Golf Canada is pleased to announce that Kevin Blue has joined the National Sport Federation as its new Chief Sport Officer.
His responsibilities with Golf Canada as Chief Sport Officer include the oversight, management and strategic development of key functional areas including golf services with a focus on membership; high-performance player development; sport and junior programs including First Tee – Canada; amateur competitions; and governing body activities across the Rules of Golf, Handicapping, Course Rating and Amateur Status. Blue will be a lead contact with numerous provincial, national, and international stakeholders.
“Kevin brings a depth of executive leadership experience across business, education, coaching and high-performance sport, and we are thrilled to have him elevate our sport, golf services and player development activities,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “He is a transformative leader and passionate advocate for Canadian golf who will bring tremendous energy and enthusiasm to improving the golfer, facility and athlete experience at all levels.”
For Blue, born in Montreal and raised in Toronto, the opportunity to return to Canada to champion the growth of golf was an opportunity to apply his executive leadership experiences across the sport that has been a lifelong passion.
“Golf has impacted my life in extraordinary ways,” said Blue. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to return home and help to extend the reach of our sport to more Canadians. I’m also very excited to partner with our athletes, coaches, and many others in the golf community nation-wide to continue building Canada’s global prominence in the sport we love.”
As Director of Athletics for the University of California, Davis, Blue oversaw a $41M athletic department featuring 25 collegiate teams. He led record-setting fundraising campaigns at UC Davis that supported coaching endowments, athlete scholarships, and the construction of multi-million-dollar facilities including a $52M student-athlete performance centre currently under construction. In addition to facilitating all-time academic results for student-athletes and competitive success on the field of play, he implemented a formal diversity, equity and inclusion strategy for coaches and senior-level hires as well as mandatory implicit bias training for all employees.
Prior to joining UC Davis, Blue honed his executive management skills over three years as the Senior Associate Athletic Director, External Relations with Stanford University where he had oversight of key external business units including ticket sales, sponsorships, marketing, communications, business strategy, ticket operations, fan experience, and video. As a key member of the athletic department senior executive team, he contributed to strategic planning, policy, personnel, sponsor relations, and university integration in addition to launching the Pac-12 Network at Stanford. As a Lecturer at Stanford, he taught an introductory Sport Psychology course and constructed a curriculum that surveyed topics related to peak performance, talent development and mental health. He also taught a graduate level course on Strategic Management for Sport Business at the University of San Francisco.
Other leadership roles during his time at Stanford included three years as Associate Athletic Director and two years as an Athletics Department Fellow. Prior to Stanford, Blue was involved in high-performance golf, providing sport psychology and short game coaching to professional and elite amateur golfers.
An accomplished amateur golfer growing up in Toronto, Blue played in numerous provincial and national amateur competitions and spent time with Golf Canada’s National Junior Golf Team (prior to the formation of the Team Canada program) and represented Canada at the 2001 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan. He attended Stanford University on a varsity golf scholarship where he earned his B.A. in Psychology, was a captain on the golf team, and was an NCAA Academic All-American.
He went on to attend Michigan State University where earned his Ph.D. in Sport Psychology and then completed an executive education program at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Blue has authored a multitude of articles on topics related to sport, education, and business.
Blue will be returning to Canada with his wife Betsy and their four children and is set to begin his role as Golf Canada’s Chief Sport Officer in early January 2021.