Dec. 17, 2014 by Amanda Bradford, NMSU News Center
Pat Gavin, head of the New Mexico State University PGA Golf Management program and department head for Marketing in the College of Business, is the recipient of the 2014 PGA National 2014 Horton Smith Award in recognition of his contributions to professional development and education within the golf industry.
Gavin has received the award at the regional level for the Sun Country Section, which includes New Mexico and West Texas, more than a dozen times, but this is his first time receiving the national award.
He was among several national award recipients profiled during the 2014 PGA of America Awards on Dec. 15. The broadcast can be viewed online at http://www.pgamediacenter.com/videos/2014_PGA_Awards.cfm#.
“I’m very proud and honored to receive this award on behalf of myself, our PGA Golf Management Program, NMSU, the Sun Country PGA and the state of New Mexico,” Gavin said. “To win the section award 13 times was great, but the national award is the summit and a career-long goal achieved.”
Gavin serves as secretary on the Sun Country Section’s board of directors and is also the education chairman for the region, where he has played a key role in the development of both the section’s education and apprentice programs. He’s been an active member of the PGA since 1997.
For more than 20 years, Gavin has led the NMSU PGA Golf Management program, growing the program from about 40 participants to as high as 300 with a waiting list. Though the number of programs offered nationally has grown from three active universities to 19, NMSU has been able to maintain enrollment of more than 140 current students.
He joined the faculty as assistant director of the golf management program, taking over the reins as director in 1994. The program, brought to NMSU by NCAA hall of fame coach Herb Wimberly, has seen steady growth under Gavin’s stewardship – during which time Gavin also became a college full professor.
“To hear from graduates from over the past 21 years saying that I made a difference in their lives and careers means everything,” Gavin said. “I am truly blessed to have been given this opportunity, and Herb Wimberly is a big part of why I am here.”
College of Business Dean Jim Hoffman said Gavin has kept the NMSU program – one of the nation’s first – in the spotlight, even as the number of schools offering the curriculum has grown.
“NMSU has a nationally ranked golf program largely because of the hard work and dedication of Pat Gavin,” Hoffman said. “He has been a wonderful mentor to our students and a great example of what being a professor is all about at NMSU. The college is very lucky to have Pat as a faculty member, department head and director of our golf management program.”
Gavin has raised more than $150,000 for scholarships and player development programs for minority students. He also has built the nation’s largest PGA Student Tournament Series and offers free Saturday lessons for his students.
In 2009, Gavin received the Donald C. Roush Faculty Teaching Award for the College of Business.
Gavin and his wife, Tamara, have three children, Courtney, Gage and Patrick.
For more information about the PGA Golf Management program at NMSU, visit http://business.nmsu.edu/academics/undergraduate/golf.