TOP-10 2016 AGGIE ATHLETICS MOMENTS AND STORIES
#10 WOMEN’S GOLF BEGINS
With a swift precise swing of the club in Ledbetter, Ky., North Carolina A&T was officially competing in women’s golf. Everything was put into place for the moment in 2015. Head coach Richard Watkins was named the head coach in July of 2015. He then secured a home and practice course, a schedule and then he signed golfers. The next major step was actually competing against other institutions. That occurred at the Drake Creek Invitational, where the Aggies finished 10th. Where they finished was not important, the fact that a longtime dream for many golf enthusiasts who are Aggie graduates finally came true was significant.
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.
“A lot of people have wanted a golf program here for years. Anytime any of the past (A&T) athletics directors wanted information on what it would take to start a program, I was more than willing to help, so I’m looking forward to building a winner,” said Watkins. “I’m glad (Chancellor Harold L. Martin), athletics director Earl Hilton and the rest of the athletic administration had the forethought to bring this program into fruition.”
The Aggies have the building blocks of a winner. Junior Jill “J.C.” Harvison as an average of 78.3 over the first semester, while junior Sofia Alvarez ended the first semester with an average score of 78.9.