Born in Dodge City, Clay was raised in Ashland, Kansas. After graduating High School he enlisted in the United States Army Field Artillery. After his enlistment was up he joined the United States Navy Seabee's as a Construction Electrician. He came to Sterling in 1990 working for the local light and power company. During this time he attended Hutchinson and Barton Community Colleges. Later he served as City Inspector for the City of Sterling. In 2000 Clay served as the Mayor of Sterling. Clay came to Sterling College in November of 2002 as the Plant Electrician. He now serves as the Physical Plant Director of the College. Clay is active with the College's "foster child" project. To date he cannot number the amount of kids who have eaten at his table or helped wear out his washer and dryer. In 2006 he endowed a scholarship in honor of his late wife Debra. Clay has three children, all alums of Sterling.