Advertisement
  1. Sports

Most influential women in Tampa Bay sports: Tracy West, Valspar Championship

Valspar Championship tournament director Tracy West
Valspar Championship tournament director Tracy West
Published Jul. 10, 2016

Tracy West never intended to work in sports. After graduating from Michigan State with a master's degree in marketing, West went to work for Foremost Insurance and then Herman Miller Furniture in Grand Rapids, Mich.

On the side, she was a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. One of the projects was to help put on a new Senior PGA Tour event, the Greater Grand Rapids Open. West volunteered and ended up on the tournament's executive board.

"The 12 of us (volunteers) were putting in 30 hours a week,'' West said. "In addition to that we were trying to build our careers. For me, I found that I was having more fun working on the tournament.''

So when a new Senior PGA Tour tournament in Minneapolis, the Burnet Senior Classic, was looking for an assistant tournament director, West mailed off her resume. Tournament director Hollis Cavner hired her, and a career was born.

From 1993-97, West helped run the tournament, which is now the 3M Championship. Then came a chance to take over her own senior event in 1998, the Bank of America Championship in Boston. That gig lasted until 2008, when the struggling economy made it tough for banks to hold on to title sponsorships. The tournament folded, and suddenly West was out of the golf business.

"At that point we didn't want to move, so I left Pro Links (golf promotions),'' West said.

She landed as the senior director of development and signature programs for the Boston Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital's Home Base Program for five years. But golf came calling again in 2014, when Cavner and Pro Links took over operation of the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook.

"He made a good enough offer to where it was like 'Okay, we're going,' '' West said.

"There's only 20 or so of them in the entire country. They don't just pop up every day. So when the opportunity came, it was just the writing on the wall. We were moving to Florida.''

Now three years into the job, West doesn't want to do anything else.

"I'm completely happy, and I can't imagine, unless there was a $1 million job offer, not doing this,'' West said. "I'm quite confident I will retire, as long as everyone will continue to have me, working in PGA Tour golf.''

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Florida State guard M.J. Walker tries to block the shot of Miami guard Dejan Vasiljevic during the second half of their game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Coral Gables. [BRYNN ANDERSON  |  AP]
    FSU forces 24 turnovers and storms back from a nine-point deficit for its ninth consecutive victory.
  2. Auburn center Austin Wiley guards Florida forward Omar Payne during the first half of their game on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Gainesville. Payne, a freshman out of Montverde Academy, finishes with a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds for his first double double in college. [MATT STAMEY  |  AP]
    Freshman Omar Payne has a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds as UF earns its most impressive victory of the season.
  3. He is a Yankee icon. One of baseball's greatest ambassadors. And soon, he will be a Hall of Famer. But did Jeter's reputation exceed his actual value on the field? [GENE J. PUSKAR  |  Associated Press]
    John Romano | The Yankees shortstop might join former teammate Mariano Rivera as the only unanimous Hall of Fame selections, but his defensive abilities left a lot to be desired.
  4. Earlier today• Florida State Seminoles
    Florida State forward Malik Osborne dances with his teammates during player introductions before their game against Virginia on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, in Tallahassee. [MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP]
    Florida State, in a three-way tie atop the ACC standings, goes on the road Saturday in search of its ninth straight victory.
  5. Florida's Keyontae Johnson, shown here scoring against Arkansas in last season's SEC tournament, is averaging 13 points and 6.8 rebounds this season. [MARK HUMPHREY  |  AP]
    UF looks for an elite win Saturday at home, where it has won five in row, to help strengthen its NCAA Tournament resume.
  6. Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) gets beaten by a shot from Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov (86) as Lightning's Steven Stamkos (91) looks on during first-period NHL hockey game action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. [JOHN WOODS  |  AP]
    Tampa Bay pours on the goals with seven total, including two from Nikita Kucherov.
  7. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Luke Schenn (2) celebrates his goal, the first of the game, along with right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) and center Tyler Johnson (9) beating New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) during first period action at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Tampa. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Tampa Bay also reassigned Alex Volkov to AHL Syracuse as Pat Maroon returned to the lineup.
  8. Jason Garrett had success against the Giants as Cowboys coach. Now he will face Dallas as New York's new offensive coordinator. [RON JENKINS  |  AP]
    The recently fired Dallas Cowboys coach stays in the NFC East.
  9. Former White Sox manager Tony La Russa stands with his Baseball Hall of Fame plaque while being honored before a game in Chicago on Aug.  30, 2014. [MATT MARTON  |  AP]
    "There was a toggle switch in the manager’s office and a camera zoomed in on the catcher,” Jack McDowell says of the setup he claims was installed by the Hall of Fame manager.
  10. USF at UCF college basketball and more sports on the air.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement