CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- It was Steven Fox Celebration Day on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Thursday afternoon. Faculty, staff, students and well-wishers joined a distinguished group of dignitaries to honor the United States Amateur Champion.
Chancellor Dr. Roger Brown started the festivities before handing the microphone to U.S. Senator Bob Corker, the former mayor of Chattanooga. From there, Governor Bill Haslam took center stage prior to interim Director of Athletics Laura Herron.
Herron brought University of Tennessee System President Dr. Joe DiPietro to the podium. That duo brought big cheers from the crowd.
Herron noted that in her four weeks of shepherding the athletics program, there was "already a national champion." Dr. DiPietro echoed those remarks before noting that the first national title in his nearly two-year tenure "came right here in Chattanooga".
Head Coach Mark Guhne was up next. He spoke not only about how much the U.S. Amateur title meant to the program, but what Fox meant to it as well as himself. It was a very heart-felt moment.
That led up to the man of the hour. Fox stepped to the mic and went through his list of sincere thank yous. He spoke about the impact of Chancellor Brown and followed with his appreciation of Senator Corker, Governor Haslam and all the elected officials in attendance. He talked about the impact of receiving a phone call from Senator Corker after the win and their conversation.
He thanked "Dr. Joe" and the donors who have made the Player Development Complex a reality, singling out Lewie Card who has spear-headed the project and been an amazing friend to the program.
His teammates were next. Fox started with thanks to his coaches, Guhne and Ben Rickett, and followed with thanks to women's coach Colette Murray. Then his thankfulness to both the men's and women's golf teams that were present before heading to practice, noting that they are all champions.
After noting his fondness for the school - faculty, staff and students - he spoke of his pride in being a Chattanooga Moc. Then it got emotional.
After working through notes, he put them down and turned his attention to his family. Father Alan, mother Maureen and sisters Ashley and Kristen were in attendance. Steven gave a very tearful thank you sharing what they have meant to him and how they all share in his success.
It was a beautiful celebration of a great champion.GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaMocs, or on Twitter, www.twitter.com/GoMocs. Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.