AUSTIN, TX (PRWEB) July 7, 2006
Huston-Tillotson University recently moved its club golf program into the official National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) sports program with golf enthusiast, former University of Texas quarterback, and prominent attorney Marty R. Akins as the head coach.
Akins will join the HT staff as the men’s and women’s coach and the faculty as a business professor, teaching a business law course during the Fall 2006 semester. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be associated with Huston-Tillotson University, and to be given this opportunity to build a program from the ground up,” Akins said. “I have never coached at the collegiate level, and I am looking forward to this challenge.”
HT President Larry L. Earvin pressed to include golf as a competitive sports program upon his arrival in 2000. The vision was incorporated into the overall ten-year strategic plan that also included creating a learning environment that provided challenging and exemplary educational experiences. “This appointment not only strengthens our School of Business and Technology but helps foster a culture for achievement for our students both on the golf course and in the classroom,” Earvin said.
Athletic Director Ric Granryd, who oversees programs in men’s and women’s basketball and track and field, men’s soccer and baseball, and women’s volleyball and cross country within the Red River Athletic Conference, realizes that adding two new sports to any existing program is both a challenge and an opportunity. “We will be recruiting, and we will need scholarship funds, Granryd said.” Granryd noted that thanks to Hershall J. Shelley, HT’s computer science professor and also a passionate golfer, who took on the volunteer assignment of resurrecting golf as a club sport after a 22-year hiatus, students are actively engaged in the program.
As a club sport, HT students competed in several tournaments, including the 2006 NAIA Region VI event held in Fort Worth. Financial support for clubs, balls, and other equipment was provided by Tarrytown United Methodist Church; Marvin Douglas, planner of the annual Reunion Weekend golf tournament; and avid golfers General Marshall and Edna Rhambo.
Granryd noted that golf team members are stepping into a proud legacy through Tillotson College and Samuel Huston before the 1952 merger and Huston-Tillotson after the merger. “Most people don’t realize that this institution produced a golf champion in Victor Wallace when he competed in the 1981 Pan American National Golf Championship,” Granryd recalled.
“It’s going to be hard work, but I’m hoping in a few years, we will have an outstanding program,” Akins concluded.