By Sam King
Collin Mayer isn’t quite the golfer he was three years ago, but his skills on the links still come in handy in the business world.
The 2010 St. Edward’s University graduate is just three years removed from being named the Heartland Conference’s Player and Athlete of the Year and an NCAA Division II All-American for a second time.
“Now in the business world, kind of the fun thing to do is play golf with clients,” said Mayer, who earned his bachelor of business administration degree in finance and now works in corporate banking with Wells Fargo in Houston. “It’s been nice because people talk me up, and they want to take me out and show me off.”
Like many high school student-athletes who hoped to compete collegiately, Mayer was initially enamored by the allure of being labeled a Division I athlete.
But the Houston native also wanted a school with strong academics that would allow him to make immediate contributions to the golf program. Playing golf at the Division II level intrigued Mayer.
He was considering a college career without his clubs, but when he was filling out an application for Southern Methodist, he received a phone call that changed everything.
On the other end was then Hilltopper men’s golf coach Ryan Murphy.
“I got recruited by a number of schools that either did or didn’t have the golf program I was looking for, or did or didn’t have academic program I was looking for,” said Mayer, who graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average and was twice a Golf Coaches Association of America All-American scholar. “It was the right fit for me to go with St. Edward’s. With Division II, it doesn’t necessarily get the headlines and attention like Division I does, but there are great athletes at that level in all sports. I recognized that.”
That recognition ended up earning Mayer more than a chance to play golf and go to college.
Already a scholar, Mayer also molded into a leader.
As a freshman, he was respected by his teammates, including the seniors. The St. Edward’s freshman, just out of Cypress Creek High School, went to Austin, Texas, without many expectations.
At the start of Mayer’s second semester, Murphy called the future star into his office. That’s where Mayer was encouraged to speak up and be a key component to the team all the way around, not just by what he could do on the golf course.
Mayer was a natural leader and his coach persuaded him to use that to his advantage.
“Once he sort of got me aware of what kind of impact I might be able to have on the rest of my teammates, I tried to make it a point to say things when I thought they needed to be said,” Mayer said.
As for his golf game, it was pretty good, too.
As a sophomore, Mayer was a part of the St. Edwards men’s golf team that finished in a three-way tie for the NCAA Division II national championship before falling in a three-team playoff.
He was the runner-up at the 2008 Division II regional championship and posted individual first-place finishes in the 2008 Charles Coody Invitational, the 2009 Rollins Invitational and the 2010 SoCal Intercollegiate.
Mayer owns six St. Edward’s records, including lowest round in relation to par with a Heartland Conference record -8.
All the accolades earned as a member of the Hilltoppers’ golf program were great, but far exceeding the honors was what being a Division II athlete gave back to him in preparation for life after college.
“I found in a similar way that, even though I’ve been for the most part of my career the least experienced person in my team or in my office, I always had an ability to speak up and give my opinion,” Mayer said. “The fact of the matter is, in the business world, we function as a team, as a smaller unit within a larger group. I work with the same people on a pretty regular basis. It translates perfectly from athletics.”