Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – 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.
Le Moyne College Head Men’s Golf Coach Joe Tesori ’71, PGA was named the recipient of the 2020 Labron Harris Sr. Award, while University of New Mexico Head Women’s Golf Coach Jill Trujillo, PGA received the 2020 Kim Evans 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.
“I am especially proud to congratulate PGA Members Joe Tesori and Jill Trujillo as the 2020 recipients of the Labron Harris Sr. and Kim Evans Awards,” said PGA Honorary President Suzy Whaley. “Joe was my coach, mentor and friend who guided me to the professional career I have today, and he is an amazing influence on the lives of so many talented players at Le Moyne College. Jill built the University of New Mexico women’s golf program into a collegiate power on the course, in the classroom and in the community. It’s an honor to recognize Joe and Jill for all they do for the game, as they receive these two prestigious national college coaching awards from the WGCA and GCAA.”
Joe Tesori, PGA, the Labron Harris Sr. Award recipient, is in his 14th season at Le Moyne College. During his time at Le Moyne, the Dolphins have been regular participants in the NCAA Regional Tournament, qualifying nine times during his tenure. The Dolphins achieved national recognition by advancing to the National Finals in 2015 (Charlotte, 20th), 2016 (Denver,18th) and in 2017 (Orlando, narrowly missing match play and finishing a school-best 13th).
“I’m not usually speechless, but I was humbled and honored,” said Tesori when asked on the awards significance to him.
“We don’t do what we do in this business for awards. We do it for the student-athletes, our players, and the relationships,” continued Tesori. “I immediately thought, what a wonderful thing for Le Moyne College. I thought of all of my current and former players and am so grateful for the chance I have had to coach at my alma mater.”
Over his 14-year coaching career Tesori has garnered plenty of national awards. Tesori is a member of the PGA National Hall of Fame (2017), The Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame (2013), Central NY PGA Hall of Fame (2002) and the Le Moyne College Gold Wave Hall of Fame (1990).
The Endicott, N.Y. native was a member of the PGA Tour in 1980-81, served as the Head Golf Professional at the Syracuse University-owned Drumlins Golf Club for 28 seasons and is currently the Head Golf Professional at The Pompey Club. Highly respected in the golf arena, Tesori served as president of the CNY-PGA from 1999-2004, was golf columnist for the Syracuse Post Standard from 1988-2010 and co-hosted a weekly radio program on WSYR AM-570 from 1988-1995. The 1971 graduate of Le Moyne was the first Dolphin to qualify for the NCAA Championship (1971-Chico, California), competing against such luminaries as former Vice President Dan Quale, NBC golf commentator Mark Rolfing and former PGA Tour player/legendary CBS analyst Gary McCord.
Jill Trujillo has led the University of New Mexico women’s golf program since 2007 and is recognized as one of the top teaching professionals in the country. During her tenure she has guided the Lobos to four Mountain West team titles and five Mountain West Individual Tournament Champions, also receiving Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2008 and 2014. She has 11 NCAA Regional and three NCAA national postseason appearances under her belt. During her time as head coach, 46 golfers have been honored as WGCA All-American Scholars and the team has received the WGCA All-Scholar Team GPA Award three times, including back-to-back years in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
“To have an award with Kim Evans’ name on it is an honor that is above all for me,” said Trujillo. “She embodies courage, strength, humor, dedication, and faith. Kim is a coaching legend who has set an example for us all to follow and I am thankful for her commitment to the game of golf. I have spent my entire adult life in the PGA of America. I have learned so much from so many and I am truly grateful.”
In addition to her coaching duties, Trujillo makes a significant impact in her community. The Lobos offer a free golf clinic for women every year and they have raised thousands of dollars and/or volunteered for local charities such as the Animal Humane, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics, Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Kids First, Children’s Cancer Fund of NM and Royal Readers. Trujillo has also participated in golf clinics for young adults with intellectual, developmental and cognitive disabilities.
Trujillo has been an active member of the Sun Country Section PGA since her graduation from the University of New Mexico in 1990 and was recently elected into the PGA Quarter Century Club. She was named the Sun Country Section PGA Merchandiser of the Year in 1997 and received the Junior Golf Leader Award in 2001. She is a Life Member of the LPGA Professionals and was recognized as the LPGA Central Region Coach of the Year in 2007, 2009, and 2014.
About the WGCA:
The Women’s Golf Coaches Association, founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization representing women’s collegiate golf coaches. The WGCA was formed to encourage the playing of college golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education and in accordance with the highest tradition of intercollegiate competition. Today, the WGCA represents over 650 coaches throughout the U.S. and is dedicated to educating, promoting and recognizing both its members and the student-athletes they represent.
About the GCAA:
Established in 1958, the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) is the professional organization of golf coaches. The GCAA’s mission is to support its member coaches by creating educational opportunities, providing resources, and promoting its members with the purpose of enhancing their overall performance as coaches, mentors, and teachers. The GCAA also recognizes the excellence and achievements of its members and their student-athletes in academic, athletic and civic endeavors.