It's been a busy couple of months for Larry Clay.
First he was named professional at Miami Golf & Country Club, and now he's taken the reins of the golf program at Northeastern A&M.
"We've got a good nucleus to work with," said Clay, who was men's golf coach at Missouri Southern State University for eight years.
"They got the foundation laid last year," Clay said. "We will just continue to build. The biggest thing is to let people- meaning the high school coaches and kids around the area - know that we have a golf program here and that we are looking for golfers."
Clay replaces Steve Pace, who had helped get the program off the ground a year ago.
"The main thing here is I will be working with freshman and sophomores," Clay said. "You don't have the juniors and seniors who have the experience to fall back on. We've got a situation this year where we will have four sophomores and probably only one freshman in the top five. Then next year will be totally reloading again."
NEO fielded a golf team from the 1960s through the ‘80s, then rejuvenated the program for the 2003 school year under John Lomax, qualifying for the NJCAA national tournament.
"We had pretty good success," Clay said of his time at MSSU. "At first, it was a building process, but then once we got things built up, it was continuous year after year for us."
Clay took the reins late last month.
"That kinda put us behind on recruiting," he said. "From my experience with Missouri Southern, I would have already had my next class recruited by the first of May almost. We will be doing things on the run."
Clay has been working on the schedule and compiling a recruiting list.
"Everybody around the area knows me, so that will help," Clay said. "A lot of the high school coaches around the area know who I am, so hopefully down the road, they will be calling us saying ‘hey, I've got a young man who needs a place to play golf but needs a little growing up.'"
Miami sophomores Nolan Couch and Calvin Becker will provide the nucleus for the team.
Also back are Dalton Hamilton of Tecumseh and Tanner Langley of Grove.
Adam Murton of Carl Junction is the only incoming freshman.
"He already was on board before I even took over," Clay said.
Clay has been working with MG&CC owner Richard Orr to reestablish the glimmer to one of Miami's crown jewels.
"We've run some specials in the spring and summer and it's amazing how many people, even from areas close by, didn't even know this place existed. They've lived in the area for 20 and 30 years and didn't even know it was here.”