The color purple has never been too appealing to Collin Slattery before. Now, he’s ready to let purple reign.
The former Princeton High School standout has signed to continue his golf career with the purple and yellow-clad Panthers of Northern Iowa Uni-versity. He’s presently a sophomore member of the Illinois Central Junior Col-lege golf team in East Peoria.
“The whole reason I went to ICC was to, hopefully, play Division 1 after that. I told myself I was going to go to ICC and try to get as good as a I can there and go to Division I, and if I can’t, I’d go to school and not play golf again.
“I’m glad I can play another two years. I’ve been playing so long, I think I’d miss it. I’m just relieved I’m able to go play Division I. That was my whole goal since high school.”
Of all the golf talent to come through the ranks of Princeton High School and go on to play collegiately, Slattery is going to be the first to do so at the Division I level.
“I’m sure Danny Nelson and Kyle Castner could have, too, if they wanted,” Slattery said of former Tigers, who played collegiately. “It feels good to know I’m the first one to go Division I. I’m pretty excited about it.”
Slattery said he was most impressed with UNI coach John Bermel, as well as the campus and facilities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
“The coach was a big factor and the school’s not too big or not too small,” he said. “I visited there two weeks ago and really liked the coach first off. He’s been coaching there for 18 years, he’s played on the senior PGA Tour and knows a lot of people on the Tour.”
Bremmel is a good friend of ICC coach Bo Ryan, who said UNI will be a good fit for Slattery, who will be studying marketing there.
“Collin has taken huge steps over the last year and a half, in particular this past fall, in becoming a complete student-athlete. His grades show it, his scores show and his commitment to both areas are solid,” Ryan said. “Now, it’s time to go to the next level and John’s program at UNI is one I believe Collin can excel in.”
Slattery averaged 77.2 this fall for ICC, playing the No. 5 position for the Cougars solely because he liked to be the first one out on the course and set the pace, Ryan said. His first place, 5-under-par 67 at Panther Creek Golf Course in Springfield was one of the best rounds Ryan said he’s ever seen in his days coaching at Bradley University and ICC.
“It was a windy and rainy day. We were even called off the course for close to two hours because of lighting,” Ryan said. “To be able to hold your focus when your playing that well, and then go out and finish is outstanding.”
At PHS, Slattery was the BCR Golfer of the Year in 2010, his senior season, placing eighth in the IHSA state finals. He was BCR co-Golfer of the Year in 2009.