Oct. 31, 2012
At first glance, the FAU men's golf team had a surprise guest wearing their gear and helping them out on the course a couple of weeks ago.
But as it turns out, Missouri City, Texas mayor Allen Owen is a longtime friend of head coach Angelo Sands, and was, for a couple of days, the Owls' No. 1 fan.
Among his many homes along the way prior to coming to Boca, Sands lived for 15 years in Missouri City, and was head golf coach at Elkins High School. The course FAU played on at the HBU Men's Intercollegiate, Quail Valley Country Club, was Elkins' home course. And, the entire time Sands was there (and for 27 years now in total), Owen was the town's mayor.
"We go way back, he lived right down the street from me," said Owen of Sands. "Being in politics and he was in politics at one time himself, he has always been a very good friend. My daughter had him for Government, and now she's teaching Government in the same school."
"Allen was very involved with our golf program for those 15 years," added Sands. "He always participated in our fundraisers and organized support groups when we played in state championships. He was always a supporter of our team, whenever I needed help in any shape or form, I called Mayor Owen and he was there. When we left and moved here, he presented both myself and my wife a key to the city."
This was the second year in a row that the Owls participated in the tournament. This year, behind three top-10 individual finishers, the team was second in the standings, only trailing the host school. And Owen was there to see it all.
"When they were here last year, I didn't get to follow them as much," said the mayor. "Angelo gave me a shirt and hat after he left, and this year I wore it. I went up and actually followed some of the kids through as they played. I brought their box lunches to them, and caught up with them after their round that night. He's got a great group of kids, and I was actually there when his kid (Airik Medinis) made the hole-in-one. I enjoyed watching them play, and they left me a really nice card."
Besides the team's stellar play in the tournament, Owen also had many kind words to say about their head coach.
"Coach Sands is a special person, and you all are so fortunate to have him in your program," he said. "His kids are his passion. He's a great teacher, and a great coach, but he truly loves his kids. I don't care how bad you're playing, how good you're playing, you're gonna get treated the same way. That's Coach Sands."