Sam Houston Hall of Honor member and former longtime head golf coach Ronnie Choate has been elected to the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. Choate will be formally inducted at a dinner on October 20 in San Antonio along with Bob Rawlins, Chuck Cook, Hank Haney, Bill Penn (deceased), Bruce Devlin and Charles Dexter (deceased).
Choate and Dexter will go into the Hall of Fame in the Pioneer category. The Pioneer Category was created to recognize and honor persons who competed or have served the sport. The Nominating Committee decides on the criteria and nomination of potential candidates. Candidates must be native Texans or have resided in the state for a minimum of ten (10) years.
Choate was Sam Houston’s first golf coach after starting the golf program in 1961. He coached a total of 38 years over two stints and directed the Bearkats to four consecutive NAIA national championships from 1978 to 1981. He was honored as national coach of the year each of those seasons. He won nine conference titles during his 33 years as coach before retiring in 1994.
He returned as head coach in the spring of 2008 and directed the Bearkats to a runner-up finish in the Southland Conference that spring. His 2008-09 Bearkat squad won five tournaments and one of the Bearkats advanced to the NCAA Division I regional for only the sixth time in Sam Houston history.
In his career, Choate has coached 21 All-Americans, including Robert Thompson, Lee Singletary, Bill McEntire, Jim Phenicie, Jeff Bellnap, Mark Dees and Donnie Massengale. The Bearkats, under Choate's guidance, have won 11 conference individual medalist titles and two national individual championships.
Choate has been involved with Sam Houston athletics most of his life. He was a quarterback for the Bearkat football team, playing on teams that produced a 25-13-1 record from 1956 to 1959. He served as assistant football coach, worked as a fundraiser, and completed his career as director of athletics from 1992 to 1998.
More information about the Texas Golf Hall of Fame, its members, and its facilities at Brackenridge Park on San Antonio’s Riverwalk can be found at www.texasgolfhof.org. In the near future, ticket information for the induction dinner will be available on the Hall of Fame website. Tickets will be available to the public and supporters of the members and inductees.
The Texas Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, a 501 (c) (3) organization, is located at the historic Brackenridge Park Golf Course clubhouse, an outside Walk of Fame and in the Borglum Studio, in San Antonio, TX.