Carol Blackmar began her tenure as the head golf coach at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi in 2002. She also served two years as the department’s Senior Woman Administrator and has recently returned to that role.
The highlight of her career as head coach came in the spring of 2009, when Blackmar guided her Islanders to the Southland Conference Championship and their first-ever trip to the NCAA Regional Tournament in their third year in the league. She was named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year following her team's dramatic run to the title.
Throughout her time as head coach, A&M – Corpus Christi has had seven All-Southland Conference honorees, in addition to a pair of players named the conference’s Newcomer of the Year. The Islanders have finished in the league’s top six every year at the Conference Championships and have notched three top-four finishes in the six years as a member of the conference.
The team has also been successful off the course, consistently delivering in the classroom as well. The team earned recognition from the NCAA for its perfect four-year APR scores in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In recent years, the Islanders have had a player named to the Southland All-Academic Team, with Ryann White (2011) and Courtney Peeler (2010) earning the honors.
Blackmar has also been a fixture of the Corpus Christi golf community in her time in the city. She has won over a dozen ladies club championships at the Corpus Christi Country Club. Blackmar and her husband, Phil, have also partnered with a multitude of charitable organizations in the city, including aligning with Triumph Over Kids Cancer for a fundraiser in February 2014.
She has also served on the NCAA Division I Golf Committee since the 2011-12 academic year, taking part in the selection process for the NCAA Championships as well as working the regional and national championships.
During the 2014-15 season, Blackmar faced a tough task, as she took a lineup consisting of four freshmen and one sophomore to every tournament of the year. The group showed steady growth throughout the season, and shined at the Southland Conference Championship, particularly in the final round. The Islanders scored plus-3 as a team for the final nine holes of the tournament, including a sparkling 1-under-par from Olivia Lowe, as the team posted a sixth-place finish. Lowe and Anna Millet-Esteve each posted their lowest round of the year, and the team’s 305 was its best of the season as well.
The 2013-14 Islanders squad battled adversity to post its best finish of the year at the 2014 Southland Championship. Limited by injuries to four or five players for most of the season - including two freshmen - the Islanders nonetheless had several strong accomplishments. As a team, A&M-Corpus Christi rallied at the conference championship, finishing in sixth place and within striking distance of the top three. On an individual level, junior Vanessa Johnson provided an impressive feat, setting a school record with her 67 in the second round of the Pat Bradley Invitational.
In 2012-13, the Islanders posted five of their top 10 rounds in school history, including a school-record 292 in the first round of the 2013 Southland Championship. Another highlight was the team's second-place finish at the Harold Funston Invitational, when it twice broke the previous school record and posted three rounds of 298 or better. Johnson was also named Second Team All-Southland Conference, having taken second place at the Southland Championships as an individual. It marked the highest finish by an Islander in the Championships since the school joined the league. Nikki Dunn earned honorable mention from the league as well.
In 2010-11, the Islanders played host to the Southland Conference Championship at Corpus Christi Country Club, and earned a fourth-place finish as a team. Junior Ryann White was named Second Team All-Conference for her efforts on the season, as she led the team with a 75.9 stroke average and posting five top-10 finishes, including third at the Championship. Sophomore Nikki Dunn was named Southland Newcomer of the Year as well, after finishing second behind White with her 77.6 average.
The 2009-10 season saw Texas A&M – Corpus Christi take a fifth-place finish at the Southland Championship, as White and Courtney Peeler were both honored by the league. Peeler earned second team laurels, while White was given honorable mention for her efforts. Peeler had five top-15 finishes on the season and led the team with a 77.1 average.
During the 2008-09 season, A&M-Corpus Christi finished in the top five in six out of 10 tournaments. The team showed incredible balance with four players earning top-10 finishes through the course of the season. Three players Ashley Olynick, Ashley Watkins and Courtney Peeler had average rounds below 79. Watkins led the way for the Islanders as she placed second as an individual at the league tournament earning second-team All-Southland Conference honors, while Courtney Peeler's birdie putt on 18 capped an Islander rally.
In 2007-08, A&M-Corpus Christi placed sixth at the SLC Championships. Watkins led the Islanders placing ninth and was named the Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year. Olynick was an honorable mention All-SLC selection after finishing second in two separate tournaments.
In 2006-07, the team enjoyed its first season in the Southland Conference placing fourth in their first conference tournament. Mary Carmen Betancourt led the way with a third-place finish and was an All-SLC selection. Leading up to the first SLC tournament, the Islanders had a strong campaign as a whole. The team placed fifth or better in four of the nine tournaments it competed in prior to the conference tournament.
The Islanders recorded top-10 finishes in all six tournaments during Blackmar’s initial year at the helm in 2002-03. In addition, the team also placed in the top five in three tournaments, including a third-place finish at the Lady Eagle Invitational and a third-place tie at the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational. Her first team was led by Ashlie Simmons, who posted the best single-round score by an Islander with a pair of 69s. Simmons also owns the lowest career average (75.4).
In her second year with A&M-Corpus Christi in 2003-04, Blackmar guided the team to four top-five finishes as well as two tournament victories. During the 2004-05 season, Blackmar led the Islanders to three top-five performances. Among those top-five results was a third-place finish at the Texas-Pan American Bronc Invitational. In the 2005-06 campaign, A&M-Corpus Christi had four top-five finishes that included a third-place finish at the North Texas Invitational, where Betancourt won medalist honors in her debut.
Blackmar, a native of Richardson, lettered four years in golf at the University of Texas, where she earned a bachelor's degree in computer science in 1980. During her collegiate career, the Longhorns participated in four Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) championships. With Blackmar (formerly Bragdon) on the roster, Texas posted three top-10 efforts at the national meet, including a tie for third at the 1977-78 event.
As a junior in college, Blackmar got her first shot at a professional tournament, qualifying and playing in the 1978 U.S. Women's Open held in Indianapolis. Following graduation, she finished second at the 1980 Texas State Women's Amateur and later that year played in her second U.S. Open Championship in Nashville, Tenn.
During her prep career at J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson, Blackmar qualified for the UIL State Championships in consecutive seasons (1975 and 1976).
Blackmar’s husband, Phil, is a former touring PGA professional who is now a member of the PGA Champions Tour and also has worked as an analyst for television golf coverage. He also serves as a volunteer assistant coach for the Islanders. The Blackmars have four adult children and one grandson.