Richard Watkins was named the first-ever men’s and women’s varsity golf coach at North Carolina A&T State University on July 16, 2015. Watkins started the women’s program in the fall of 2016 and the men's program in the fall of 2016.
As he enters season three as the women's golf coach, the program has made tremendous strides. In the first season of the program, Watkins led the Aggies to a fourth-place finish at the PGA Minority Golf Championships. Also, in Year 1 the Aggies had a second-place finish at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Showcase and the Tiger Invitational.
The Aggies got even better under Watkins during the program's second season. The program won its first-ever tournament when they took first-place at the Hampton University Golf Invitational in Septemeber of 2017. In the process, Watkins coached Sofia Alvarez to individual top honors as she became the first Aggie in school history to win an NCAA-sanctioned varsity golf tournament. The Aggies would also go on to win the Tiger Invitational hosted by Savannah State a month later with a record-low score for the program of 307. Five second-place finishes and two third-place were also accomplished during Watkins' second year.
Watkins has been a part of the pro shop staff at Gillespie Park Golf Course in Greensboro for the past 20 years. His responsibilities included course maintenance and private and group golf instruction. He has also served as a golf instructor for the Multicultural Golf Association of America clinics and the TYGR Paws clinics. He has also worked at the Oak Hollow Golf Course (High Point) and was a volunteer assistant golf coach at Page High School under head coach Debbie Jones.
For Watkins and many longtime supporters of A&T athletics, an Aggies golf program has been a long-awaited wish come true. When Watkins arrived at A&T in 1976 to pursue a master’s degree in physical education, legendary men’s basketball coach Cal Irvin and Dr. Otis Tillman, Sr., an A&T graduate, convinced Watkins to become the golf coach of an A&T club team. Even though a varsity team never materialized, Watkins served as a golf instructor over a span of nearly 40 years but never lost hope that A&T would one day start a golf program.
After receiving his master's degree, he was a physical education instructor, head baseball and volleyball coach and supervisor of physical education student teachers at Texas College (Tyler, Texas) from 1982-92. His Texas College baseball teams won six straight Interregional Athletic Conference baseball championships from 1986-91 and he was named coach of the year in each of those seasons. Texas College also made the NAIA District Baseball Playoffs six times during his tenure. He was volleyball coach of the year in 1985 and from 1987-91.
In 1992, Watkins returned to A&T to become an instructor in the physical education department now known as human performance and leisure studies, a position he still holds. From 1993-96, he was the head baseball coach for the Aggies, helping the Aggies win the ‘93 MEAC championship.
Watkins is a 1976 graduate of High Point College, where he earned a B.S.,