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MacDonald, Jensen Honored by GCAA

NORMAN, Okla. – Former Temple men’s golf coach John MacDonald has been named recipient of the GCAA Honor Award while Jack Jensen of Guilford will by honored posthumously with the GCAA Meritorious Service Award. Both will be recognized at the GCAA Hall of Fame Banquet Dec. 5 at the Tropicana Las Vegas. The Honor Award is presented annually to a member of the GCAA Hall of Fame who is retired from coaching and has made significant contributions to the game of golf. The Meritorious Service Award honors individuals that have made a substantial impact on college golf and the GCAA.

In 1971, MacDonald became the head coach of the Temple University Golf Team.  He went on to fill this position with distinction for 30 years, until retiring in 2001. During his tenure as the Owls’ head golf coach, MacDonald lead his team to 15 conference championships, and nine undefeated seasons when the team played dual-match competitions.  One of his teams was ranked 17th in the nation.  His players have earned All American honors 22 times, and four played the PGA Tour.

Highly regarded by his coaching peers, MacDonald was named District II Coach of the year 12 times.  In 1987, he was inducted into Temple’s Hall of Fame, the Athletic Department’s highest honor.  In 1996, his distinguished coaching career was acknowledged at the national level when he was elected to the Golf Coaches’ Association of America Hall of Fame.  He has continued to be recognized for his contributions to the golfing community, receiving the World Golf Foundations’ Chairmans Award in 2009, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Golf Association of Philadelphia in 2011.

A passionate advocate and promoter of junior golf, MacDonald has served as Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Scholastic Golf Association (GPSGA) for 31 years, conducting tournaments and clinics for inner city youth.  In 2003, GPSGA was awarded a charter to launch The First Tee of Philadelphia, a program that now serves 5,400 youth a year at two municipal courses, five charter schools, 16 public schools and two military bases.   The GPSGA and The First Tee give inner city youth an opportunity to experience golf, improve their education and grow as individuals as a result of their participation in a focused life skills program. Many former GPSGA participants have graduated from college, gain employment and volunteer in The First Tee of Philadelphia programs.

A native Philadelphian and Temple University graduate who holds degrees in business and education, MacDonald, has served as President and CEO of Impact Services Corporation since 1974.  This multi-service non-profit organization has been recognized across the country for the excellence of its employment work with needy Philadelphians and its innovative community economic development projects.   The organization employs over 150 people full time, and annually serves more than 15,000 disadvantaged Philadelphia residents.

The most decorated coach in Guilford College’s history, Jensen coached four of the school’s five national championship teams. Three of his golf squads won national titles (1989, 2002, and 2005). He also won 386 games in 29 seasons as the Quakers’ head men’s basketball coach and guided the 1972-73 team to the NAIA national championship, Guilford’s first in any sport. Enshrined in the NAIA, North Carolina, Guilford County, Guilford College and Wake Forest University Sports Halls of Fame, Jensen was the second person to coach two different sports to NAIA national titles. In 2009, Guilford’s main basketball floor in the Ragan-Brown Field House was renamed Jack Jensen Court.

The Golf Coaches Association of America enshrined Jensen into its Hall of Fame in January 2008.  His 2005 and 2002 golf squads won the NCAA Division III title and the 1989 team won the NAIA crown. Jensen earned national coach of the year recognition after all three championship seasons and led an all-star team to victory in the 2003 Fuji Xerox USA vs. Japan Collegiate Golf Championships.

In addition to three national titles, Guilford had four second-place efforts at national golf tournaments under Jensen’s guidance, including a second-place finish at the 2001 Division III Championships where the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire edged the Quakers by one stroke. The Quakers placed second at the 1985, 1986 and 1987 NAIA National Championships and had 17 top-10 national tournament finishes. Guilford had 17 conference titles and 26 national tournament appearances in Jensen’s 34 years.

Many Guilford golfers achieved individual distinction in addition to their team success. Under Jensen’s direction, 25 students received 40 performance and 12 academic All-America honors. Three Quakers captured national tournament medalist honors. Lee Porter, a two-time All-American and 1988 World University Games gold medalist, spent six years on the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour.

After assuming golf-coaching duties in 1976, Jensen built Guilford into an NAIA golf power, a status that continued into 1992 when the Quakers joined the NCAA Division III ranks. Guilford reached the Division III National Championships in 15 of the team’s 18 years of NCAA membership.