Renowned sports psychologist, professor and golf coach Glen Albaugh was life-long mentor

Glen Albaugh with Cindy Spiro during the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Awards weekend

Glen Albaugh with Cindy Spiro during the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Awards weekend

Glen Albaugh, an iconic University of the Pacific figure who was a beloved professor, visionary sports psychologist and Pacific Tiger golf coach, died Feb. 16 in Lodi. He was 91. 

Albaugh taught in the Department of Health, Exercise and Sports Science (formerly the Department of Physical Education) for nearly three decades. He coached golf at Pacific from 1971-92, guiding the Tigers to six NCAA Tournaments and producing nine All-Americans.

Albaugh also was a pioneering sports psychologist, consultant and author who worked with hundreds of professional and amateur athletes and coaches, among them Super Bowl winning coaches Pete Carroll ’73, ’78 and Bill Walsh. Albaugh was Carroll’s professor, academic advisor and life-long mentor.

“Dr. Glen Albaugh will be missed greatly but not forgotten,” said Carroll, a former Pacific football standout and now head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. “He inspired so many young people through his thoughtful, caring manner of instruction, teaching and coaching. He captured students with his tireless, inquisitive search for the understanding of the far reaches of human performance and excellence."

“We will all be forever grateful for his lasting influence and motivation that challenged us to seek our best,” Carroll said.

Glen Albaugh, Pete Caroll, Larry Meredith

(L-R) Glen Albaugh, Pete Caroll and Larry Meredith at Pacific's 2022 commencement ceremony.

Among Albaugh’s many accolades, he was awarded honorary lifetime status in the PGA in 2011 and was inducted into the Golf Writers Hall of Fame in 2013. He co-authored two books on golf, “Winning the Battle Within” and “The Clutch Golfer Formula.”

“It’s truly incredible how he helped so many people with their golf games and shaped them into the person they are today,” said John Cook, Pacific’s head golf coach. “The Dr. Glen Albaugh Short Game area at our facility honors his dedication to the University of the Pacific and especially the Tiger golf program.”

glen albaugh with john cook

Glen Albaugh with Head Coach John Cook at the dedication of the "Dr. Glen Albaugh Short Game Area"

At Pacific, Albaugh received the university’s highest honor, the Order of Pacific, in 1999, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005, received the Alumni Mentor Award in 2017, and—just a few weeks before his death—was honored by his former student Cindy (Bava) Spiro ’76, ’84 as “The Pacifican Who Changed My Life.” The award is presented by recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Awards.

“I took every class I could from him,” Spiro said. “He was on the cutting-edge of sports psychology concepts, and he introduced me to concepts about sports I never knew existed,” adding that he was “a dear friend and amazing teacher.” 

Regent Mary-Elizabeth Eberhardt ’76, also a former student, said Albaugh had a “profound influence” on everyone he taught. When she worked with Spiro to get the women’s athletics programs started at Pacific in the early days of Title IX, Albaugh was one of their biggest supporters.

“Glen had our backs 100%. He was encouraging, helpful and a fabulous mentor in all areas of our life, not just our education,” Eberhardt said. “He was extremely bright, an excellent communicator, funny and just an all-around good guy.”

After retiring from Pacific in 1999, Albaugh continued his work as a consultant and was “all about being a coach educator,” according to Spiro. His most recent coaching seminar was held only a few months ago.

“I had the pleasure of spending an evening with Dr. Albaugh at a small dinner party Jean and I hosted at the President’s Residence last year for Pete and Glena Carroll,” said Pacific President Christopher Callahan. “It didn’t take long to understand the extraordinary impact Glen had on so many Pacificans across the decades.”

“And if you never had the pleasure of knowing Glen, all you would have to do is listen to alumni like Pete and Glena, Cindy Spiro, former Regent Nick Ushijima and hundreds of others to understand how special he was to so many. Glen Albaugh was truly a great Pacifican. He will be greatly missed by all of us, but his spirit and legacy will live on through the many Pacific alumni he influenced so positively over the years.”

Services will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on March 4 at Morris Chapel on the Stockton Campus. A celebration of life follows from 3 to 6 p.m. at The Reserve at Spanos Park. For those not able to attend, a live-stream link will be shared closer to the services.

In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation in his memory to Pacific’s men’s golf program or to First Tee of San Joaquin, Coaching Program, P.O. Box 77919 Stockton, CA 95267.

Albaugh with his team

Glen Albaugh with his golf team. Albaugh coached at Pacific for more than two decades.