The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA), in collaboration with the PGA of America, today announced the recipients of the prestigious Labron Harris Sr. Award, as well as the Kim Evans Award, which were presented today at the 2019 GCAA and WGCA Conventions in Las Vegas.
Belmont University Women’s Golf Coach Lissa Bradford, PGA received the 2019 Kim Evans Award, while Eastern Florida State College Head Men’s Golf Coach Jamie Howell, PGA was named the recipient of the 2019 Labron Harris Sr. Award.
Both respective awards are presented to the college or high school coach, and Class A PGA Professional, whose support of the game through teaching, coaching and involvement in the community has helped ensure the continued growth of the game of golf and represent the finest qualities the game has to offer.
“It’s an honor to congratulate PGA Members Lissa Bradford and Jamie Howell on receiving these two prestigious national coaching awards from the WGCA and GCAA,” said PGA President Suzy Whaley. “Coaching is at the heart of the PGA of America’s mission to grow the game, and these two outstanding college coaches represent our Association at the highest of levels with their tremendous passion for the game and its future.”
In its second year, the prestigious Kim Evans Award honors the lifetime achievement of the WGCA Hall of Fame Coach from Auburn University.
Lissa Bradford, PGA has been at the helm of the Belmont University Women’s Golf program since 2001. The team regularly earns academic accolades, and last season the Bruins earned the NCAA APR Recognition Award for the 11th consecutive year. In addition, three golfers: Emma Kate Liu, Carlee Nanney and Julia Nittoli were named to the WGCA All-American Scholar Team.
“Kim Evans has always been someone I have admired both in the coaching world and junior golf arena,” said Bradford. “It is such an honor to be recognized with an award bearing her name. Her strength, passion and dedication to life and the game are an inspiration to us all.”
In addition to her coaching duties, Bradford serves as Senior Director of Junior Golf for the Tennessee Golf Foundation, as well as on the Tennessee PGA Section Junior Golf and Growth of the Game Committees. She also volunteers for PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), Special Olympics Golf and as a Stephen Ministry Leader with her church.
In 2010, Bradford received the Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award, the WGCA’s most prestigious honor. Afterwards, she began a four-year term as a member of the NCAA Women's Golf Committee. She now serves annually at both NCAA regional and national championship events. Recently, she was named to the PGA Magazine Women Leaders Platform.
Jamie Howell, PGA the Labron Harris Sr. Award recipient, is in his 18th season at Eastern Florida State College, where the Titans mens golf team has compiled 48 tournament wins. He has coached 27 All-Americans, with three players winning National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) individual national titles. Howell was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 2019, and was named the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year in 2015. He has been the District Coach of the Year eight times in his career.
“Labron Harris Sr. blazed a trail in the world of collegiate golf few could ever hope to achieve,” said Howell. “To be mentioned in the same breath is humbling to say the least. I am proud to carry on the tradition he embodied in the PGA of America and the collegiate golf world.”
The Titans have reached the NJCAA National Tournament in all 17 of his seasons, with one 2nd place finish and two 3rd place finishes. His 2006-‘07 team was named the Florida Community College Activities Association Male Academic Team of the Year.
Howell also played professionally on the PGA European Tour from 1988-1990.