The golf team has an all-new golf facility named the Harry Gallatin Golf Practice Facility, in honor of his memory.
Gallatin, who was nicknamed “The Horse,” was a professional basketball player in the NBA. He played for the New York Knicks for nine seasons, and one season for the Detroit Pistons. Gallatin served as SIUE's first director of athletics, was the coach for men’s basketball for three seasons and also was the golf coach for 24 seasons.
Gallatin holds many accolades, including The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame, SIUE Athletics Hall of Fame, All-NBA First & Second Team, seven-time NBA All-Star, NBA Coach of the Year and over the course of his professional basketball career, Gallatin accumulated an astonishing 8,843 points, 6,684 rebounds and 1,208 assists. During his time as coach for men’s golf, Gallatin took the team to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Championships for a total of 19 times.
Director of Athletics Tim Hall said he appreciates the legacy Gallatin left behind SIUE and Athletics.
“He was a student, an athlete and a coach here at SIUE, and had a reputation that really preceded him and though I have never met him, I have only heard great things about him,” Hall said. “His beloved widow was able to be at the dedication of the facility, so to give the naming of the facility to a gentleman who means so much to the history of SIUE Athletics, and is highly respected, I think that was important. It was really made possible through the hard work of individuals who came before me.”
Men’s golf Head Coach Derrick Brown says this new practice facility will allow players to practice together and not too far from campus, which will build team camaraderie.
“The facility gives us a new area to putt [and] work on our short games during colder months or even during rainy days when we might not have been able to practice in the past,” Brown said. “This will also allow the players to build team camaraderie and help improve their competitiveness. It will really help with our spring preparation.”
Senior golfer Parker McEachern spoke about how the facility will allow the team to enhance their athletic performances and make the team more competitive.
“The new facility is going to allow us to play whenever we want... especially being in Illinois, the weather gets kind of rough and in the past, we didn’t have anywhere to practice and play, but this facility will allow us to stay close to campus since it's only five minutes away,” McEachern said. “In off seasons, we will be able to work on our technique, and the facility will really help us and allow us to do that.”
McEachern said this facility is important to him because the team gets to call it their own and have access to it whenever they would like to practice.
“In having this new facility, I think it will be something great for our team because we will get to do a lot of bonding,” McEachern said. “In the off season we’re always hanging out at the house and watching movies or just playing cards, and now when its bad weather we can say ‘let’s meet up at the facility and play golf.’ While we’re all hanging out, we’re being productive and bettering ourselves in the game of golf, and I think it’ll be good for team camaraderie and to just allow us to have a place we can call home and not have to work around the country club’s schedule.”
Sophomore golfer Brooks Jungbluth said having this new facility will allow them to be more competitive and improve their golfing skills.
“For the team, we will have the ability to practice at a more competitive level and have a better place to come together as a team without having to leave far from campus, or not being able to play because of inclement weather or the softball field not being available,” Jungbluth said.
Jungbluth credits Brown for all of his hard work and helping to make this opportunity possible and bringing the team together.
“With what Coach is doing with the team and our previous plays last year, we feel like we are doing very good and Coach is trying to build a program to be as competitive as possible, and with a facility like this, this gives us a competitive edge for sure, definitely for the OVC Championship and as well as [competing against] the area schools around and other conferences as well,” Jungbluth said. “Playing the level of golf we did last year, we proved a point, and this facility definitely makes us want to continue to get better and continue to move the program forward.”
The Harry Gallatin Golf Practice Facility was completed December 2019, and the men’s golf team is now able to practice at the facility.