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Nov. 18, 2008
Coral Springs, Fla. - Denise St. Pierre, current Women's Golf Coach at Penn State University, has been named as the 2009 Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award Recipient, the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) most prestigious honor. St. Pierre will be formally recognized at the NGCA Hall of Fame Banquet which will take place on Wednesday evening, December 10, 2008. The ceremony will take place at the Harrah's Las Vegas Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Denise St. Pierre is entering her 16th season as the Penn State head women's golf coach. St. Pierre draws from her experience as a collegiate golfer as well as a PGA teaching professional to help her student-athletes reach their full potential.
A native of Syracuse, N.Y., St. Pierre chose Penn State for its academic and athletic reputation. As a Nittany Lion herself, St. Pierre's team won several team titles as well as qualifying for the NCAA Championship. After her graduation in 1983, St. Pierre completed an apprenticeship with the PGA of America at the Innisbrook Resort in Tarpon Springs, Fla. In 1985, she returned to the University as an assistant coach for both the men's and women's golf teams under Mary Kennedy-Zierke. She earned 1991 Mid-Atlantic/East Region Coach-of-the-Year honors.
St. Pierre recently completed a two-year term as President of the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA). While president, she led the membership in volunteer work in New Orleans in relief of Hurricane Katrina. At the 2006 NGCA Convention that had to be moved from New Orleans to Lake Tahoe, Nevada, St. Pierre introduced an idea to the membership that called for as many golf programs as possible around the country to conduct fundraisers to raise money for the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. Through the efforts of the Nittany Lion women's golf team as well as those by more than 30 other women's golf programs around the country, the NGCA raised $60,000 to build a home for a displaced family in New Orleans. The efforts of the NGCA culminated when St. Pierre and several of her colleagues traveled to New Orleans and volunteered to help finish building the house that they sponsored through the Habitat for Humanity.
In addition to coaching the Nittany Lions, St. Pierre has also coached in international competitions throughout her coaching career. In August of 2004, St. Pierre helped coach the U.S. team at the World University Games in Thailand where they won the gold medal. In June of 1999, St. Pierre was selected by the NGCA to coach the U.S. team at the U.S./Japan Collegiate Golf Championships in Chiba, Japan, where the Americans captured their fourth consecutive title.
A Class A member of the PGA, the Nittany Lion coach has taught in New York and Florida and is currently the director of instruction at the Penn State golf courses. During the winter, St. Pierre teaches a golf conditioning class for the local community, as well as instructing health and human development classes at Penn State. She also serves as the director for the Penn State summer golf schools, and co-directs five junior camps. In addition to all that, St. Pierre is the author of Golf Fundamentals, an instructional book for recreational players.
In its February 2002 issue, Golf for Women magazine named St. Pierre to its "Top 50 Women PGA/LPGA Instructors" list.
The Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award is given in recognition of outstanding service above and beyond the call of duty. Outstanding service may take the form of years of unselfish involvement in promoting golf at any level, or highly significant service of far-reaching proportions. Gladys Palmer's contributions to women's collegiate golf were highly significant. As Chair of the women's division of Physical Education at The Ohio State University, she organized the first women's golf championship in June 1941.
About National Golf Coaches Association
The National Golf Coaches Association, founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization representing women's collegiate golf coaches. The NGCA 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 NGCA represents over 450 coaches throughout the U.S. and is dedicated to educating, promoting and recognizing both its members and the student-athletes they represent.