Teri LaJeunese, Sports Information Director
ADA – Former East Central University golf coach Danny Key passed away, Monday, March 30 at the age of 67.
“Coach Danny Key was a treasured member of the ECU Tiger Family,” said Director of Athletics Dr. Jeff Williams. “Danny was able to combine two passions: promoting his love for the game of golf and bringing players to his Alma Mater to pursue success. He loved spending his days on a course with his players as much as he loved ECU.”
Key was a 1974 graduate of ECU, who first started his professional career at the Chickasaw Nation. He served the nation for 11 years as an administrator for areas including realty, insurance, procurement, facilities, safety and security. Key was also instrumental in starting the Chickasaw Nation junior golf program, which has been running for over 20 years.
In 11 seasons as the men’s golf coach, the Tigers qualified for the NCAA playoffs as a team in 2006 and 2010 and saw individual qualifiers in 2007, 2008 and 2009. His teams produced 11 all-conference players, six from the Lone Star Conference and five from the Great American Conference. He also saw two All-LSC Tournament Team players, 19 all-conference honors and Dakota Robbins earn CoSIDA Academic All-America District and two Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar selections.
As the women’s coach, he saw three all-conference selections, 20 all-conference academic selections and saw the school’s second student-athlete to earn CoSIDA Academic All-American honors in Ashley Cardwell on the second team.
“Danny impacted countless lives through golf and I always knew that we had a coach who cared about running our golf program the right way,” Williams added. “Danny left his mark on our program and the lives of all former Tiger Golfers. I am grateful to have known him.”
He first started playing golf in 1972, while a student at ECU, and was actively involved in the area throughout his life. He was a member of the board of directors at Oak Hills Country Club in Ada, serving as board president for two years, vice president for two years and chairman of the greens committee for three years.
A native of the Antlers, Okla., Key graduated from Madill High School in 1970 where he starred in football, basketball and track & field. In 1974, he received his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from ECU, where he lettered in track & field. While at ECU, he was also involved in student activities and organizations, including the Student Senate, Circle K and the ECU yearbook and Journal staffs.
Key is survived by his sons Chad (Charity) and Kyle (Tara); step-daughters Megan Bisacca, Jordan Ketcher and Jessica Scott; siblings Sheilla Brashier (Brian), Randy (Karen) and Ted (Debbie); grandchildren Ella and Matthew Key and Teagan Lampkin; and many nephews and nieces.
The family will have a private graveside service. A memorial service will be held at a later date.