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McMellen up for par in 15th season: Drives for GNAC Championship

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Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

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Bound to Suffolk University men’s golf program for 15 seasons, Ed McMellen and the Rams have made nine Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship appearances, and intend to take the fairway in the top five this 2017 season.

As a Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) native, McMellen was named head golf coach in 2003 and has continued to mentor the team. The Rams enter the 2017 season with an 11-member roster, eight being underclassmen.

In 2010, McMellen played in the Mass Chapter Spring Meeting Pro-Pro at Myopia Hunt Club in South Hamilton, Mass., where he tied for fourth place with a shot of 62.

For the blue and gold’s first match of the season, at the Emmanuel College Invitational, McMellen disciplined the Rams to a second place finish out of four teams, eight strokes behind opponent Wentworth Institute of Technology.

“I think [McMellen] has done a terrific job of establishing our program and providing stability in New England,” said Suffolk’s Director of Athletics, Cary McConnell in an interview with The Suffolk Journal. “He has great numbers on roster and they are very competitive in the New England Region. I think that’s a credit to himself.”

McMellen has played golf since the age of 10. The 15-season coach played in high school, as well as at Springfield College and continued his career as a PGA professional for 20 years.

“My dad got me into [golf] and I just fell in love with it,” said McMellen in an interview with The Journal.

In order to become a PGA professional, a golfer must pass a golf playing ability test, which McMellen successfully completed in his first try. An individual must also take certain courses in different aspects of the golf world such as rules of golf, tournament management and merchandizing.

As a PGA professional, 15 years ago, McMellen worked at Spring Valley Country Club in Sharon, Mass., when the opportunity of becoming Suffolk’s head men’s golf coach was brought to his attention. It was a decision that McMellen could not turn down.

“It’s hard to believe,” said McMellen on going into his 15th season with the Rams. “The school has changed a lot, for the better, in the last few years. There is a lot more support for the coaches.”

McMellen also said how recently the Athletics Department has obtained better recruitment tools, and therefore has received better athletes and players. Suffolk athletics has also given student-athletes access to more useful equipment, such as the newly reconstructed fitness center, the Michael & Larry Smith Fitness Center.

“From where I started, and where we are now, we are more competitive,” said McMellen.

McMellen said that he struggled with coaching at first because of the lack of recruiting which took the program down a level. Fifteen years later, he has been able to place the blue and gold in the top five of the GNAC championship three times.

“[Coach McMellen] has got a very good understanding of the game,” said junior returner Stephen Ferrante in an interview with The Suffolk Journal. “He definitely has the experience and mentorship.”

Having played under McMellen’s guidance for the past three years, Ferrante said that although his coach is a serious person, he has taught him a great deal about the in’s and out’s of the game of golf and has really positive reinforcement for the players.

For the future, McMellen will plan on sticking with coaching at Suffolk as the Rams continue their drive for the GNAC title with the intention of getting the team to become competitive on an annual basis.

The Rams look to obtain a winning record for Coach McMellen’s 15th season as they compete in the Emmanuel College Invitational at William J. Devine Golf Course, Franklin Park in Boston on Sept. 27.

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McMellen up for par in 15th season: Drives for GNAC Championship