By Dave Wagner
Former Eastern New Mexico University football player and golfer Steve Loy has carved out a successful career for himself in the sports world since his playing days.
The 52-year-old Albuquerque native spent several years as a successful college coach and administrator, and now serves as managing partner/president and CEO of Gaylord Sports Management, based in Scottsdale, Ariz. He represents several professional athletes — most notably current Masters golf champion Phil Mickelson, whom he also coached at Arizona State University.
Loy said the company now has offices in several locations around the world, including London, Melbourne and Hong Kong.
While he rarely gets back to the Portales area, he said he has fond memories.
“I still have a lot of good friends at Eastern,” he said. “I’ve been blessed, and I’m grateful. I’ve worked hard, and gotten some lucky opportunities.
“Sports has kind of been the foundation of my life.”
Loy was recruited to play football by longtime ENMU coach Jack Scott, and also played golf under B.B. Lees. He was inducted into the school’s sports Hall of Fame in the early 1990s.
Scott brought him to ENMU as a quarterback, but “that lasted about as long as the first time I threw an interception,” Loy said.
He eventually moved to defense and was a co-captain on the 1973 squad with Don Carthel, who later coached the Greyhounds for several seasons.
“When the ball was snapped, somebody was going to get the (tar) beat out of him,” Scott said of Loy. “Steve was a real tough kid.
“He came from good people. He was a good guy, and he always did what he was supposed to do. You knew he was going to amount to something.”
Lees coached golf at ENMU from the mid-60s to mid-70s, and said his program had to share him with football.
“He was recruited in football, of course, but we wanted him in golf,” said Lees, who also had a three-year stint as football coach at Eastern. “Football was the one paying the bills, and he spent most of his time with them.”
A state champion in high school at Sandia in Albuquerque, Loy earned honorable mention NAIA All-American honors in golf in 1972 and in football in 1973. Eastern’s golf program was discontinued in the early 1980s.
“We had good teams here; in fact, in 1972 we hosted the national NAIA tournament in Roswell,” Lees said. “From 1972-75 were some of the best players we ever had.”
After graduating from ENMU with honors in 1974, Loy earned a master’s degree in athletic administration from the University of Utah. He said his goal was to be a Division I college coach by the age of 30.
He coached golf and football at Scottsdale Community College, then moved on to coach golf and serve as assistant athletic director under the legendary Frank Broyles at the University of Arkansas from 1983-87.
“Frank Broyles and Jack Scott are two of the biggest influences in my life,” Loy said.
He returned to the Phoenix area in 1987, spending five years as the golf coach at Arizona State. He was responsible for recruiting Mickelson.
Loy is a four-time national golf coach of the year and a member of the National Golf Coaches Hall of Fame.
Mickelson, long known as “the best player never to win a major” before taking the Masters title in April, turned pro about 12 years ago after leaving ASU.
“That’s when I decided to change hats and become an agent,” Loy said. “We’ve basically built the company from one relationship between Phil and I to about 65 golfers around the world and about 40 baseball players in the major leagues.”
Loy lives in Scottsdale with his wife Linda, also an ENMU alum. They have two daughters, Kelli Lyn, 25, and Kristin, 23, and an eight-month-old grandson by Kelli Lyn.