At first glance, Chris Ash had no interest in a charity golf event. Seeking to rewrite the past and build his own vision at Rutgers, Ash's ideas were elsewhere.
Then he researched the event.
A golf outing that dates back to Greg Schiano's time as head coach, it returned this week under a different name and raised $100,000 to be split toward four causes. Ash may not be a golfer himself, but he aced the first charity event with an assist from booster Pat Morris.
“To be honest with you, when I first got here I was approached about the event and I was a little resistant at first,” Ash said. “I'm not a golfer. It wasn't my event. It wasn't something I started. I didn't know much about it. It took a little bit of time for me to get educated on what this event did and who it supported. After several meetings with Pat Morris, who put this thing together, I decided that it was a great cause and I was all in.”
The majority of money raised goes toward charities close to Rutgers – Reeve Foundation Team LeGrand, Embrace Kids Foundation and Together 4 Kids. Famous Rutgers names including Ray Lucas and Shaun O'Hara packed the posh Fiddler's Elbow patio for a two-hour meet-and-greet between staff, boosters and fans.
“Now that the event has taken place and I see what it's doing for the charities, it's a great event,” Ash said. “I'm very excited to be a part of it. … I've gone to some events for [these charities] already. I've gone to the McCourty's sickle cell event for Embrace Kids. … I've done a little bit with the people that are involved with all of the charities so far. They seem like great people. They raise a tremendous amount of money to support kids and make a difference in other peoples' lives. If I can help in any way to do that, then I'm all in.”
Though not the focus for Ash, a quarter of funds raised help athletic director Pat Hobbs' ambitious facilities campaign. Ash himself did not golf, and instead spent the afternoon as the leader of a Rutgers camp and evening meeting his fan support.
“We had a camp going on on campus that my son was at,” Ash said. “We had a team workout that I needed to be around for.”null