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First Tee Fort Worth announces leadership transition

Written by Mindia Whittier

The organization helps kids build character strengths and life skills through the game of golf.

First Tee – Fort Worth has announced the pending departure of Executive Director, Kevin Long. The organization’s first and only leader to serve in that role, Long will remain with First Tee through 2023.

First Tee began in 1997 as a partnership among the LPGA, the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America, the PGA TOUR, and the USGA to make golf affordable and accessible for all kids. A life skills curriculum was introduced to support the development of values found within the game of golf, including honesty, integrity, perseverance and respect. The initiative began on golf courses and expanded by bringing the program to physical education classes across the country through in-school and after-school programs.

During Long’s tenure with the Fort Worth chapter, it has grown from a few hundred participants to 48,000 annually through a variety of delivery channels.

The chapter’s first programming site was a field at the east end of Rockwood Park. Today First Tee operates at eight programming sites in the area and has built two Ben Hogan Learning Centers. One is at Rockwood Golf Course and serves as First Tee’s primary location. The other is at Squaw Creek Golf Course in Parker County. First Tee’s location at Briscoe Elementary School in southeast Fort Worth was the only site nationally on a school-owned property when it opened.

“While we are sorry to lose Kevin as our Executive Director, we are delighted that he will remain a part of our chapter as a consultant,” said Graham Marshall, Chair of First Tee – Fort Worth’s board of directors. “Kevin has built our chapter into one of the premier chapters in the First Tee Network, and we are forever indebted to him for his dedication, hard work, and passion for our mission, participants, and families.”

Prior to joining First Tee in 2006, Long’s career spanned 25 years as a teacher, coach, and administrator in private secondary schools, including four years as Athletic Director at Fort Worth Country Day School. Long will remain as Executive Director until a replacement is named.

“It has been a privilege to lead First Tee – Fort Worth over the past 16 years making a positive impact on young people with our character education and life skills development program through the game of golf,” said Long. “Thanks to everyone involved with our chapter for their dedication and commitment. I look forward to being a part of continued growth and impact and to supporting the new leadership.”

Long has accepted a position as Head Men’s Golf Coach at Texas Wesleyan University.

“The opportunity to head up the storied Men’s Golf Program at Texas Wesleyan is another unique and exciting professional opportunity, and I look forward to continuing the culture of success with the young men in our program, both on and off the golf course,” said Long.

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About the author

Mindia Whittier