When the Stanford baseball team takes on Florida State on Saturday in the opening round of the College World Series, it will be with heavy hearts following the death of one of the most beloved members of the program.
Kathy Wolff, who worked in the Stanford athletic department for 23 years, including the last 21 as an administrative associate to the baseball and women's volleyball programs, passed away unexpectedly in her sleep on Wednesday.
"She was Stanford baseball," said Stanford coach Mark Marquess. "The team is taking the loss of Kathy Wolff hard. All the players were really close to her, and she worked for me for a very long time. We'll be thinking of her as we play in the College World Series."
Stanford players wore "KW" patches on their sleeves Saturday when they took on Florida State in the CWS. Wolff's picture was shown during the ESPN telecast and commentators talked about her contributions to the program as well as what she meant to individual players.
"She was the glue to this program," Stanford junior Cord Phelps was quoted.
Wolff's association with Stanford dated to 1976, when she worked in the Tresidder Student Union in various capacities until 1981. She returned to Stanford in 1985 when she was hired as an administrative assistant in the marketing department, a position she held until 1987 when she began working with the baseball program. She later added adminstrative duties with the women's volleyball program.
"Everyone in the Stanford family is deeply saddened by Kathy's passing," said Stanford Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby. "She was an integral part of the Stanford family and our condolences go out to her family, friends, colleagues and the student-athletes whose lives she touched. She will be deeply missed."
Wolff, 53, was still working on final details for the College World Series at the time of her death. Funeral or memorial services are pending.