Succeeds Mason Barfield in Leading the Lakers
Long-time Clayton State University athletic administrator and coach Mike Mead has been appointed by President Dr. Thomas J. “Tim” Hynes as the University’s interim athletic director.
Mead succeeds H. Mason Barfield, Clayton State’s first athletic director, who announced on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011, that he was retiring as of Friday, Oct. 21, 2011. Barfield leaves behind a program that he started with one sport at the NAIA level in 1990, and developed it into a highly-competitive program at the NCAA Division II level, and a program that won its first national championship, in women’s basketball, this past March.
Mead will serve as interim athletic director until the conclusion of a national search for an athletic director for the Clayton State Lakers. It is anticipated that the position will be filled as of June 1, 2012.
“It’s an honor to serve the department and University during the interim as we search for a new director,” he says. “I have a great support team and the entire department has been supportive during the transition. We will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the athletics program and support our student-athletes.”
Mead is currently in his 17th season directing the Laker cross country programs. Under his guidance, the men’s and women’s cross country teams have been competitive in the Peach Belt Conference with the men’s team winning the 2005 title while both squads have finished runners-up numerous times, including the women’s second place finish in 2011. Since 2005, the men’s program has twice finished third in the region championships. In 16 cross country seasons, Mead has coached three All-Americans, including a second place finisher in the NCAA Division II national championships, one region champion, five conference champions, and 17 All-Academic runners in addition to 53 all-conference and 20 All-Region runners.
A fixture at Clayton State since November 1990, when he joined the public information office as public information assistant and sports information director, Mead also has served for several years as assistant director of athletics.
Mead built the Clayton State track & field program from scratch. Since its inception in 1997, a combined nine All-Americans have been produced. The women's program had its first All-American in 2002 with Joni Guffey in the 1500 meters. In 2004, the Laker men’s 4x400 team of Brian Etleman, Rother Heard, Carlos Guyton and Eric Simmons placed sixth at the NCAA Division II nationals to earn All-American honors.
Mead has received several coaching awards, including five Peach Belt Conference "Coach of the Year" honors. His women's team has garnered the department's All-Academic Team trophy four times (1999-2002 & 2004) while the men won the 2008 honor.
Mead holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Master of Public Administration degrees from the University of West Georgia. While at West Georgia, he helped the cross country team to consecutive appearances at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships in 1978-79. In track and field, Mead represented West Georgia at three NCAA Division II Championships in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. He held four track records including the steeplechase (9:08.7), indoor mile (4:18) and indoor two-mile (9:14).
Prior to attending West Georgia, Mead ran two seasons at NJCAA powerhouse Southwestern Michigan College (SMC). He competed in two NJCAA national meets, including the 1977 cross country championships in which SMC finished second. Following college, Mead ran for the Atlanta Track Club (ATC) and Athletics South competitive teams and is a current member of the ATC Master’s Men’s Team.
He is also active in the community, serving on the board of directors for Clayton Youth Leadership and the Good Shepherd Clinic, and is a member of the Kiwanis of Southlake Club. He is a member of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Committee and is an active member in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), having served as President for Division II Cross Country from 2007-09.