On May 21, 2022, Therese Koelbaek (now O’Hara) was inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame. She is the first UNLV female golfer to be so honored.–By Brian Hurlburt
UNLV women’s golf was created in 1999 and has continued to build a tradition of winning conference championships and qualifying for the NCAA tournament. Koelbaek is recognized as one of the best to ever play for UNLV and also played on the LPGA Tour. UNLV head coach Amy Bush-Herzer welcomed the enshrinement.
“Congratulations to Rebel Golfer Therese Koelbaek (O’Hara) on her selection into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame,’ Bush-Herzer shared on social media. “Therese is an incredible person and an amazing golfer.”
Koelbaek, a Denmark native, thoroughly enjoyed the event and reminiscing about her days as a Rebel.
An amazing night celebrating @ThereseKohara‼️ A great ambassador for Rebel women’s golf ❤️
— UNLV Women’s Golf (@UNLVWGolf) May 22, 2022
“Such an amazing evening,” wrote O’Hara. “Thank you UNLV for this incredible honor and for all the amazing memories. Go Rebels!!!”
O’Hara is now a married mom “living my America dream” in Arizona and retired from professional golf.
Photos courtesy UNLV Athletics. Top photo Left to right: Dr. Keith Whitfield, UNLV president; Koelbaek, Erick Harper, UNLV director of athletics.
The Koelbaek UNLV File
-Named Second Team All-America in 2011
-Earned Honorable Mention All-America in 2009
-Earned Honorable Mention All-America in 2008
-2011 Mountain West Player of the Year
-Led MW in scoring average after collecting 10 top-10 finishes in 11 events as a senior
-2011 Mountain West individual champion after recording a seven-under par tourney
-Played in NCAA Championships all four seasons in Las Vegas
-Named the 2011 Mountain West Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
-A six-time Mountain West Women’s Golfer of the Month
-Holds UNLV record for birdies in a career with 366
-Ranks second at school with 49 career rounds at par or better
-Ranks second at UNLV with career scoring average of 73.25
-Tied for school record-low tournament at 16-under par
-2008 Mountain West Freshman of the Year
-2008 All-West Region
-Four-time First Team All-Mountain West honoree
-Four-time individual medalist, including 2008 NCAA West Regional champion
-Played on the 2008 World Amateur Team Championships for her nation of Denmark
-Played two seasons on the LPGA Tour and three on the Epson Tour
The UNLV HOF Class of 2022
The Class of 2022 includes two former Runnin’ Rebel guards from different eras – NCAA champion Anderson Hunt and Mountain West standout Wink Adams – all-time leading receiver Ryan Wolfe, conference champion and Olympic thrower Amanda Bingson, women’s tennis star Elena Gantcheva (Nehles), and former college and pro golfer Therese Koelbaek (O’Hara). They will be joined by the longest-serving coach in school history — former men’s and women’s swim head coach Jim Reitz — former athletic trainer and administrator Jerry Koloskie, as well as longtime team optometrists Dr. Craig Hamilton and Dr. Keith Kohorst as Distinguished Contributors. In addition, former Rebel men’s soccer player and award-winning inspirational speaker Simon Keith will become the fourth recipient of the prestigious Silver Rebel Award.