Former CSUMB men's golf All-American Elis Svard has died

Elis Svard golfing

Elis Svard at the 2019 NCAA DII Men's Golf Championships quarterfinals.

January 28, 2022

Cal State Monterey Bay lost a beloved member of the Otter family with the passing of former men’s golf All–American Elis Svard (Business Administration, ’19), who passed away in his home country of Sweden due to natural causes. He was 25 years old.

Svard starred for four seasons with the Otters from 2017–20. He arguably was the greatest golfer in the storied history of the CSUMB golf program, earning All–American honors his sophomore through senior seasons while finishing his Otter career with the most NCAA Division II tournament wins (4) and lowest stroke average (71.19) in school history.

“As a coach, you’re really trying to impact every person’s life that comes through your program and, in doing so, those kids also impact your life,” says CSUMB Men’s Golf Head Coach Jason Owen. “You become so attached and develop such a bond with them, and now to get the news that you’ve lost one of your players, especially a player and a person as special as Elis, it’s just so sad. It just breaks my heart to lose such a great young man at such an early age in life.”

“We are all in shock over the tragic loss of Elis. He had such a profound impact on our university and golf programs during his time at CSUMB,” says Director of Athletics Kirby Garry. “He was a brilliant student, gifted athlete and even better person and friend to so many. Our hearts go out to his family, coaches, teammates and friends during this challenging time.”

The former Nicklaus Award finalist was a 2–time California Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Year (2018, 2019) and the CCAA Freshman of the Year in 2017. He led the Otters to the CCAA title in 2019 and to a pair of Top 10 finishes at the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament (10th in 2017, 3rd in 2019).

He capped his Otter career by earning CoSIDA Academic All–America® honors in 2020, becoming just the fifth student-–athlete in CSUMB history to win the prestigious award. He combined his third All–American campaign on the course by graduating with a 3.85 GPA in business administration with a minor in accounting.

He went on to play as a graduate student at Ohio State University, tying for second on the Buckeye roster with 10 rounds at or under par and a 73.71 scoring average. He earned both his MBA and OSU Scholar–Athlete honors while playing and studying in Columbus.

Svard was just getting started on his professional career and was coming off his first pro victory at the Thisted Forsikring Championship this past August.

During this time of loss, we are reminded of the importance of community. Losing a fellow alumnus and member of our university can be very difficult. Students who feel they may need additional support may contact the Personal Growth and Counseling Center by calling 831-582-3969 for any assistance you may need. For employees who may need assistance, we encourage them to use the Employee Assistance Programs.