STATESBORO — Georgia Southern Director of Golf Larry Mays has been promoted to associate athletic director for external affairs, GSU Director of Athletics Tom Kleinlein has announced.
In his new role, Mays will be responsible for the coordination of all external operations of the department to ensure the optimal plan is in place to capitalize on revenue opportunities and develop both long-range and short-term plans to effectively promote Georgia Southern athletics. He will continue to raise money and create strategic initiatives to help fund the men’s and women’s golf programs and continue to serve as the sport supervisor for both programs. Mays will transition to the new role immediately.
Mays is in his 16th year at Georgia Southern and served as the director of golf for the last two. In that role, he started the Eagle women’s golf program, hired coach Emily Kuhfeld, named Carter Collins the men’s coach and supervised both programs.
“I’m excited to start this new chapter in my career and use my marketing background, years of institutional knowledge of Georgia Southern University and my ties to the Atlanta and Savannah areas to help promote Eagle athletics,” Mays said.
Mays came to Georgia Southern as the men’s golf coach in 2000 and re-established Eagle golf as a perennial power in the collegiate ranks. After a 12-year drought from postseason play, the Eagles made 12 NCAA Championship appearances, advancing to the NCAA Championship finals four times. GSU also won five conference titles (four Southern, one Sun Belt) during Mays’ tenure leading the program. He recruited and coached three All-Americans, 26 all-conference selections, three conference Golfers of the Year and six league Freshmen of the Year.
Mays was an integral part of helping the Georgia Southern Athletic Foundation raise $1.3 million for the Bennett-Ramsey Golf Center, a 25-acre practice facility with the 6,000-square-foot Howard House that serves as the headquarters for the Eagle men’s and women’s golf programs. Built in 2005, the facility was renovated under Mays’ supervision to accommodate the women’s team in 2015. The practice center has clubhouses for both programs, a dedicated practice putting green, a three-green short-game area, a two-tiered practice tee, a driving range and three practice holes.
“I’m honored to have coach Mays as part of our senior staff here at Georgia Southern,” Kleinlein said. “Larry and I have had conversations over the past couple of years, and this is something he wanted to move into. He felt the next phase of his career was to move into administration, and I feel like his experience and the things he brings to the table, including the knowledge he has of Georgia Southern, will really enhance our external relations.”
Prior to coming to Statesboro, Mays spent three seasons at Georgia State, where he helped raise the program to regional- and national-contender status. The Panthers earned their first at-large bid to the NCAA Championship in 1999, followed by a consecutive berth in 2000, and the program cracked the national rankings for the first time in school history. Before entering the coaching ranks, Mays worked as a marketing assistant/ticket manager for the Nationwide Championship, a Senior PGA Tour event. He also served as the tournament director for “Lefty’s” Celebrity Golf Classic.
A 1997 graduate of Berry College with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, Mays added a master’s degree in sports administration from Georgia State in 2000. He is married to the former Ansley Claire Calhoun of Savannah. The couple reside in Brooklet with their daughters, Reagan and Riley.