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Sep 4, 2018 6:24 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Rich King Takes Over For Claude Beudert As East Hampton Boys Golf Head Coach; Foster To Lead Team In Senior Season

Rich King, shown here in 2012, is returning to coaching after a brief layoff. He'll be leading the East Hampton boys golf team after longtime coach Claude Beudert retired in the offseason. CAILIN RILEY
Sep 4, 2018 9:41 AM

Claude Beudert retired as head coach of the East Hampton boys golf team in the offseason after 32 years of leading the team and it created an opening that many coaches in the high school landscape long for.

Rich King coached soccer for 17 years, including eight as the boys varsity coach at East Hampton where he saw much of his success. His final season was 2016 as he took a step back from coaching, but when the vacancy opened up for golf, King had to jump at it.

“This opportunity came along unexpectedly. I didn’t anticipate getting back into coaching,” he said. “I’m a longtime golfer. I’ve been involved in the game at various different levels, and when the position became available it definitely piqued my interest. I’m excited about the opportunity. I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity on something I can see myself doing for the next 15 years of my teaching career.”

While golf is certainly different in many aspects to soccer, King said he is going to go into it with the same type of mentality.

“It’s certainly different but I think that’s just the nature of the sport,” he said. “It’s more individual competition within a team concept, so it’s night and day ... but my approach to it will be no different than it was for soccer—we’re going to try and be the best team. That doesn’t change. The day-to-day operations are certainly different, the roster is much smaller, but the approach I take as a coach will really be the same—I want the kids to be the best they can day in and day out and have that attention to detail.

“Claude did a tremendous job,” King added. “He has built a reputation with this team that has won countless championships, so the bar has been set high by him and Ralph Naglieri, who has been our JV coach for the past 10 years. This is a championship program that I’m inheriting at this point and hopefully we’re going to continue to excel.”

While a big change occurred at the top, the Bonackers as a team have stayed relatively the same. Turner Foster, last year’s runner-up at counties who gave it his best shot at qualifying for the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills by reaching sectional qualifying, returns to the team’s top spot, with fellow senior Nate Wright following right behind him. Jackson Murphy was going to be looked upon as a solid number three but he moved back to his home state Oregon, leaving the back half of the lineup a bit open. King said he expects returning senior Zach Barzilay, eighth-grader J.P. Amaden, returning for his second year on the team, and seventh-grader James Bradley to battle it out for the third, fourth and fifth spots in the lineup. The rest of the lineup, King said, will be filled out by sophomores Charles Goldsmith, Aiden Cooper and senior Ryan Bahel.

Foster, who was county champion two years ago, will be looked upon to lead the team in his final season.

“No question Turner has a lot of competitive match experience. We’re hoping his leadership and his experience will kind of be passed down to give the younger guys confidence to compete at a high level,” King said.

League VIII will continue to be competitive this season. Pierson won the league title at 9-1 and then went on to win a tight league tournament last season but has since graduated four players from its starting lineup. Westhampton Beach also graduated a few of its starters but has many of its top golfers returning. Southampton looks to take a step up this season, and Center Moriches and William Floyd fill out the rest of the league.

“Right now I’m more focused on our guys and getting them to play the golf they’re capable of. If they can do that we’ll be in a good spot,” King said. “At this point now we’re two weeks into the season and the kids are champing at the bit to play some competitive golf. We’re certainly excited about it.”

The Bonackers begin the season Thursday, September 6, at Rock Hill Golf and Country Club in Manorville against Center Moriches at 4 p.m. They will host their next match nearly a week later on September 12 at South Fork Country Club against William Floyd at 4 p.m.

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