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USGA to Honor Coble with Joe Dey Award

February 5, 2024

The USGA announced on Monday that past VSGA president and current Virginia Union University head golf coach Lee Coble will be the recipient of the 2024 Joe Dey Award, which will be presented at the USGA’s Annual Meeting in Nashville on March 2.

Presented annually by the USGA since 1996, the award is named for Joseph C. Dey Jr., the USGA’s executive director from 1934-1968, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1975 and devoted his life in service to the game. Coble becomes the third past VSGA President to earn the distinction, joining Gib Palmer (2018) and Clyde Luther (2002).

Coble’s lifelong love of golf has led to decades of service to the game, sharing his knowledge, his time and his boundless energy to community golf initiatives. His volunteer resume includes serving as the 34th president of the VSGA as well as mentorship and fundraising for numerous junior programs while advocating for accessibility for everyone, including Hook A Kid on Golf, The First Tee of Richmond and Chesterfield County, and the VSGA Foundation’s Robins Junior Programs at Independence Golf Club.

A longstanding USGA Committee member, Coble’s entry into the game came as an 11-year-old, caddying at a nine-hole, racially segregated course in rural Mebane, N.C. That’s where he grew his desire to play and perseverance to overcome obstacles – values that would guide him on his lifelong journey from being denied a spot on his high school golf team to becoming the first African American to lead the VSGA. Coble currently serves as the head golf coach at Virginia Union University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Richmond, a commitment driven by his desire to grow the game and be a positive force for the next generation.