The East Central Community College Board of Trustees approved the reinstatement of the men's golf program at ECCC at its Feb. 9 meeting on campus. Play will begin in the fall of 2021 and grows East Central's varsity sports to 10 teams. The program was suspended in November of 2017, but play continued through the spring of 2018 as the Warriors traveled to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Golf Championships at Glen Lakes Golf Club in Foley, Ala. where the team finished in 12th place. The trip was East Central's first-ever appearance in the event and highest finish.
"We are excited to bring this program back as it will provide students yet another way to participate in athletics and grow as individuals," said ECCC President Dr. Brent Gregory. "East Central has a tradition of producing competitive teams and we look forward to great days ahead with our golf program."
The storied tradition of East Central's golf team goes back decades as the program originally started in the late 1970s by Joe Clark, who coached the team for 30 years. Joe's son, Chris Clark, has been named head coach of the program. He led the team from 2011-2018, prior to the program being suspended, and earned Mississippi Association of Coaches Community College Golf Co-Coach of the Year in that final season. He graduated from Decatur High School in 1981 and then received his Associate Degree from ECCC in 1983. While attending ECCC, he played for both the Warrior baseball and golf teams. After graduating, he attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in 1985.
"Chris Clark is the perfect person to lead our Warrior Men's Golf program. His experience as both a former student-athlete and head coach makes him ideally suited to take over the reins once again," said ECCC Director of Athletics Paul Nixon. "It will not take long for him to attract the type of quality student-athletes he recruited to East Central before and reestablish the Warrior golfers as some of the most competitive in the MACCC. His love for East Central is evident, and we are excited to have him back in the Department of Athletics."
Some changes have taken place in the state since the Warriors last hit the links. The team will now compete in the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference (MACCC) and the seasons are split between the fall and spring semesters. ECCC joins Itawamba, Northeast, Hinds, Meridian, Co-Lin, Southwest, and Mississippi Gulf Coast as the only community colleges in the state to offer the sport.
Current and prospective East Central students interested in joining the Men's Golf program should contact Chris Clark via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (601) 635-6245.