|Blackmon of South Carolina Winner of Labron Harris Sr. Award|
|Monday, 30 November 2015 12:17|
NORMAN, Okla. – Puggy Blackmon, Director of Golf Development and Facilities at South Carolina and a member of the Carolinas PGA Section, has been named winner of the Labron Harris Sr. Award presented by the Golf Coaches Association of America in cooperation with The PGA of America. The Harris Award is presented to the college or high school coach and PGA Professional whose support of the game through teaching, coaching and involvement in the community has helped ensure the continued growth of the game of golf and who represents the finest qualities the game has to offer.
“I am both honored and humbled by this prestigious award,” said Blackmon. “Labron Harris was a pioneer in collegiate coaching at a time when his tireless efforts and contributions were for the love of the game. Many thanks to the GCAA for this award and their contributions to the unparalleled growth of our great profession.”
Blackmon has been with the South Carolina golf programs since 1995 after serving a 12-year stint at Georgia Tech. He turned over head coaching duties of the men’s program in 2007 and in 2010 took on additional duties as associate head coach of the women’s team.
As a head coach, Blackmon led his teams to 23 straight NCAA postseason appearances, including all 12 seasons at South Carolina, and 43 team tournament titles. The Gamecocks advanced through regionals eight times. South Carolina won nine team events, including the 2007 NCAA West Regional.
A total of 11 Gamecocks won individual titles. Six golfers earned 10 PING All-America honors and 11 were named All-SEC first or second team 17 times. Blackmon also coached two SEC Freshman of the Year and an SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
During his tenure at Georgia Tech, Blackmon lead the Yellow Jackets to five top-seven national finishes, including NCAA runner-up in 1993. His Georgia Tech teams won or finished second nine times at the ACC Championship.
A four-time ACC Coach of the Year, Blackmon coached 31 PING All-America selections and two Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award recipients.
Blackmon was inducted into the GCAA Hall of Fame in 2005. He is also a member of the Georgia Tech and Carson-Newman Halls of Fame.
A 38-year PGA of America member, Blackmon has served as instructor to PGA TOUR members David Duval, Michael Clark II and Kyle Thompson and the LPGA’s Clarissa Childs and Mi Hyang Lee.
Playing collegiately at Carson-Newman, Blackmon received his bachelor of arts degree in business administration in 1973. He was chosen one of the Outstanding College Athletes of America in 1971 and ‘73. After receiving his master of science in economics from Clemson in 1977, Blackmon worked for six years in the golf resort operations and development field in Florida.
As a junior golf activist, Blackmon was involved with the organization of the AJGA in the late 1970’s, later serving the AJGA’s Director of Development. He organized the Jacksonville Junior Golf Association in 1978 and was Tournament Coordinator for the Junior World Cup in 1981-82. Blackmon served as executive director of the Atlanta Junior Golf Association from 1983-1990.
He and his wife, Gail, have three children and three grandchildren.
Blackmon follows in the footsteps of past Labron Harris Award recipients Jay Hardwick (Virginia Tech/Middle Atlantic PGA Section), Devon Brouse (Purdue/Indiana PGA Section), the late Rod Myers (Duke/Carolina PGA Section), Herb Page (Kent State/Northern Ohio PGA Section), Jim Brown (Ohio State/Southern Ohio PGA Section), Pat Owen (U.S. Naval Academy/Middle Atlantic PGA Section), Rick Pohle (Williams College/ Northeastern New York PGA Section), John Bermel (Northern Iowa/Iowa PGA Section), Pat Goss (Northwestern/Illinois PGA Section), Mike Small (Illinois/Illinois PGA Section) and Mike Mayer (Indiana/Indiana PGA Section).