By Ron Balicki, Golfweek
It looked like everything was falling into place for Denny Glass.
Earlier this year, Glass announced his retirement after 20 years as tournament chairman of the prestigious Northeast Amateur. Last month, at the 52nd edition of the championship at Wannimoisett Country Club in Rumford, R.I., Glass was recognized and honored as he chaired his final event.
At the time, Glass felt he was leaving things in good hands. Joe Sprague Jr., a longtime official with the Rhode Island Golf Association and current executive director of the Massachusetts Golf Association, had agreed to take over for Glass as tournament chairman. Last week, however, Sprague informed Glass that he had accepted a position with the U.S. Golf Association as Director, Regional Affairs, Northeast, and would be based in Far Hills, N.J.
Now Glass is in scramble mode.
“After all the hoopla (at this year’s Northeast Amateur), I now have to find another person to replace me,” Glass said. “I am in that process and hopefully will decide very soon on who that might be.”
Glass said he had a few worthy candidates in mind, but didn’t mention any names.
“I’m confident I can find someone who will fit the bill,” Glass said. “As far as Joe is concerned, we’ve been friends a long, long time and for him this is a good opportunity in his professional career to get the USGA position. I know he will do well and I wish him all the best.”
For Sprague, 51, it was a tough decision despite being good for his career.
“This is a great opportunity for me,” Sprague said. “I feel that I’m at the point in my life when now is the time to take a step forward and take advantage of an opportunity like this.
“Still, it’s tough. The Northeast Amateur has been a part of my life for a long time and I feel bad for Denny, but I think he has some very good candidates to look at and I’m sure whoever takes over as tournament chairman will do an excellent job. I know whoever it is will have my full support as well as Denny’s.”
Sprague said he expects the MGA to begin a search immediately for his replacement as executive director. He guessed the decision would come at the end of the 2013 championship season.
In addition to Sprague, the USGA named three other new regional affairs directors: Mike Sweeney, West; Tyler Riggin, Great Lakes; and Kyle Nuss, South.
They join Kathy Gordon and Mark Passey, who will continue to serve as regional directors for the Southeast and Central regions, respectively.