Meet some of the PGA Minority Collegiate Championship alumni who have successfully advanced their careers in the golf industry as PGA Members:
Tiana Jones, PGA
Director of Instruction - Lozano Golf Center
Corpus Christi, Texas
After graduating with a Bachelor's Degree from the PGA Golf Management University Program at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) in 2017, Tiana Jones, PGA was named the PGA Director of Instruction at Lozano Golf Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. Previously, Jones served internships at some highly respected golf courses, including Bandon Dunes, Broadmoor Golf Club, Green Hill Yacht & Country Club, Independence Golf Club and GlenRiddle Golf Club. Jones recorded her fourth consecutive title in the Women's Individual Invitational at the 2017 PGA Minority Collegiate Championship, while competing for UMES. She also earned medalist honors in team play while playing for South Carolina State University in 2012.
Brad Story, Certified PGA Professional
Administration - Colonial Golf Course
A Certified PGA Professional in Golf Operations, Brad Story, PGA, works in Administration at Colonial Golf Course in Meridianville, Alabama, a suburb of Huntsville, where he was a three-time county champion at Buckhorn High School. Story attended Wallace State Community College from 2007-'09, and helped lead the golf team to a 12th place finish in the NJCAA National Tournament. Story transferred to the University of Alabama-Birmingham to continue his collegiate golf career. He left the school to return back home to care for his mother, who was battling Multiple Sclerosis. During that time, he took a job at Colonial, where he started to learn the golf business. In 2011, with two years of college eligibility left, Story enrolled and played on the golf team at Alabama A&M University, where he took individual medalist honors at the Southwestern Athletic Conference Golf Championships in Alexandria, Louisiana. Story overcame a six-shot deficit in the final round and recorded a six-under 66 to win the title. At the 2011 PGA Minority Collegiate Championship, he finished 15th in the Individual Division. After college, Story held PGA Assistant Professional positions at several facilities, including Huntsville (Alabama) Country Club; the Ledges in Huntsville; and most recently, Dallas National Golf Club. In 2015, he was awarded the Youth Player Development Award by the Alabama-Northwest Florida PGA Section, which is given to an individual who is recognized as a leader in junior golf; reflects the ideals of those who work with our nation's youth; and provides opportunities and experiences for juniors to learn and play the game. Story was honored for reaching more than 500 juniors through clinics, events and the creation of the PGA Junior League of Huntsville. He was the first PGA Professional in the Section to implement PGA Junior League Golf. Today, he serves as League Director.
Justin Watkins, PGA
PGA Director of Instruction - Topgolf
Justin Watkins is the PGA Director of Instruction at Topgolf in Oklahoma City. He began his collegiate career playing Division II golf at Lincoln University of Missouri, eventually transferring to, and graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), where he was enrolled in the PGA Golf Management University Program. While at UCO, he was awarded the Player of the Year trophy three times and represented the university at the PGA Minority Collegiate Championship-winning the Men's Independent Division title in 2012, and finishing runner-up twice. Watkins also competed in the PGA Jones Cup for five consecutive years-a team stroke-play championship that features players from accredited PGA Golf Management University Programs who are aspiring PGA Professionals -with his best individual finish being 3rd. Watkins, who has played golf for more than 25 years, learned the game from his mother, E.J. Johnson, a retired golf instructor. Today, Justin possesses great knowledge of the swing and strives to make learning golf fun and easy. Watkins believes in keeping instruction as simple as possible, while teaching strong fundamentals.
Gavin Parker, PGA
Academy Director – Salisbury Golf Academy
Gavin Parker, PGA grew up in a North Chesterfield, Virginia, where he was introduced to golf by his father. He fell in love with the game and had big dreams to become a PGA Tour player. So, Parker began to seek instruction from better players at his home course. Yet, much to his surprise, his game slowly became worse—even though he was playing in at least one tournament a week, while playing and practicing six days a week, for hours on end. Still, he continued to pursue a career in golf. Parker was eventually selected to participate in the USGA’s prestigious Boatwright Internship Program through the Middle Atlantic PGA Section. He then enrolled in the PGA Golf Management University Program at Campbell University. It was there that he discovered a deep passion for teaching. He also regained confidence in his game by diving deep into the anatomy and geometry of the golf swing. In addition, Parker participated in the PGA Minority Collegiate Championship, where he twice represented Campbell University in the event’s individual competition. Once he found a love for teaching at Campbell, he never looked back. Parker spent the next four years attending certification training seminars, while networking with other instructors and landing a teaching position with the Robins Junior Golf Programs. He then served as Academy Director at Independence Golf Club in Midlothian, Virginia, for the past two years. Under his guidance, Parker’s students improved by a total of 1,568 strokes in their Operation 36 matches. Two of his students have qualified for state championships, and numerous other players have competed at the local and regional level in junior events. Parker is certified as a Network Flatstick Academy Instructor, Level 2 Certified Operation 36 Coach and a Certified Level 1 Instructor in Golf Swing Ground Force Reactions. He was just named the Academy Director of the Salisbury Golf Academy at Salisbury Country Club in Midlothian.
Paul Cecil, PGA
PGA Assistant Professional - St. Clair Country Club
Paul Cecil is a Class A PGA Professional who graduated from the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore's (UMES) PGA Golf Management Program in 2014. During the summer, he works as a PGA Assistant Professional at St. Clair Country Club in Pittsburgh. Conversely, during the winter, he works as a PGA Assistant Professional at John's Island Club in Indian River Shores, Florida. He has also been employed at Columbia Country Club, Sycamore Hills Golf Club and Oakmont Country Club. During his collegiate golf career at UMES, Cecil played in numerous high-profile tournaments, including the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship in 2011, where his team finished 8th in the Division I competition. Cecil was named to the MEAC Commissioner's All-Academic Team in both 2012 and 2014, while also receiving the Award of Excellence from the School of Business and Technology at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.
Michael Ferguson, PGA
PGA Professional - Columbia Country Club
Chevy Chase, Maryland
A three-time participant in the PGA Minority Collegiate Championship, Michael Ferguson's University of Maryland-Eastern Shore (UMES) team finished 8th in the Division I competition in 2013.
In the Individual Division for UMES, Ferguson finished 7th in 2012 and tied for 18th in 2014. He was also named to the MEAC Golf All-Academic Team and the MEAC Commissioner's All-Academic Team.
A Professional Golf Management Major at UMES, where he earned a four-year scholarship, Ferguson graduated in 2015, and upon earning his Class A Certification, became a PGA Member in the Middle Atlantic PGA Section. He has started his golf career as a PGA Professional at the prestigious Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland.