GCAC
2019 Scholarship
Recipients!​
Celebrating Sports Fellowship, 
Spirit, and Community Pride
GCAC funds scholarships for local athletes, as well as helping local athletic departments. The membership is made up of more than 80 men and women who are graduates and supporters of college athletic programs across the country, including the SEC and other conferences.

To raise money to support scholarships and athletic programs, an annual golf tournament, several trivia nights and other activities help to accomplish the club’s mission.

Each of the eight Fall meetings includes dinner and a well-known guest speaker as well as team reports and a “crying towel” award. The meetings are held at the Craft Farms Golf Clubhouse on Monday evenings.

Those interested in joining GCAC may contact Andrew Harte, 
membership chairman, at 251-223-3622 or email at Andrew@remaxgs.com , or go to the website at
 http://www.gcathleticclub.com/GCAC-JoinGCAC.html

If you have identified anyone you would like to invite to join the club this year, please send me their name and email address. I will work with Andrew Hart to solicit these potential members next week. 

Thanks you for your continued support of GCAC!!!
President: Linda Martin
Jake Lartigue and Kaily Werthem
Congratulations to our 
2019 Scholarship Winners!
Kaily Werthem & Jake Lartigue


















​President Linda Martin and Vice President David Lee
were on hand to announce the winners of
2- $3,500 Scholarships awarded this year by 
Your Gulf Coast Athletic Club!











We enjoyed another great lineup of 
Gulf Coast Athletic Club speakers for last year! 
We are working on next years speakers now....stay tuned! 

 GCAC Speaker Schedule for last season

       Jake Coker                      Former Alabama QB 
       Tommy Tuberville        Former AUburn Coach 
       Sherman Williams        Former Alabama/Dallas Cowboys RB 
       Reese Dismukes            Former AUburn/NFL Center 
       Verge Ausberry              Former LSU Player
       Joe Cribbs                       Former AUburn & NFL RB
       Alex Lincoln                   Former AU player/Senior Vice President EXOS
​       Jody Wright                   Cleveland Browns assistant coach
From Our
GCAC Meeting

Monday
August 26th, 2019

Jake Coker

University of Alabama
Quarterback
President Linda Martin opened the 2019-20 season of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club at 7:00pm on Monday, August 26, 2019. She thanked the large crowd assembled and said she was looking forward to another great year. She had the Board stand up, noting we had two new Directors this year.

David Lee then took over the podium for a well-deserved tribute and memorial to our late member and former master Membership Director, Dixie Dave DeMeyer. He recently had a stroke and passed away far too quickly from this earth. Dave was a huge Washington State Cougars fan and, last year, had the legendary former WSU Athletic Director Stan Jankovich here as his guest and our Guest Speaker. David Lee told several Dixie Dave stories, from his tragic US Navy Ensign flying days where he was involved in a mid-air collision in Pensacola during training, his subsequent 2 year recovery, and other exploits of our dearly beloved fellow member. Good Bye, Dixie Dave DeMeyer, gone but never forgotten.

Linda introduced Membership Chair Andrew Hart who reported we have 80 members and counting at this point. New members and guests were introduced.

David Lee took over the mike again and told all of the Football Pool on again for this year. Joey Daughtery will be handling this and we’ll get cranked up this week. $25 gets you in the pool picking 10 games per week against the point spread for the next 14 or so weeks. This year, each player only gets 2 autopicks, then all losses after those two for all weeks not selected by the participant. Our Defending Champion as the Most Proficient Pigskin Prognosticator is Mrs. HiYield herself, Cynthia Tunnell.

Coach Matt Blake was introduced and made his way to the stage amid a chorus of “GO DOLPHINS” commemorating the first ever season-opening win for the newly established Gulf Shores High School City System. Coach said they had a great off-season and there was excitement in the air. He talked about getting to hire 6 new coaches for the new Athletic Staff and thanked Superintendent Matt Akin for his support, also, of course, the continued support of the Chair of the School Board, our very own Kevin Corcoran!! The 17-14 win came with a blocked last-minute Satsuma field goal attempt! So proud, GSHS!

Dec McClelland will give Team Reports and the legendary Crying Towel again this year. He noted this was the 20th year of GCAC and thanked Kevin Corcoran, Dr. Gaylon McCollough, and Chuck Norwood as original members. The CT resumes in two weeks. He did note the demise of the Mayor’s ponytail.

Dr. McCollough said, before introducing our Speaker, the Club annually hosts male and female Student Athletes during our fall meetings and scholarships are awarded to one each at year’s end. The amounts have ranged from $2,000 to $5,000 each, depending on our fundraising events’ success.

He then introduced former FSU and Alabama Quarterback Jake Coker, the only Division One QB to play on two different National Championship teams, once at FSU under Coach Jimbo Fisher and winning the Championship in 2015 under Coach Nick Saban. Your Editor felt Coker’s presentation was refreshingly candid, honest, humorous, and extremely sincere, lots of experiences in a short time.


He graduated from St. Paul’s in Mobile, and detailed his quest for a college scholarship. His Father was also present and added comments to Jake’s well-received remarks. We might add his wife was also present and it was announced they are expecting after year’s end. Knee and shoulder injuries riddled his playing career and cut short his pro career with the Arizona Cardinals. He now works for a Mobile bank.

