Photo (From left to right): Robert Jones IV, grandson of Bobby Jones '24, Sanjeev K. Mehra '82 MBA '86, Karen Petersen Mehra '82 and Bob Scalise, The John D. Nichols '53 Family Director of Atletics.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Bob Scalise, The John D. Nichols '53 Family Director of Athletics, and Harvard University are excited to announce the 23rd endowment of a head coaching position: The Bobby Jones '24 Coach for Harvard Men's Golf, endowed by the Mehra Family.
"We are very grateful to the Mehra family for their generosity," said Scalise. "This endowment will allow our men's golf program to pursue excellence in a manner that is consistent with our mission of 'educating through athletics' and in the context of our Ivy League principles. It is particularly meaningful that the Mehras have graciously chosen to honor Bobby Jones with their gift. Bobby Jones valued education and upheld the true ideals of amateur competition in athletics."
Though Bobby Jones '24 was a graduate of Georgia Tech in 1922, the golf legend earned his "H" for his victory at the 1923 U.S. Open at Inwood during his tenure as assistant manager of the Harvard golf team. Jones received his A.B. in English from Harvard in 1924. Jones' grandson, Robert T. Jones IV, recalls that he "had the habit of playing the best ball of the entire golf team at Harvard. The team never beat him, even with their best ball."
Through his career, Bobby Jones '24 won 13 major championships, including both the British Open and U.S. Open in the summer of '26 and founded the prestigious Augusta National Club and the Masters.
"The recent success we have experienced with the men's team is made possible by the generosity of the Friends of Harvard Golf. The endowment from the Mehra family will ensure that we are able to pursue excellence in the program for generations to come," said head coach Kevin Rhoads. "I am honored to be the first 'Bobby Jones '24 Coach for Harvard Men's Golf' and am deeply grateful to the Mehra family."
The endowment was made possible by the generosity of Sanjeev K. Mehra '82 and his wife Karen Petersen Mehra '82. The couple's children, Nikhil '14 and Sammy '17, followed in their footsteps at Harvard. During his collegiate golfing career, Sanjeev was a letter winner in 1980 and 1981 and graduated with a degree in economics. Sanjeev was first introduced to the sport by his mother, Prem Oberoi Mehra, who coincidentally shares her birthday with that of Bobby Jones '24.
"Throughout his life, both on and off the golf course, Bobby Jones '24, epitomized the values of excellence, innovation and fair play," said Sanjeev K. Mehra '82. "Our family is proud to honor Bobby Jones' legacy, and his association with Harvard and its storied golf program. Playing on the golf team was a privilege for me. We hope this endowed position enables Kevin Rhoads, Bobby Jones '24 Coach for Harvard Men's Golf, to continue to build on a winning and successful golf program."
The Harvard golf program began with the men's team in 1896, while the women's program was started in 1993. The men's squad earned six national championships between 1898 and 1916, with eight players winning individual titles in the same period. Since then, the Crimson has gone on to collect four Ivy League titles, including back-to-back championships in 2016 and 2017, four individual Ivy League champions, 39 All-Ivy League selections, two Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors, one Ivy League Player of the Year, four All-America selections, four All-America honorable mentions, 10 NCAA Tournament All-Region honorees, 13 individual NCAA Tournament qualifiers and two team NCAA Tournament qualifiers.