Golf icon and FAU softball coach Joan Joyce dies at age 81


Longtime Florida Atlantic University softball coach Joan Joyce has died at age 81, the school announced Sunday.

Joyce, the only coach in the 28-year history of the FAU softball program, recorded her 1,000th win on March 18.

The Owls icon also served as FAU’s golf coach from 1996-2014, cementing herself in FAU athletics history.

“This is a terribly sad loss for the FAU family. Joan was a true sports legend, and we are grateful for the 28 years she spent here, modeling the best in personal and professional behavior for our student-athletes,” FAU President John Kelly said in a statement. “Joan’s legacy will live on at the university and across the country through the generations of young women she inspired to play – and excel at – softball and golf.”

Joyce was inducted into the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 following her playing career in golf and softball.

Joyce spent 19 years on the LPGA Tour from 1977-95, setting a record in 1982 when she needed only 17 putts to get through a round. Joyce also made a name for herself in 1961 when she struck out Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams, who is the last MLB player to hit over .400 in a season.

The softball coach led the Owls to 11 NCAA Tournaments and a 1,002-674-1 overall record during her tenure. The university did not disclose the cause of her death.