Where Are They Now?
By Michelle Hiskey
Former Head Golf Coach Richard Wehr (left) and Darryl Harris, 1973
Darryl Harris picked Georgia State for the numbers. He was good in math, and driven to lower the single digits that represented achievement in his favorite sport: the pars, birdies and bogeys on the golf course.
After a successful 34 years as an actuary, Harris (B.B.A. '73) remains immersed in his sport and sharing that with others as executive director of the Georgia Senior Golfers Association and at GSU through an endowed men's golf scholarship.
To achieve in academic courses and on the golf course, Harris needed stubbornness. After barely passing his early actuarial sciences course, "I was given a frank talk about considering I.T. or something else," he recalled. "I thought, 'I'll show them.' " Harris — who lived at home in Roswell — sequestered himself in his room and asked his mother to deliver meals while he studied. He aced the next exam in his major and was on his way.
Panthers golf coach Richard "Dick" Wehr looked to Harris as a scrappy sixth man — the player who is last picked for the travel team. "If one more good player showed up, I would have been cut out of everything," said Harris, who competed against future legends, such as Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite. "I was just a deer in the headlights," Harris recalled. "The actuarial part of my brain tells me, 'You better lay up,' [play conservatively]. The fun part of my brain overrules the logical side more than it should."
Golf was always part of his close relationship to his father, Lyndon A. Harris (B.B.A. '57). The two started playing the Christmas that father bought his 10-year-old son a set of golf clubs and watched his natural swing. Golf became their shared passion, along with business and GSU.
After retirement, Lyndon Harris joined the Georgia Senior Golfers Association for a chance to play competitively; Darryl Harris succeeded him as the association's executive director in 2007. Darryl's wife, Michelle (B.S. '77), is his executive assistant, organizing events off the course for golfers and their spouses. "Golf is communion with nature, just you versus the course," Harris said. "It's just special."