Mike Clary will retire as Rhodes College athletics director in spring 2016 after leading the program for 26 years. Prior to becoming AD in 1990, Clary coached for 11 years at the college, serving as head football, track, swimming, and women’s golf coach. He will remain at Rhodes as the head women’s golf coach and serve as a recruiter for prospective student-athletes.
Under Clary’s guidance, the Lynx athletic program has experienced unprecedented growth and success. When he assumed leadership of the program, Rhodes offered eight sports for men and five for women. Today, the college offers 10 sports for men and 11 for women. Most recently, the Lynx captured the 2014-15 President’s Trophy, signifying the top overall athletics program in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA). And Rhodes consistently ranks first in the conference in the number of student athletes recognized on the All-SAA academic honor roll.
As head football coach, Clary led the Lynx to the most wins in the college’s history. From 1985 to 1989, the Lynx compiled a 36-7-3 record, which ranked Rhodes as the winningest college football program in Tennessee, and one of the top-10 NCAA Division III programs in the country. Clary has built the women’s golf team into a national power, winning the 2014 NCAA Division III National Championship. The team finished fifth in the country in 2015, and currently ranks first in Division III in scoring average.
Clary is a 1977 graduate of Rhodes, where he majored in biology. He was a three-year starter for the Lynx football team and also played on the 1977 golf team that captured the College Athletic Conference championship.
“It has been a pleasure working with Mike and seeing the many positive outcomes of his hard work, leadership, and dedication to our student athletes and to our college,” says Rhodes College President William E. Troutt.
A search for Clary’s successor will begin immediately.