Amongst Baylor alumni, few are enjoying as much success as the foursome of golfers consisting of Stephan Jaeger ’08, Harris English ’07, Luke List ’03, and the subject of today’s article, Keith Mitchell ’10. These four men all teed off at the 2017 Safeway Open, becoming the first four from the same high school to start in a single PGA Tour event. Throughout the early 2000s, under the leadership of legendary coach, the late King Oehmig, and current head coach Gary Partrick, Baylor School was home to a sports dynasty, the dynasty forming Mitchell’s successful career.
After taking over the golf program in 1997, Oehmig, or “the King,” became a storied figure in Baylor sports history and was inducted into the Baylor Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. Under his leadership, the Baylor boys won nine state titles over a 12-year span. List arrived first, graduating in ’03, followed by English in ’07, Jaeger in ’08, and finally Mitchell in ’10. The boys combined for all nine of Oehmig’s titles, with one of them on every single championship team. The early and mid-2000s saw an unprecedented reign in high school golf in Tennessee; and love him or hate him, the King surely had something to do with Baylor’s immense success.
Focusing specifically on Mitchell’s career, it all started here at Baylor. During his time here, Mitchell was involved on campus, acting as student body president and finishing towards the top of his class academically as well. “Everyone liked Keith,” states Partrick, “the athletes, the academics, everyone liked him.”
Mitchell’s reputation around the school was great, and he continued to maintain this reputation through a career at Georgia and eventually the PGA Tour. Roughly a month ago, he won his first career PGA event, the Honda Classic. Partrick, Baylor’s current head coach with three state titles to his name, was an assistant coach during Mitchell’s early years and was head coach during his final year. When asked to comment on the victory, Partrick highlighted that “it’s a life changingfour days for Keith. A life’s journey concluded in four days.” He continued in saying “to reach that, that puts you in an elite group.”
Athletic Director Thad Lepcio added, “We all want to see our students and players achieve their dreams and Keith has earned that opportunity.” After winning the Honda, Mitchell was presented with the opportunity to play in arguably golf’s most coveted tournament, The Masters. Hosted at legendary Augusta National Golf Club, the tournament draws millions of viewers and has unique traditions unlike any other.
Regarding the Masters, Partrick remarked, “It will be a very emotional day for Coach Lepcio and I when we see him inside those ropes.” The pride that these two men have in their former student, in the case of Lepcio, and player, in the case of Partrick, truly shows the amazing relationships and bonds formed here at Baylor. Few can say they did as much as Keith Mitchell did, both through hard work and natural talent. I’ll let Lepcio’s words speak for themselves: “That’s a pretty dangerous combination.”