program. She is the reason we are all here today, and this program is thriving. If there is one person that embodies the values and rich history of Murray State Golf, it is Velvet Milkman. The Country Club of Paducah has been gracious in their willingness to host this new tournament, and we are excited to bring a premier women’s college golf event there every year.”
The forthcoming 2023-24 schedule challenges the Racers with first-time visits in the fall to Hawaii, Colorado, and Texas. In Spring 2024, they will compete in South Carolina, Nevada, and Georgia before hosting the Jan Weaver Invitational at their home course, Miller Memorial GC.
For the second-consecutive year, the Missouri Valley Conference Championship will be held at Annbriar Golf Club in Waterloo, Illinois (April 14-16). The Racers, with Payton Carter competing in a playoff for the individual title, placed fourth in 2022. With their rich legacy and the promising outlook of the upcoming season, the Racers are set to honor Coach Milkman’s dedication and leadership with remarkable performances on the course.