By Bob Fowler, Roane State staff writer
A Roane State alumnus with fond memories of his days on the college’s golf team wants to make those experiences available to current students as well as those who enroll at Roane State in the future.
Chris Griffin of Oak Ridge has volunteered to be the coach of a revived men’s golf squad and to also launch the college’s first-ever team of women golfers.
Current high school golfers and Roane State freshmen will be invited to try out for the squads—composed of between five and seven members each—and Griffin said plans are for competition tourneys to begin in the fall of 2018.
His main objective: “To make sure they (the student golfers) have fun.” Interested golfers are invited to contact Griffin at [email protected].
Griffin said he’s contacted area high school golf team coaches about plans for the Roane State teams and has already heard back from several of them.
Roane State’s golf program was active in the 1970s, but it ended a decade later. Griffin, a Tennessee Valley Authority engineer, played on the squad starting in the fall of 1979 through the spring of 1981. “Those were wonderful years as a student athlete—to be able to compete in junior college,” he said.
“Coach Eddie Liskovec was the men’s golf coach during my career at Roane State and was instrumental in ensuring our collegiate experience was a positive one. I hope I can provide the same leadership to these upcoming 2018 student athletes as was provided for me and my teammates while at Roane State,” he said.
The plan to reactivate the program came together during a Roane State fundraiser this past spring. That’s when Griffin and two other alumni who played on the college’s golf teams—Mike Emory and Johnny Thomas—approached college president Chris Whaley about their proposal.
Griffin said Emory and Thomas will be assisting him when a fundraising golf tournament for the teams will be held next spring at Oak Ridge Country Club. Roane State alumni who played on the college’s teams will receive special invitations, he said.
Proceeds from that event will be used to buy golfing equipment, shirts, and fund men’s and women’s scholarships to help student golfers with college expenses.
Griffin said he expects the teams to compete in about four tournaments each fall and spring. He said team members will likely practice at least three days a week.
He stressed that student golfers will “have to keep up with their studies as student athletes.”
Meanwhile, Griffin said he’s contacting other area colleges and the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) to let them know of the plans and to arrange tournaments.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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