UMES golf coach, former NFL player, joins Eastern Shore Golf Hall of Fame

Marshall Cropper

PRINCESS ANNE — Maryland Eastern Shore Athletics Hall of Famer and head men’s golf coach Marshall Cropper was inducted into the Eastern Shore Golf Hall of Fame during a ceremony Dec. 2 at Ocean City Golf Club in Berlin.

An Eastern Shore native from New Church, Virginia, Cropper studied physical education, played baseball and football, and found his interest in golf all while attending then Maryland State College in the 1960s.

Upon graduating in 1967, Cropper went on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Washington Redskins. He found gratification for golf during Steelers training camp. The Steelers practiced by Arnold Palmer’s home and driving range in Latrobe, and after receiving many tips form Mr. Palmer himself, it paid off in the long run. Having a passion working with youth, he used golf as a tool to teach life skills, and used golf as a fundraiser during his NFL days to finance youth camps.

Following retirement from the NFL, Cropper was chosen to develop a degree program at Maryland Eastern Shore that would introduce more African-Americans to the game of golf. As a result in 2008 the Professional Golf Management (PGM) program was established, and Maryland Eastern Shore became the first HBCU in the nation with such a program.

His fundraising acumen continued with work for The Art Shell Golf Classic, an event so successful that it grabbed the attention from congressmen, university administration and alumni. Now serving as head men’s golf coach and the as the universities’ Golf Academy Coordinator, Cropper started a Hall of Fame Golf Outing this past fall, again featuring his former Hawk teammate and NFL Hall of Famer Art Shell. True to his fundraising roots, the proceeds were set aside for men’s golf. 

Cropper was inducted to the Maryland Eastern Shore Hall of Fame for his contributions to the Hawks in 1984.

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