November 2014 by Roger Graves, PGA Magazine
Excerpts below reprinted with permission.
Read the complete PGA Magazine article Emphasizing Value of Good Education
Pat Gavin has helped hundreds of students at New Mexico State find their niche in the golf industry
Pat Gavin, who owns a bachelor’s and master’s degree from New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces, has always believed in the value of a comprehensive college education. In fact, Gavin believes all PGA Professionals can benefit from continuing education, noting that PGA members should never stop learning and sharing their expertise with colleagues.
“The opportunity to help mold these young students into Professionals and finding out what they want as a career has been gratifying and challenging,” notes Gavin, the 2014 recipient of the Horton Smith Award.
In 1993, Gavin was living in Arizona when PGA coaching legend Herb Wimberly called Gavin and asked if he had interest in returning to his alma mater. Gavin accepted the job at NMSU, got married and bought a new house all in July 1993. Thus, his combination career as a PGA Professional and educator was born.
“I owe a lot to Herb Wimberly, who is in the NCAA Coaches Hall of Fame,” says Gavin, who received the Donald C. Roush Faculty Teaching Award from the College of Business at NMSU. “Herb gave me the opportunity to work in the Graduate Assistant Program while I was at NMSU in the Masters of Business (MBA) Program. He spent countless hours with me, helping me along. Later, his brother, Guy Wimberly (PGA Professional Hall of Fame member), spent time with me in my early PGA membership years.
Gavin has left a large imprint on his PGA Golf Management graduates at New Mexico State, with NMSU alumni helping him raise more than $150,000 for scholarships and aid for minority students.
“One of the most gratifying aspects of this job is keeping in contact with many of our alumni and watching them grow as PGA Professionals and people,” says Gavin, who is the father of three (Courtney, Gage and Patrick) with wife Tamara. “Watching them get married and start families is great to see. Last month, for example, I traveled to the New York area to visit with alumni and employers. I met with more than 30 of our alumni and many of their wives and children. Seeing them ‘make it’ in life is what’s gratifying to me.”