By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
January 29, 2020
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- When Florida A&M cut the men's tennis and cross country programs in the fall, many thought another sport might be set to go as well.
Monday at the Capitol City Country Club was another day to hit the greens for FAMU junior golfer Mulbe Dillard and coach Mike Rice.
It was another day to think about the future instead of dreading the end, no longer worried their program might face the chopping block.
No longer held back by APR-caused postseason bans.
"We were worried that we could have been the team that was cut, not only that but two years ago we went through the APR issues too like last year we couldn't compete for the MEAC which I felt really bad for the team because it really had nothing to do with the current team, it was from the past," Rice said.
"It was saddening when we got the news that that might be the case but I'm just so glad that wasn't the case," Dillard added. "To be playing with these guys for four years straight hopefully is an awesome experience."
And while the future is bright, the present is just as shiny. The Rattlers lost no golfers off last season's team and it shows, as the Fangs have won four straight tournaments.
Dillard was the low medalist of two of those events, including last weekend's BCGCA Legends Invitational.
Rice says his team's depth and maturity have led the way, fueled by the scars of the past.
"The guys have used this as fire, we're on all cylinders right now and I'm really impressed with the way the guys are playing," Rice said. "The seniors have stepped up and we're just trying to ride it as long as we can."
A bond that's driven the team closer.
"When you can look across the fairway, see your teammate playing well and cheer them on, it's a great feeling out there and all the moods are up," Dillard explained. "I feel like that's definitely helped us."
A spark that has the program shooting for more.
"The future is bright for FAMU and it ain't a one year wonder," Rice said. "We're gonna be around for awhile I can promise you that."
Another day of golf for the Rattlers, another day in the sun after weathering the storm.
Of those four straight tournament victories, Dillard has been the low medalist twice.
FAMU goes for five straight tourney victories in mid-February at the William & Mary Invitational.