The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and the Labron Harris Sr. Award Committee are once again in the process of identifying outstanding candidates and naming the recipient for this year’s award. This will be the eighth year the award has been presented to a GCAA member coach.
The GCAA, in cooperation with the PGA of America, established in 2003 a new award recognizing those outstanding collegiate or high school coaches who serve in the dual capacity as golf coach and golf professional. The GCAA and the PGA of America have a long history of cooperation due to the significant number of individuals who have over the years brought the highest standard of excellence to our profession. In 2004 E-Z-GO joined the GCAA and PGA of America as the title sponsor of the award. The recipients to date are Jay Hardwick, Virginia Tech (2004), Devon Brouse, Purdue (2005), Rod Myers, Duke (2006), Herb Page, Kent State (2007), Jim Brown, Ohio State (2008), Pat Owen, U.S. Naval Academy (2009) and Rick Pohle, Williams College (2010).
Labron Harris was the first golf coach at Oklahoma State University, serving in that capacity from 1946 to 1971. A member of the GCAA Hall of Fame, Oklahoma State Hall of Honor, and the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, he won 24 conference titles as well an NCAA Championship in 1963 during his 27 years of coaching. Considered one of the pioneers of college golf, his former players included 31 All-Americans, as well as numerous scholar athlete winners. Former players under Coach Harris include PGA tour professionals Dave Eichelberger, Bob Dickson, Danny Edwards and Mark Hayes, as well as current Oklahoma State athletic director and former golf coach Mike Holder.
Along with his responsibilities as golf coach and professor of business at Oklahoma State, he was largely responsible for the building of Lakeside Golf Course and Stillwater Country Club, both in Stillwater, Oklahoma. As the head professional at Lakeside Golf Course, he was considered to be one of the outstanding teachers in the game throughout the United States. Anyone who wanted to learn how to play the game found a friend in Labron Harris. His legacy exemplified the finest qualities of being a golf coach and a PGA professional as he epitomized the PGA spirit of growing the game.
The 2011 award winner will be announced November 16, with the recipient being honored during the GCAA Hall of Fame Banquet Monday, December 5 at the Tropicana Las Vegas.