Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Ellis Honor Award Recipient
NORMAN, Okla. ? Former Texas A&M men?s golf coach Bob Ellis has been named recipient of the GCAA Honor Award. Ellis will receive the award at the GCAA Hall of Fame Banquet Dec. 7 at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The Honor Award is presented annually to a member of the GCAA Hall of Fame who is retired from coaching and has made significant contributions to the game of golf.
After 27 years as head men?s golf coach at Texas A&M, Bob Ellis retired at the end of the 2000-01 season. Under Ellis?s leadership, the A&M men?s golf program ranked among the best in the nation, winning two championships in the Southwest Conference and making 15 NCAA Tournament appearances. Ellis?s teams advanced to postseason play in all but two of his seasons at the helm. In 1998, Ellis was inducted into the National Golf Coaches Hall of Fame by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Ellis was regarded as one of college golf?s top instructors and strategists. His Aggies claimed the 1996 NCAA Central Regional Title in Ann Arbor, Mich., and his teams also won SWC crowns in 1982 and 1987, earning him conference coach of the year honors both seasons. In addition, he was named SWC coach of the year in 1977 and 1994 after leading A&M to second-place conference finishes. In the competitive SWC, the Aggies finished fourth or better 17 times. Four of Ellis?s teams finished in the top 10 nationally, including a fourth-place finish in 1982.
In 1995, Ellis coached the U.S. Junior Team to the world title at the World Junior Championships in Japan.
Ellis also led the way in endowing the A&M men?s golf program with a series of endowment golf tournaments over the years. In 1998, the endowment program reached its goal of $1 million.
Ellis?s players earned All-America citations 29 times, all-conference honors 47 times, and won 38 individual tournament titles, including four conference titles and an NCAA regional crown.
Ellis began his lifelong affair with golf at age 11, when he worked as a caddy at North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Ill. Four years later he was operating a driving range there. After finishing his prep career at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill., Ellis joined Labron Harris?s Oklahoma State golf team as a walk-on. He eventually earned a scholarship and helped the Cowboys win the 1963 NCAA title.
After graduation, Ellis spent three years as head professional at South Hills Country Club in Fond du Lac, Wis., and one year at Tuckaway Country Club in Milwaukee. After that, he opened a golf instructional shop in Stuart, Fla., developing video training techniques that he used at A&M. He accepted the job in Aggieland in the fall of 1974. At A&M, Ellis conducted the renowned John Jacobs Golf Schools each summer and also has conducted golf schools in Germany and Mexico.
After his retirement as the Aggies? head coach, Ellis has continued to teach golf in A&M?s department of kinesiology.
Ellis is married to the former Elizabeth Puchert and has five children and several grandchildren.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009