Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

HCC Plant City president is a retired Army major with doctorate and passion for fishing


After 17 years in the Army and stints at St. Petersburg College and Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, Martyn Clay jumped at the chance to oversee Hillsborough Community College's 7,500-student Plant City campus.

Clay, 54, who starts work Monday as campus president, said the move brings him closer to his mother in Homosassa and daughter and son-in-law in Orlando. It also represents a step up from Eastern New Mexico University, where he served as provost for academic and student affairs.

Clay arrived in Plant City two weeks ago after a 1,600-mile cross-country drive. He said he doesn't expect immediate changes to the curriculum once he starts work. At some point, with the economy improving, he'll likely evaluate which programs to adjust based on enrollment. He might also introduce new programs, he said.

Clay, who was born in Fairfax, Va., retired from the Army as a major 16 years ago. He received a doctorate in education from the University of Missouri and served as associate vice president of academic and student affairs at St. Petersburg College for eight years. He also taught at the University of Florida. His son, Christopher, is serving in the Army in Afghanistan.

To know him better, we posed a handful of questions, some related and some not related to his new job:

Other than your children and wife, Evelyn, what are you most proud of?

When I retired from the Army, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to have a second career and do things I do now, as a senior leader in education.

Name something on you bucket list, not career related.

One of the things I'd like to do before it's all over is, I'm a big-time fisherman. I'd like to hook a marlin or sailfish.

If you had an extra hour in the day, how would use that time?

I think I would spend more time with my wife, going on walks. That's one of the things we really enjoy. But I'd also try to get in more reading, definitely more reading, and more fishing.

What's your favorite place?

My wife and I honeymooned in (the resort community of) Ruidoso in the mountains of New Mexico, and we used to travel there every other weekend. It's just beautiful, the views.

What's the most enjoyable experience you've ever had?

About five or six years ago when we were living just north of Tampa we took a boat trip with the kids. We packed up our gear in Tarpon Springs and took the boat down to Sanibel and spent about a week fishing. That was great, just being with my wife and kids.

Rich Shopes can be reached at

HCC Plant City president is a retired Army major with doctorate and passion for fishing 06/28/12 [Last modified: Thursday, June 28, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  2. Rays relishing surprise status

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays on Friday played their first post-All-Star Game contest at Tropicana Field while holding a playoff spot since Sept. 23, 2013.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  3. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  4. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.
  5. Rick Kriseman's administration lashed in St. Pete sewage report


    ST. PETERSBURG — A state report places much of the blame for the city's 200-million gallon sewage spill crisis on the administration of Mayor Rick Kriseman.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September 2016 to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage from the city's overwhelmed sewer system. St. Petersburg dumped up to 200 million gallons of sewage over 13 months from 2015-16. A new state report blames much of the crisis on mistakes made by the administration of Mayor Rick Kriseman, but also critcizes past administrations. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]