Rick Pohle, head men's golf coach at Williams College and PGA head professional at Taconic Golf Club and a member of the Northeastern New York PGA Section, has been named winner of the Labron Harris Sr. Award presented by E-Z-GO in cooperation with The PGA of America and the Golf Coaches Association of America. The Harris Award is presented to the college or high school coach and PGA Professional whose support of the game through teaching, coaching and involvement in the community has helped ensure the continued growth of the game and who represents the finest qualities the game has to offer.
"I am extremely proud to be the recipient of the Labron Harris Award," said Pohle. "It is always a great privilege to be honored by your peers and is quite humbling. I have always enjoyed my association with the PGA of America and being able to combined that with collegiate coaching and the GCAA is very special to me. I have been blessed with a great number of quality student-athletes over my 28 years at Williams, who have adopted my passion for the game, and an administration that has let me provide the best possible learning environment. In addition, being the head professional at one of the top collegiate golf courses in the country and serving a supportive membership has made my responsibility a lot easier. I want to thank the people at E-Z-GO for their participation in recognizing the efforts of us who thrive in our dual roles."
Pohle was named the head golf professional at Taconic Golf Club and men's golf coach at Williams in 1983. He is just the third men's golf coach at Williams in the last 71 years. Through the fall of 2010 Pohle has logged an impressive career record of 1,866-534-6 (.777), winning 15 Little Three championships (including a current streak of 12 straight), 10 NESCAC titles and 10 trips to the NCAA Division III Championships. The 10 NESCAC titles is a conference best as is the 10 NCAA Tournament appearances. Williams' 10th-place finish at the 1999 NCAA Championships is a school and conference best.
Pohle has guided Williams to six of the last nine NESCAC titles. Six Ephs have earned PING All-America honors while 10 players have earned Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar recognition. Pohle was named NESCAC Coach of the Year in 2001, '04, '05 and '09. He was named the Eaton Golf Pride Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2008.
In the fall of 2010, Pohle guided the Ephs to a 50-22 mark with tournament wins at the Bowdoin Invitational and the Williams Invitational. Williams finished second at the NESCAC Qualifier Tournament and will be one of four teams to participate in the NESCAC championship in the spring of 2011.
Pohle is a 1972 graduate of the University of Maine where he received a B.S. in education. He joined the Williams staff from a six-year stint as the head professional at the Gorham Country Club. He is a Class "A" and Quarter Century Member of the PGA. Just the third golf professional in the 111-year history of Taconic Golf Club, Williams served as host professional of the 1992 Massachusetts Open, 1996 USGA Senior Amateur, 1999 Division III Men's Golf Championships and 2004 Massachusetts State Amateur and the 1981 and '83 Maine Open Championships while at Gorham Country Club.
A six-time qualifier for the National Senior Club Professional Championships (2001-06), Pohle has won four Northeastern New York PGA Section Stroke Play Championships (2003-06). He was named the Northeastern New York PGA Section Player of the Year in 2006 and '09, Section Merchandiser of the Year in 2005, Section Player of the Year in 1992-93 and Section Vardon Trophy winner four times (1985, '89, '91, '01). Pohle was honored with the Section's Bill Strausbaugh Award in 2010, the Roland Stafford Award in 2003 and was named Teacher of the Year in 1989.
Pohle has served four different stints on the Board of Directors for the Northeastern New York PGA Section. In addition, he has held the offices of vice-president and secretary and chaired the Membership and Senior Liaison Committees and served on the tournament, employment, education, nomination and grievance committees.
An active member of the college coaching community, Pohle has served as president of the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association. He was a member of the NCAA district selection committee on three occasions, chairing the committee twice. Pohle has served as chair of the GCAA Division III All-America Committee and on the Association's International Competition Committee. He has also hosted and served on Rules committees for numerous events and has several graduates still active in the golf industry.
Pohle follows in the footsteps of past Labron Harris Award presented by E-Z-GO recipients Jay Hardwick (Virginia Tech/Middle Atlantic PGA Section), Devon Brouse (Purdue/Indiana PGA Section), the late Rod Myers (Duke/Carolina PGA Section), Herb Page (Kent State/Northern Ohio PGA Section), Jim Brown (Ohio State/Southern Ohio PGA Section) and Pat Owen (U.S. Naval Academy/Middle Atlantic PGA Section).
"On behalf of E-Z-GO, I congratulate Coach Pohle on his receipt of the Labron Harris Sr. Award," said Kevin P. Holleran, President of E-Z-GO. "We at E-Z-GO thank him for his dedication to growing the sport of golf, and also his commitment to ensuring that the sport, particularly at the collegiate level, continues to embody the game's core principles of sportsmanship, accountability, and character."
E-Z-GO, a Textron Inc. company, is a leading manufacturer of golf cars, utility and personal transportation vehicles. Products sold under the E-Z-GO brand include RXV® and TXT® fleet golf cars, Freedom® RXV and Freedom TXT personal golf cars, ST personal utility vehicles, Shuttle personnel carriers, MPT turf-maintenance vehicles, and the 2Five® street-legal low-speed vehicle. E-Z-GO also produces the Cushman® line of heavy-duty material carriers, and the Bad Boy Buggies line of 4x4 electric vehicles.
E-Z-GO is the preferred golf car fleet provider for many of the world's most revered golf courses, clubs and resorts. E-Z-GO boasts the largest sales and service network in the industry, with more factory branch locations and independent distributors than any other manufacturer of golf cars and utility vehicles.
Founded in 1954 in Augusta, Ga., E-Z-GO became part of Textron Inc. in 1960.