Don January (’53), 93, of Dallas, who played from 1950 to 1952 on the final three of UNT’s four consecutive NCAA Champion golf teams and then went on to a successful career in the PGA, died May 7.
Don was the last surviving member of the team that also included Billy Maxwell, Buster Reed and Joe Conrad -- considered one of the best collegiate golf lineups in history.
Don notched 10 PGA Tour victories, including the 1967 PGA Championship. He earned 23 victories on the Senior PGA Tour, including two PGA Seniors’ championships, and designed golf courses.
North Texas was part of his life ever since legendary golf coach Fred Cobb recruited him to the team. As part of his golf scholarship, he taught a beginning golf P.E. course where he met his wife, Patricia ‘Pat’ Rushing (’53), a student in his class. In addition to his star performance on the golf course, Don was president of Talons and a member of Kappa Alpha and the T Club.
He stayed true to his school. The annual Don January Golf Classic, which takes place in the spring, was established in 1980 in his honor to support Mean Green student-athletes. He was a member of the UNT Athletic Hall of Fame and received UNT’s Distinguished Alumnus and Outstanding Alumni Service awards. He also was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the Texas Golf Hall of Fame.
Don served in the U.S. Air Force before embarking on his PGA career.
Read more about Don January from the North Texan archives:
Read Yucca articles about Don January and the golf team: