The Northern California Section of the PGA is probably regretting bestowing Andrew Michael Nisbet with the 2013 Junior Golf Leader Award right about now.
Three days before Nisbet's recent NCPGA honor was announced on WorldGolf.com, the Bay Area junior golf instructor was arrested on 65 counts of child molestation, as detailed in a Livermore (Calif.) Police Department press release. Not a good look.
Nisbet has since been fired from his position at Livermore's Las Positas Golf Course, where the 31-year-old has worked as PGA Director of Instruction since 2006. Head coach of the 2012 PGA Junior League National Champions, he also developed the GRIP Junior Golf Academy, which reportedly had 175 children enrolled prior to his arrest.
One of Nisbet's students detailed the accusations to police, launching an investigation that revealed multiple male victims between the ages of 12 and 17 from December 2009 to March 2012 across multiple states, according to a San Jose Mercury News report (h/t Deadspin). Police are reportedly in the process of interviewing at least two other victims and fear more may be out there, as Nisbet traveled the country coaching youth golf, including stops in Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi and North Carolina.
"He befriended them as the cool coach, gave them rides to and from practice and bought them gifts, including top-of-the-line golf equipment," LPD Officer Steve Goard told the paper, revealing that Nisbet allegedly admitted to the lewd acts. "He created a coach-athlete bond and, as he did, was figuring out who he could get away with it with."
The charges included performing oral copulation with the children while playing pornography on his phone and computer in both his car and Livermore home, according to the Mercury News. Nisbet reportedly lived next door to an elementary school.
On Tuesday, Nisbet was arraigned on charges that filled the Alameda County District Attorney's Office's 49-page complaint and held without bail. The 2013 Junior Golf Leader Award announcement was published that same day, and the words are haunting.
"Andy has been a tremendous contributor to Junior Golf," NCPGA Awards Chairman Ted Mattila told World Golf, "creating a variety of inviting programs for young people and teaching golf professionals how to get started on this track."
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