When no other colleges would take a chance on a young golfer, Morehead State's long-time head coach Rex Chaney did, and now 25 years after his career finished, Shawn Armstrong is heading into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Armstrong will be inducted into the Morehead State Athletic Hall of Fame, along with two other Athletic Hall of Fame members, on the night of Oct. 18 at the University's banquet also honoring Alumni Hall of Fame members and the Founder's Award for University Service. All will be honored at the Homecoming football game at 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 19.
His family is familiar with the Athletic Hall of Fame and the university too. His wife Jodi (McMackin) Armstrong was a standout softball athlete for the Eagles and the first All-OVC award winner for softball at MSU. She was inducted in 2010. The couple has a son, Peyton, who is a current student at Morehead State.
Armstrong attended Morehead State from 1989-95, earning his Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Electronic Technology in 1995. He owes most of his success on the fairways and greens to the aforementioned Chaney, also a Hall of Fame member.
"I owe Coach Chaney a lot. When no other college would take a chance on me, he did, and because of that, I had an extremely wonderful golf career at MSU," he said. "I obtained a bachelor's degree that created another career path which I'm very thankful for. Not everyone can become a professional athlete. I got to see a lot of the United States via traveling to play in golf tournaments. I really, really enjoyed my time at MSU because of Coach Chaney."
Armstrong's most cherished memory may have been helping the Eagles win the 1993 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. The 54-hole event was held at Springhouse Golf Club in Nashville, Tenn., and MSU fired a team total of 917 to win by six strokes. Teammate Mike Brumfield won the individual competition that year.
"When your team wins a tournament that only a few teams in MSU history have won, it's hard not to smile about it."
MSU has won five OVC Tournaments since the event first took place in 1962.
During the 1994 spring season, Armstrong put together perhaps his best performance at an OVC Tournament. He fired a 36-hole total of 143 and finished second, only one stroke behind the winner.
For his efforts in 1994, Armstrong was named All-OVC.
His career after college golf has been upstanding as well.
He first went to work at Cabletron Systems in Ironton Ohio, where they manufactured computer networking equipment.
"My first year, I was hired as a repair technician but later was promoted to an engineering position - thank goodness for MSU," he continued. "I worked for them for five years."
Armstrong moved on to Emerson Electric in Ironton, which is currently owned by the Vertiv Corporation. He has been with Emerson now for the past 20 years as a manufacturing engineer. The company produces and manufactures industrial HVAC systems for computer rooms.
"Hard work does pay off," he concluded. "If you put the time and effort into achieving goals you will, in the end, not regret it."