The next leader of the Saint Ignatius golf program is a familiar face.
Many Wildcats fans will recognize the name. The next head coach is a protege of the program's last leader, 17-year veteran Brian Becker '77.
PJ Myers '99 is the new head coach of the Golf Cats.
"My goal is to continue the tremendous legacy that Coach Becker has left behind and to carry his visions forward of developing the most well-rounded young men as possible," Myers said. "Golf is a game where we can learn so much about ourselves and our spirituality. I’m honored, humbled, and excited about the opportunity to be a greater part of the Saint Ignatius community.”
Myers assumes the role after serving the last six years as an assistant coach for the Wildcats. Myers joined the program as a special assistant coach in 2012. Since then, the Wildcats have enjoyed great success with Myers developing into a savvy coach while learning from Becker.
"He's learned under Coach Becker, you couldn't ask for anything more than that. He really loves the game," said Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88. "He loves being around the kids, he loves teaching and helping to get the best out of them. That's why I'm excited about PJ – he's really eager to jump into the position. His energy will be contagious with the kids. He'll bring a lot of energy to the program. Coach Becker did a fabulous job with our golf program. We've been one of the best programs in the state of Ohio consistently over the years, so he's done a wonderful job. With PJ stepping in, there is continuity there because the kids know him."
Myers is certainly no stranger to the excellent tradition of Saint Ignatius golf. The St. Bernadette grad became just the second golfer in school history to earn All-Ohio status in 1996, joining teammate Ben Schubert on the second team. One year later as a junior, Myers guided the Wildcats to a third-place finish at the OHSAA State Tournament. Under Becker's tutelage, Myers and the Golf Cats did even better at States in 1998, earning runner-up honors for the first time in program history.
Following his excellent career at Saint Ignatius, Myers matriculated to Cleveland State University. Myers continued to golf with the Vikings, serving as captain during his junior and senior years. The Westlake native graduated with a degree in marketing in 2003.
For the last 15 years, Myers has been working in healthcare sales at a prominent local company, Hyland Software.
Myers has remained involved with golf, continuing to be a student to the game. Myers has stayed close to the Saint Ignatius community as a coach and a dedicated alumnus.
"I think PJ will be a great fit for Saint Ignatius High School because not only will he be a great coach, he'll be a great person," Fitzpatrick said. "He'll be a great leader for our students and a model for what we expect out of our golfers in our program. He understands the big picture and the mission of the school. When you can find coaches who model the mission for our student-athletes, those are going be great coaches. He brings expertise, professionalism, and an Ignatian mentality. He'll also bring a spirituality to the program. He's the whole package."
Myers is ready for the challenge and hopes to continue the legacy of Brian Becker.
“I’d like to personally thank Coach Becker for both the years he spent coaching me as a student-athlete at Saint Ignatius and for the past six years mentoring me as an assistant coach," Myers said. "He is a wonderful example to players and coaches alike of how to be a true 'Man for Others.' He has positively impacted the lives of so many of us Ignatius men and, on behalf of the 17 years of players he has coached specifically, I’d like to thank him for all he has done to grow this program into a continual state contender."
An avid golfer, Myers has plenty of ideas for keeping the program's excellent legacy going strong.
Myers plans to implement Aim Point putting techniques, Titleist Performance Training, Trackman, and Peak Performance mind coaching. During the season, the Golf Cats will play and practice out of Myers' home club, Avon Oaks Country Club.
In addition, Myers will look to advance the program's offseason programs. Myers plans to utilize Trackman Technology at the soon-to-be-completed Carfagna Family Magis Athletic Center.
Myers is very excited to get to work with a talented coaching staff already in place.
“I really look forward to working with the current assistant coaching staff and the fantastic group of young men that they’ve help assemble over the years," Myers said. "Bob Koch, Tom Beach, and Tom Bogen put countless hours in making sure our JV players are growing their games and are competing at the highest level possible. Coach Becker and I couldn’t function at varsity level without their time and professionalism. And, the group of golfers we have in our program are just phenomenal athletes who deserve a chance to reach their potential. Our job will be providing them the pathway and guidance to have that chance. I’m very lucky to inherit a group of such special athletes. The future is very bright for this program!”
Myers currently lives in his hometown of Westlake with his wife, Catherine, and their three children, Patrick (9), Anne (6), and Harrison (2). Myers and his family are active parishioners in the St. Bernadette’s community, where his children attend school.