From The Rough, starring Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson is a true and inspirational story of Dr. Catana Starks, a former swim coach from Tennessee State University that became the first woman to coach an all male team at the collegiate level.
Dr. Starks (now the head of Tennessee State Human Performance and Sports Sciences department) made history in 1986, by becoming the first African-American women to coach a men’s NCAA Division I golf team. After TSU joined the Ohio Valley Conference, former athletic director Bill Thomas traded the universities swimming program for a men’s golf team. Although she had minimal golfing experience, Starks took on the challenge and broke barriers as students of all races joined the golfing program at TSU, a historically Black college and set an all-time record at the PGA National Collegiate Minority Championship.
The courageous coach has nurtured the careers of some of today’s heavy hitters in the world of golf; Sam Puryear, the first African-American men’s head golf coach in any major conference, Robert Dinwiddle, a member of the European tour and Canadian Sean Foley, who is currently Tiger Woods swing coach. “Coach Starks has a Ph.D.,” Foley tells ESPN. “She’s well educated…I used to sit in the front of the bus with coach. We would ride for hours and hours. She always saw something in me. She always knew I was going to do special things in some form…”
From The Rough, set to release in limited theaters, April 25 was written and produced by Pierre Bagley and Mike Critelli and has an amazing supporting cast – Tom Felton (Harry Potter), the late Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile) and Kontrol cover girl, LeToya Luckett (Single Ladies). For more info you can visit the official site for the film From The Rough
From the Rough, starring Academy Award nominees Taraji P. Henson and Michael Clarke Duncan and Tom Felton, is the inspirational true story of Catana Starks from historically black university Tennessee State, who became the first African-American woman ever to coach an all-men’s team at the collegiate level. Through grit and determination, she overcame incredible odds and deep-seated prejudice from all corners to guide a rag-tag group of golfers to an all-time record championship season.