MGA Names New Executive Director/COO
September 22, 2023 | 3 min.
ByWarren P Ryan
EDINA, Minn. (Sept. 22, 2023) – The Minnesota Golf Association (MGA) has announced the hiring of Jon Mays as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Sept. 22. Mays, 34, will succeed Tom Ryan, who announced his retirement earlier this year, and lead the MGA staff in serving the association’s 93,000 associate members and more than 400 member golf clubs and 14 allied golf industry associations.
“My family and I are thrilled to be stepping into a role that will allow me to serve the game and our members in my home state," said Mays, adding, "Golf has played an important role in my life both personally and professionally, and I look forward to using this platform to enact change for other Minnesota golfers. I want to thank Ede Rice and the other members of the search committee for putting their faith in me to succeed Tom. Golf in Minnesota is in a better place because of his leadership and I look forward to working with our experienced staff to carry on his legacy."
Mays, who is a Bloomington native and attended Jefferson High School, returns to Minnesota after five-year stint with the University of New Haven, first as an associate director of athletics before he was promoted to overseeing the department of athletics as its director. Under his leadership, the department received record levels of funding, the UNH Charger Athletics Fund flourished, and the athletics center underwent key facility upgrades. In Mays’ time, the Chargers football and basketball programs have achieved success on the field and court including consecutive trips to the NCAA Playoffs and an appearance in the Elite Eight for the men’s basketball team. While at New Haven, Mays was instrumental in establishing new men’s and women’s varsity golf programs in 2022.
“Succeeding a legacy leader like Tom Ryan is no small task,” said Ede Rice, MGA president. “We at the MGA are delighted to begin working with Jon. With his Minnesota roots and passion for golf, he has the perfect skill set and leadership experience to guide our talented staff into the future,” added Rice.
Mays is an accomplished scholar having earned his Ph.D in sport management from the University of Kansas. He is a graduate of Lawrence University where he excelled as a student athlete and served as captain for both the basketball and golf teams. Mays will assume his new duties with the MGA full-time, beginning Nov. 1. He plans to relocate to Minnesota with his wife, Alicia, and their young family shortly thereafter.
About the MGA
Established in 1901, with the formation by seven golf clubs to organize the state’s most prestigious and storied golf championship, the MGA Amateur Championship, the Minnesota Golf Association is today the governing body over amateur golf in the state, responsible for administering the Rules of Golf and committed to upholding and promoting the game of golf and its values for all golfers in Minnesota.
The MGA conducts 24 amateur championships and 14 USGA qualifying events each year. Thanks to the support of its member clubs and associate members and the efforts of its volunteers and staff, the MGA provides a variety of services such as handicapping, course rating and measuring, an online golf news and information resource, www.mngolf.org, and an official publication, Minnesota Golfer magazine, which benefit all golfers throughout Minnesota.