KERRVILLE---The late Albert B. “Monk” Keith, golf coach at Schreiner University from 1966 to 1984, was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Honor on April 23. He is the father of Don Keith of Trinity.
After professional careers in baseball and golf, Keith moved from Houston to Kerrville to help develop what is now Riverhill Country Club. Playing golf with Schreiner President Andy Edington led to Keith’s coaching the Schreiner men’s golf team part time in 1966. He became a fulltime coach in 1970 and served through 1984.
Keith led the golf team to several junior college conference titles, upper-tier finishes in regional tournaments, and one third-place finish nationally. He was voted national junior college golf coach of the year in 1977.
Keith also coached the first women’s golf teams at Schreiner during the 1970s.
Golf was his second professional sport. Keith played baseball in the 1930s for several minor league and semi-pro teams, sharing the diamond with legends such as Dizzy Dean, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio. He earned the nickname “Monk” when he climbed a backstop in pursuit of a foul ball.
His aggressive play led to a broken glove hand, and he eventually turned from baseball to golf. Keith became manager of the Hughes Tool Company’s country club and golf course, and served as president of the Texas Professional Golfers’ Association.
Remembered by former students as both a trusted counselor and patient coach, Keith and his wife, Helen, were dorm parents for girls living in L. A. Schreiner Hall after the school started on-campus residence facilities for females.
“Monk was not just our coach,” says one of his former players, Oscar Elizondo, ’84. “He was also like a father figure for those of us that needed direction, discipline and good family values. He was a man of few words, but when he spoke, it was usually profound.”
Keith died in Kerrville in 1995 at age 84.