WACO – Derek Clapp has taken the helm as the McLennan Community College women’s golf head coach after spending five years as an assistant coach for the team. During his time as an assistant, he helped guide the Highlassies to a top-five finish each year in the national tournament and continuous recognition as an NJCAA All-Academic Team.
Prior to coming to McLennan in 2005, Clapp was a softball coach at Howard College. He spent three years as an assistant coach before taking over head coaching duties in 2004. As a head coach, he was named the 2004 Region V Coach of the Year.
In addition to his work with the golf team at McLennan, Clapp is an assistant professor in the Communication Studies department. He received a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Angelo State University in 1998 and a master’s degree in communication studies from Texas Tech University in 2000.
Former head coach Stan Mitchell will assume the assistant coaching duties. Mitchell has been coaching golf at McLennan for 25 years, 18 of those as the head women’s coach.
Mitchell took the reins of women’s golf as a club sport in 1996 and as an official college team in 1998 when the NJCAA re-established the sport. The Highlassies claimed the national title that first year and have finished in the top five every year since, including national titles in 2002 and 2007.
With Mitchell at the helm, the women’s program has produced 60 All-Americans and 15 Academic All-Americans, and it has been named an NJCAA All-Academic Team 16 times. In 2008, Mitchell was rewarded for his hard work and dedication to the sport when he was inducted into the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Mitchell joined the McLennan faculty in 1984 as a business and economics instructor and began his coaching career in 1989 with the men’s golf team. Mitchell coached both the men’s and women’s golf teams for four seasons before deciding to focus strictly on the women’s team in 2000.
In addition to his assistant coaching duties, Mitchell will continue to teach business and economics classes at McLennan.