Larry Mays - 2012
Head Coach, 13th season
Berry College 1997
Email coach Mays
In 12 seasons as head coach, Larry Mays has re-established the Georgia Southern golf program as a perennial power in collegiate golf. After a 12-year drought from appearing in postseason play, Mays has taken the Eagles to nine NCAA Regional appearances, advancing to the NCAA Championship four times, and has led Georgia Southern to three Southern Conference titles.
Mays’ coaching success on the course stems from tremendous recruiting success and continual development of young talent. In his first four seasons, Mays recruited and coached four SoCon Freshman of the Year award winners in Tyler McKeever (2001), Aron Price (2002), Jon David Kennedy (2003) and David Palm (2004). Logan Blondell joined the list when he won the honor in 2008, and Scott Wolfes won the award in 2012. Price went on to be named SoCon Player of the Year in 2004, and Blondell earned the honor in 2009. In addition, Mays has mentored 20 All-SoCon selections during his tenure.
Mays’ inaugural campaign earned him his first of two SoCon Coach of the Year Awards in 2001 as he returned the Eagles to a championship caliber team, setting a school record for lowest stroke average and returning Georgia Southern to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1988. The Eagles grabbed an eighth-place finish at the East Regional before advancing to challenge for the national title in Durham, N.C., where they placed 24th.
After a third-place showing at the SoCon Championships in 2002, Georgia Southern finished sixth at the NCAA East Regional in Roswell, Ga., and advanced to the NCAA Championship in Columbus, Ohio, where they placed 28th in the nation. In 2005, the Eagles tied for 13th place at the NCAA Championship – the third-best finish in program history. Price earned first-team All-America honors and David Palm was given honorable mention status.
In 2010, Mays guided the team to the NCAA Championships after tying for fourth place at the Southeast Regional. Starting the final round in eighth place, Georgia Southern shaved 11 strokes off its second-round total to end the tournament tied with Arizona State at 23-over-par. Blondell took second place in the individual standings with a 2-under 208, and the Eagles went on to place 30th among the top programs in the country.
Only the sixth coach in program history, Mays led the Eagles to Southern Conference championships in 2003, 2006 and 2011. In 2003, Georgia Southern defeated College of Charleston by two strokes to claim the crown and the automatic NCAA Regional bid, and the Eagles went on to finish one shot shy of advancing to the NCAA Championship. It was the Eagles first league tournament title since winning the TAAC Championship in 1991.
In 2006, all five Eagles finished in the top-25 as the team took home the title by 12 strokes. An 11th-place tie alongside Georgia State and Indiana University at the NCAA Regional in Orlando put the team one spot shy of advancing to the NCAA Championship.
The 2011 team made its third-straight trip to an NCAA Regional, following a dramatic win at the SoCon Championships. Down by four strokes to start the final round, the Eagles posted their lowest round of the season to win the program’s third title. Blondell helped lead the team to an eighth place finish at the Southeast Regional, where he shot a 7-under 209 to tie for sixth.
The Eagles have also seen individual success under Mays. Georgia Southern recorded its fourth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, just missing the cut to the championship round in 2004, but Price advanced on an individual status and represented Georgia Southern at the national championship.
Drew Lethem became only the second player in program history to record individual medalist honors at the SoCon Tournament in 2009, earning his first career collegiate title with a 6-under par 210 (66-72-72).
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 birth in 2000, and the program cracked the national rankings for the first time in school history.
In addition to coaching the men’s golf team, Mays also served as head coach of the women’s team for two seasons, overseeing the early development of the women’s program while leading the Panthers to a record of 213-88.
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.
Mays earned three letters competing on the golf team at Berry College, helping the squad to a second-place finish in the 1996 NAIA National Championships.
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 resides in Brooklet, Ga., with their daughters, Reagan and Riley.