Evans Scholars Alumni named to lead program

GOLF, IL – After three decades of service to the Evans Scholars Program, Senior Vice President of Education Jeff Harrison has transitioned into a new role at the Western Golf Association and Evans Scholars Foundation, effective Sept. 1.

He is now serving as Senior Vice President of Advisory and Special Initiatives. Stepping into new roles to lead the education efforts are Brian Shell, who has been named Vice President of Education, and Mike Maher, who is Vice President of Scholarships and Caddies. Shell will oversee the current Evans Scholars in school, while Maher will oversee caddie growth efforts and the scholarship application process.

“It is a truly exciting time for our organization, as we hit a record of sending more than 1,000 caddies to 18 universities nationwide. We’re incredibly grateful for the tremendous impact Jeff Harrison has had, in not only helping us reach this milestone, but in his role as a longtime leader of the Evans Scholars Program,” said WGA President and CEO John Kaczkowski. “He has touched the lives of thousands of students over the years, helping guide them through their college careers and beyond. We’re excited to work with Jeff as he transitions into a new position, and we have no doubt that Brian Shell and Mike Maher will continue to meet – and exceed - the standards of excellence that have been set for the Evans Scholars Program.”

About Jeff Harrison

Harrison caddied at Birmingham Country Club in Birmingham, Michigan, and is an Evans Scholars graduate from Michigan State University. He is the first Evans Scholar Alum to work at the organization – and only the third leader of the Evans Scholars Program, following in the footsteps of Roland F “Mac” McGuigan and Jim Moore.

Harrison first served for 18 years as the Program’s associate educational director before becoming educational director. He was named Vice President of Education in 2008 and Senior Vice President of Education in 2013.

Over the last three decades, Harrison has helped prepare the ESF to support more than 1,000 caddies in college, a milestone achievement reached this fall, as well as provided guidance to thousands of students over the years. He has helped make the Program more diverse, overseen numerous capital projects, cultivated relationships with universities and organizations from coast to coast and promoted youth caddie programs nationwide. Under his leadership, current Scholars maintain a cumulative 3.3 GPA and have a 95 percent graduation rate.

“It has been an honor to serve the Evans Scholars Foundation over the past 30 years, and I’m so proud of all of our achievements and accomplishments,” Harrison said. “We are well-positioned for future success, and I’m excited to support our team as we continue to grow and expand into new areas, ensuring we’re able to help change the lives of as many young caddies as possible.”

In his new role, Harrison will work closely with the President and CEO on special projects including caddie efforts, outreach to universities, program expansion and planning for the 100th anniversary of the Evans Scholars Program in 2030.

About Brian Shell

Shell caddied at LaGrange Country Club and is an Evans Scholars graduate from Indiana University. Previously, he served as Senior Director of Education.

In his role, Shell makes numerous visits to the Program’s 18 Scholarship Houses, meeting individually with hundreds of students annually to advise them on academics and personal matters. He maintains close ties with many Evans Scholars Alumni, serving as a mentor as they continue their education in graduate programs.

“I’m excited and humbled to be a part of a special team that will continuously focus on finding ways to better serve our Scholars and provide the needed resources to allow our students to achieve their academic and leadership potential,” said Shell. “The Evans Scholarship is the finest college scholarship in the nation, and I’m honored to have this opportunity to build upon the legacy that Chick Evans has afforded us.”

About Mike Maher

Maher caddied at Beverly Country Club and is an Evans Scholars graduate from Marquette University. Previously, he served as Senior Director of Education and Caddies.  

In his role, Maher oversees all youth caddie efforts, including the Caddie Academy program, which provides more than 100 participants around the country summer caddie and personal development opportunities. He will also lead the Evans Scholarship application process, working closely with WGA Directors and Alumni and traveling the country to interview more than 280 finalists annually.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to promote the benefits of caddying and the Evans Scholarship around the country,” Maher said. “It is an honor to play a part in stewarding deserving caddies through the Evans Scholarship application process and seeing their hard work pay off with a life-changing, full tuition and housing college scholarship.”