Golf Canada has picked a good one.
The national body for Golf Canada has been on the hunt to find a replacement for the previously departed Chief Sport Officer, Jeff Thompson.
They reached into the well for a Canadian for the successor, but had to bring him back to the country to make it happen.
The organization has named Kevin Blue as their new Chief Sport Officer. For those around the Canadian golf scene for some time they will recognize him as a standout junior golfer and a member of Canada’s Junior Golf Team some two decades ago.
But Blue, he’s way more than a golfer. Yes, his talents earned him a scholarship to Stanford University in California, but the All-American golfer and Team Captain turned himself into much more, making the promise of his selection to the Golf Canada role a welcome one for many.
Blue was most recently the Director of Athletics for the University of California – Davis. In his half decade overseeing sport at the NCAA Division I program, the Montreal-born, Toronto-raised Blue managed a budget of more than $40 Million, involving 25 athletic teams.
Blue, who holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Michigan University, also built on his degree from Stanford with graduate studies in business at the school. Eventually teaching there as well. He also served on the Board of the Silicon Valley First Tee Program, and for awhile was working with high-level amateur and pro athletes as both a psychology and short game mentor. This all gives him a well-round perspective for the tasks ahead as part of the Executive Team at Golf Canada.
Helping guide the First Tee Program as it is formally introduced to Canada will be part of his mandate, along with involvement in membership, high performance player development, amateur competitions, and other key tenants of a governing body for sport. That means also being the funnel point with stakeholders in Canadian golf at all levels.
“Kevin brings a depth of executive leadership experience across business, education, coaching and high-performance sport, and we are thrilled to have him elevate our sport, golf services and player development activities,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum in a media release. “He is a transformative leader and passionate advocate for Canadian golf who will bring tremendous energy and enthusiasm to improving the golfer, facility and athlete experience at all levels.”
Coming back to Canada is special for Blue, who returns with a wife, Betsy, and their four children in tow. In his new position he will have the ability to shape the sport in Canada that has brought so much to his life.
“Golf has impacted my life in extraordinary ways,” said Blue. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to return home and help to extend the reach of our sport to more Canadians. I’m also very excited to partner with our athletes, coaches, and many others in the golf community nation-wide to continue building Canada’s global prominence in the sport we love.”
Blue will begin his role with Golf Canada effective January 1, 2021.