Audra Williams Fowler played golf for Belmont from 2003-2007. During her career, she played in 43 tournaments and ranks in the top-10 in the Belmont record book in five different categories. Audra helped win the program’s first two team championships (2006-07 season) and was the first Belmont women’s golfer to win an individual title (2005 APSU Intercollegiate). Audra recently spoke with BelmontBruins.com about her time at Belmont, golf, and her present role as an educator in Cheatham County, just west of Nashville.
Why did you choose Belmont?
I chose Belmont because it was close to home and had a small setting. However, I mainly chose it to play golf.
What is your fondest athletic memory at Belmont?
Our golf team was so nutty that we have a billion fond memories! We spent a lot of time riding in a van, let’s start there. One time we made a music video of “I Melt” by Rascal Flatts, while riding in the van. I read 15 books in one semester…riding in that van. I normally sang every song and loudly so one-time Chief (Coach Lissa Bradford) hollers, “is there a song Audra doesn’t know and can we find it?!” We all died laughing. Along with all of the countless inside jokes that our team shares: Wynia, STOP, Billy Wayne. A couple more off the top of my head are Maggie Valley and Tega Kay. At Maggie Valley, in the mountains, there is a bag pipe player that walks through the morning dew from #1 green to the tee box playing the most amazing tune. It gives me chill bumps just thinking about it. Then we all tee off. At the Tega Kay tournament the greenskeeper made an impossible green it seems. We nearly all 4 or 5 putted the thing and we left wanting to burn that course down. It is hilarious now, but we were so mad then!
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Belmont and how?
My teammates-mainly the three that I started with: Rebekah Wilson, Esther Moon, and Kate Austin. I learned what loyalty really looked like; I had never had friends like these ladies. Reba helped me study for Chemistry all night at Waffle House for a final exam and without her I never would have passed. Esther went to EVERY convocation with me, which didn’t help that both of us procrastinated until the last minute to get our hours. Kate was the kindest person I had ever met. She comforted me through some of the most difficult times, and always held me accountable when I asked her to. We call ourselves the Quatro and we are still friends today, 15 years later. I still loved my time shared with Ali Weber, Tara Long, Ashlee Skeen and the newbies that came later that we loved so much: Gina Beasley, Lorie Warren, Lauren Oeser, Ashleigh Garman and M.A. Orr. I have learned something from every single one of them and I respect Chief for knowing how to pick a team. You can’t stick just any random 7 girls on a van and have them get along.
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Belmont?
I learned how to have crazy faith. During the time I was at Belmont I went on three mission trips and got way out of my comfort zone. My relationship with God changed drastically. Not only on those trips, but day to day having to talk to professors, go into schools for practicums, study in the library on my own, I had to learn to face my fears and ask for help from God and others.
What advice would you give to current members of the golf team?
Don’t take everything so serious. Have fun! Soak it all up because it flies by, but if you do it right you will have sisters for life.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
Dr. Brenda-Jackson Abernathy and Dr. Rachael Flynn-Hopper: I was a history major with a minor in Education. Dr. Jackson-Abernathy went above and beyond to help as an advisor. We shared the same love of history and I love that she was so passionate about the West. She wrote an awesome book and I always considered her a modern cowgirl. She was bold, brave, and believed in what she said. Dr. Flynn-Hopper was so cool! She was always positive and smiling. I love that even after graduating she tried to keep up with me on Facebook. Both women are true educators; they loved and cared about me so that I always felt valued.
Where do you live now?
I still live in Cheatham County, Tennessee right outside of Nashville.
Who is you employer?
I am an educator in the Cheatham County School District. This is my fourth year to serve as the Dean of Students at Cheatham County Central High School. I am also the social media person for the school as well as the Men’s and Women’s Golf coach. My job entails many avenues but mainly keeping students from falling through the cracks, supporting them to graduate on time, setting up parent meetings, community outreach, keeping up with social media, and sometimes the kids call me the “Fun Director.” I enjoy it and I have learned a lot about education now that I am outside of the classroom. I previously taught U.S. History for seven years in the middle school world. I am currently enrolled in Carson Newman to complete my Ed.D. I credit Belmont for teaching me to be a lifelong learner!
Tell us about your family.
My husband, Justin Fowler, and I have been married for almost 8 years. He is a project manager for Village Builders. We love the great outdoors and travelling. We have three crazy pups: Tucker, Tippy, and Trudy. We also have 5 nieces, and are very close to our parents and siblings. We are very grateful.