Jerry West Stepping Away From Northern Trust Open Role

Having witnessed his efforts firsthand for the nearly four years he was part of the Northern Trust Open, there is no question basketball legend Jerry West helped save the event, rebuild its ties to the community and begin a rebuilding process. He put in countless hours but was also frustrated by his inability to lure Tiger Woods back to Riviera and Tim Finchem's resistance to things like celebrity pro-ams and festival holes ala Scottsdale.

Unfortunately the news comes just as the event was finding its footing thanks in large part to the efforts of West and tournament director Mike Bone. Bone gets no mention in the press release announcing the hiring of former UCLA golf coach O.D. Vincent as "executive director," so hopefully he is staying on.

For Immediate Release:

Northern Trust Open announces leadership change for 2014
Former UCLA head golf coach O.D. Vincent joins staff as executive director;
Jerry West steps away from formal tournament role after four years

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (November 11, 2013) –The Northern Trust Open is pleased to announce the hiring of O.D. Vincent, who was most recently the senior associate director of athletics at the University of Washington and who served as head coach of the UCLA men’s golf team from 2002-07, as executive director, beginning immediately in preparation for the 2014 event.  Additionally, Northern Trust Open Executive Director Jerry West has announced his decision to step away from a formal, day-to-day role with the event.  West has served as executive director since May 2010 and has overseen significant growth in the event’s stature in Los Angeles, as well as its impact on local charities.

Since 2008, Vincent’s role at the University of Washington has included leadership, planning and direction for the entire athletics department budget and the $250 million renovation of Husky Stadium.  He was specifically responsible for donation and ticket pricing, as well as selling all corporate partnerships and naming rights. As senior associate director of athletics, Vincent also had program oversight of football, men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s rowing, as well as all marketing, communications, corporate sponsorship and creative efforts for the University’s athletic programs.

Vincent was head men’s golf coach for 13 years at the University of Washington, UCLA and Duke University. In all, Vincent coached 30 individual medalists, 35 team titles, 11 All-Americans and four academic All-Americans, two Pac-10 Conference Championship teams, two NCAA Regional team titles, and five NCAA Championship top-10 team finishes.  He was named the 1999 GCAA National Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Husky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.

Among the players Vincent coached include current PGA TOUR members Kevin Chappell, Troy Kelly, Wes Roach and John Merrick, the 2013 Northern Trust Open champion.

“I am humbled and very excited to be a part of one of the most historic events on the PGA TOUR,” said Vincent.  “I cannot imagine a better combination than Northern Trust, City of Hope, The Riviera Country Club and the great city of Los Angeles.”  

“We are thrilled to welcome O.D. to the Northern Trust Open family and back to Los Angeles, where he was part of the golf community for so many years as head men’s golf coach at UCLA,” said PGA TOUR Executive Vice President, Championship Management David Pillsbury.  “His experience in the golf industry aside, he has impeccable skills within marketing, communications, sales and community relations in the sports world as a whole, all of which will be invaluable as we continue to elevate the stature of this historic event.”

Pillsbury continued, “On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I want to extend a very special thank you to Jerry West.  During his four years as executive director, Jerry showed his unparalleled passion and dedication to this tournament and to the people of Los Angeles. His enthusiasm in promoting the Northern Trust Open helped us increase the tournament’s visibility and community reach. We can’t thank him enough for his contributions and look forward to hosting him as a guest – although Jerry never really stops working – in the years to come at Riviera.”

“When I joined the PGA TOUR family as Northern Trust Open executive director in May 2010, my goal was to help elevate the tournament as a way to give back to the city that has given me so much,” said West. “Thanks to an incredible team, a dedicated title sponsor and through the support of the entire Los Angeles community, I’m so proud of how we’ve brought LA together to increase awareness of the Northern Trust Open, grow its charitable impact and shine a light on the needs of the community. I’d like to thank the PGA TOUR and Northern Trust for this tremendous opportunity, one that has certainly been a highlight of my career. Although I’m stepping away from the event in a formal role, my heart will always be with the many friends I’ve made through this experience, and I will continue to support the Northern Trust Open and its charitable mission. I hope the community will continue to do the same.”