Sam Puryear named Director of Golf Operations
"This opportunity at Queens is truly special," Puryear said. "With the university's excellent academic reputation, Charlotte's top golf courses and my championship experience, I'm excited about the unique opportunity to build a golf program here and student-athletes who can compete at top levels."
Puryear will lead the 12-year-old Queens' Professional Golf Management Program (PGM) and manage the men's and women's intercollegiate golf teams.
"I knew Sam was the right person for this role right away," said Director of Athletics Jeannie King. "The person to take over as the director of golf needs to be a dynamic leader, have a strong character and offer plenty of experience both as a coach and a teacher and Sam is a shining example of each of those traits. He will be able to lead the men's and women's teams to championships and make sure the PGM produces exemplary students."
A 1992 graduate of Tennessee State University, Puryear has been working in the golf profession since 1998.
His four-year tenure with the MSU Spartans included a Big Ten Coach of the Year nod (2008), a Big Ten Championship title (2008), one NCAA East Region Championship appearance (2008), one All-America student-athlete and nine individual tournament winners. Puryear's focus on academic success led to numerous All-Academic Big Ten honorees and team recognition of All-Academic by GCAA for teams with a 3.0 or higher grade point average.
Puryear started his career in the golf industry as executive director of the East Lake Junior Golf Academy in Atlanta in 1998. During his eight-year tenure he grew the student body from 150 to 1,000, developed and cultivated key relationships that directly impacted fundraising including signing Chick-Fil-A as a large corporate sponsor, created a pro-am event and worked with the PGA Tour Championship to create a successful fundraiser.
Understanding the importance of junior golf in a community, Puryear has been a prominent spokesperson for the topic and directly impacted the revitalization of the East Lake area, a part of Atlanta that at one time had some of the worst crime rates in the country. The revitalization included mixed incoming housing, a new elementary school and introducing students to golf by the fourth grade. His efforts garnered him recognition from CNN, ESPN, the Disney Channel, Inside the PGA, and other media outlets.
From East Lake Junior Golf Academy Puryear jumped into the collegiate coaching ranks as the first-ever full-time assistant men's golf coach at Stanford University in 2006. While with Cardinals he had a direct impact in the team winning the 2007 NCAA Division I National Championship. The Cardinal also won two PAC-10 championships and two NCAA West Regional Championships, including holding a No. 1 seed during the 2007 event. Stanford climbed the polls during Puryear's time going from No. 42 to No. 1 in the Golfstat, Golf Week and Nike Coaches Poll. On the administrative side he served as the tournament director for the Stanford Intercollegiate, operated three golf camps and conceptualized and developed the program's first-ever team-based leadership component. Puryear excelled at recruiting signing a U.S. China Cup team member, a second team All-American and a Junior World Team Member.
Following the 2006-2007 year, Puryear made the move to head men's golf coach at Michigan State University.
Queens University of Charlotte's Department of Athletics is an NCAA Division II and Conference Carolinas affiliate that sponsors 19 intercollegiate sports and fields over 300 student-athletes. Located in the heart of historic Charlotte, the Royals call the Ovens Athletics Center, Park Road Park and the Sports Complex at Marion Diehl Park home as they add to the 40+ NCAA Championship appearances and six NCAA Individual Championship titles.
Queens University of Charlotte is a private, co-ed, Presbyterian-affiliated comprehensive university with a commitment to both liberal arts and professional studies. Located in the heart of historic Charlotte, Queens serves approximately 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students through its College of Arts and Sciences, the McColl School of Business, the Wayland H. Cato, Jr. School of Education, the Knight School of Communication, Hayworth College for Adult Studies and the Blair College of Health which is home to the Presbyterian School of Nursing.
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