TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
OKLAHOMA CITY — All it took to seal the deal was a look at the coach’s office for an Oklahoma City University student to leave Columbia University behind.
Sure, the big-shot East Coast university is a dream for many academically gifted students, but Austin Quinten found plenty of reasons to head west for his education. The political science major made his decision after reviewing OCU’s academic qualities and meeting with golf coach Kyle Blaser.
“I walked into his office, saw a wall full of All Americans and national championship awards, and knew I wanted to be a part of that,” Quinten said. “And all of the coaches knew who I was, and they seemed to know all of the student athletes by name. Everyone was friendly and you could tell they are a close-knit group.”
Offers from other colleges started pouring in when Quinten started shopping for a new school thanks to his achievements on the golf course and in the classroom. He finished high school with a 4.5 GPA and was highly ranked as a junior golfer.
Arkansas, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and Sothern Methodist University were among the possibilities. It was a “happy accident” that OCU even came into the picture.
“My former coach on the junior golf tour heard I was thinking about changing schools. He asked, ‘Have you thought about OCU? You might want to talk to the coach there before you make up your mind.’”
Quinten talked to Blaser, toured the campus and weighed his options. He said each campus had its own identity, and he liked the community feel and competitive spirit he found at OCU.
So, after two years in New York City, Quinten was on his way to Oklahoma City.
“The goal here is to win championships,” he said. “Columbia talks about winning a certain amount of games, but the goal at OCU is to win it all.”