Sept. 18, 2012
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech head coach Jeff Parks announced today that the program's fall golf tournament will be renamed the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate in order to honor the legendary former Bulldog letterman.
"Jim was all about education and golf," said Debbie Rivers, wife of the late Jim Rivers. "He always felt like education came first, and if you could play golf along the way that was great. I just feel privileged to have the opportunity to honor Jim and for his legacy to live on with something that mattered to him. I feel like he gave everything to everyone else all of his life. He was always working for the community. I can't think of a better way to honor him through golf and education.
"I think the world of Jeff and what he has done for this golf program. He is a great educator and a great mentor to those young men. We are lucky to have him at Louisiana Tech."
The annual event hosted at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant has been known as the Louisiana Tech-Squire Creek Invitational since its inception almost a decade ago.
"Our golf program is so honored to have Jim's name associated with our fall event," Parks said. "Jim's legacy as a Tech golfer lives on even today. The teams that Jim was a part of during his college days at Louisiana Tech posted some remarkable records that will probably never be broken. I am so thankful for our relationship with Ms. Debbie Rivers who is showing her continued support for golf in the north Louisiana area."
The inaugural Jim Rivers Intercollegiate is scheduled for Oct. 1 and 2 and will feature 14 teams, including LA Tech, Rice, Southern Miss, Southeastern Louisiana, Jacksonville State, Sam Houston State, Central Arkansas, McNeese State, Nicholls State, Texas State, UMKC, Houston Baptist, Nevada and UNO.
Jim Rivers, a 1956 graduate of Louisiana Tech, was a member of the Bulldog golf team from 1953 through 1956 where he also served as a three-year captain for legendary coach Joe Aillet.
After earning his bachelor's degree from the College of Business in 1956, Jim became one of the most successful businessmen and entrepreneurs in north Louisiana. He and his wife Debbie, who was a state amateur champion in her own right, stayed active in trying to promote the game of golf.
Jim and Debbie's tireless efforts led to the establishment of the Cotton States Senior Tournament, one of the nation's best senior amateur events which has been played at Squire Creek Country Club - home of the Louisiana Tech golf team - for the past several years.
The Rivers family has also been very supportive of Louisiana Tech golf in the past as Debbie endowed a scholarship for the program in Jim's name.