He told numerous stories about FSU and Alabama, how so many things were the same at each (the FSU food wasn’t the best), and the mental toughness needed to excel. “Saban means a lot to me,” Jake said, and related some emotional moments during his career that helped him and the Tide win in 2015 after an early loss to Ole Miss. Elected Team Captain that year, he said the season was “what I always wanted to do.” Well Done, Jake Coker!!

The 50/50 was drawn and awarded and adjournment was at 8:27pm.


By: Bill Tunnell



























       Jake Coker with wife Sarah looking on.                 David Lee gives a great tribute to David DeMeyer

David's passion for all things Washington State is legendary.  We'll think of you every College Game Day as the WSU flag flies proudly.
From Our Last
GCAC Meeting

Monday
September 9th, 2019

Tommy
Tuberville

Former Auburn University
Head Coach
President Linda Martin opened the Gulf Coast Athletic Club meeting at 7:00pm on Monday, September 9, 2019. She thanked the large crowd assembled, then, in a ‘salute” to Past President David Lee, told a joke! Granted, it was better than most of David’s. New members and guests were introduced.
George Autrey took over the mike and told all of the Football Pool on again for this year. After two weeks, it seems that Taylor Means and George himself are pacing the field so far with 13 wins in 20 games. Lots of picking to go for the 30 participants.

Coach Matt Blake was introduced and then proceeded to introduce his better half, Courtney Blake. Good choice, Coach, although she seems to be a closet Auburn fan married to a former Crimson Tide player!! With a daughter at AU, she can be forgiven. GSHS lost a heart-breaker last Friday in their Homecoming game against Robertsdale. The decision to go for two after the Overtime touchdown didn’t produce the expected result, but Coach said it was the team’s best effort of the year. New Girls Volleyball Coach Karen Atkins is doing a great job, and Cross County is doing well.

Dec McClelland gave the Team Reports with a Top 25 rundown, plus some local favorites. It was good to see Karen Sabatino giving the Colorado Buffaloes report in the same manner as her late husband and former Buff, Bill Sabatino. The legendary Crying Towel started with a bang this year, well, maybe a whimper, as John McCormick took the Crying Towel Award due to Tennessee’s lackluster performances this year. John did note he’s got a nice collection of towels so far. Go, Ole Sloppy Top!

Filling in admirably for his son Taylor, who was out of town for a funeral, Mayor Means gave a fine introduction for our Guest Speaker, former Auburn University Head Football Coach, Tommy Tuberville. He is running for the US Senate because he believes in America as this is not the country he grew up in. 

Coach’s resume is most impressive with assistant coaching stints at Arkansas State, Miami, Texas A&M, then Head Coach positions at Ole Miss, Auburn, Texas Tech, and Cincinnati. Auburn was undefeated (13-0) with a Sugar Bowl win in 2004 and Coach was selected as the Coach of the Year. He has been President of the American Football Coaches Association and was hired by ESPN in 2017 as an analyst. He did say something about a thumb, apparently when his Tigers drubbed the Tide six straight years.

Beginning by asking all Veterans to stand up, Coach Tuberville held the audience spellbound with his great collection of stories, sentiments, and hope for the future. He expressed his concern that America was trying to kill Football. He coached for 40 years and, in all that time, college players are still kids, working hard, taking losses very hard, but all should remember they are just kids – 17 to 23 years old.

He told some great stories of hiring assistant coaches, one in particular, some guy they call Coach O of current LSU fame. He said college football is blossoming because of Quarterbacks and the Spread Offense. Without a great QB, it’s tough to win. Jalen Hurts has a great opportunity of Oklahoma this year since little defense is played outside the SEC.

To be a great coach, you must be organized, work hard all year, especially on Sundays during the season, have 120 or so great kids, and be a great motivator. The best motivator he said was Jimmy Johnson at the University of Miami. R.C. Slocomb was also great. Recruiting is also key to success. He did say Nick Saban was the most focused coach anywhere. He said running QBs get killed in the NFL. Coach noted all college athletes get $1,000 monthly and a $1,500 cash bonus at the end of the semester, so paying players not something he sees coming. Game attendance is down due to high ticket prices.

When asked about his vision of the future, this Christian Conservative gave an honest assessment of the problems he sees, and he wants to go help the President. He’s a motivator and a great communicator, and left the crowd talking enthusiastically about his chances in the upcoming 2020 Senate election. 

The 50/50 was drawn and awarded to COL Bud Patty and adjournment was at 8:24pm.

By: Bill Tunnell
From Our 
GCAC Meeting

Monday
September 23rd, 2019

Sherman
Williams

Former University 
of Alabama
Running Back
​President Linda Martin opened up the third 2019 meeting of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club meeting at 7:00pm on Monday, September 23rd. She threw fear into the hearts of all gathered with the words, “I should bring a cowbell.” Now you know who she supports! New members and guests were introduced.

George Autrey took over the mike and told all of the Office Football Pool after the first four weeks. George just happened to mention that he thought he was on top, which he is! Cary Bathrick and Team Bathrick got 9 of 10 last week. Your Editor can’t remember a better week in the history of the Club’s Football Pool since its beginning in 2016. However, the season is still young!

Coach Matt Blake was introduced and thanked the Club for continuing to honor Student Athletes. GSHS Football is off this week and the team is 1-4 after a bone-crushing schedule this year so far and it doesn’t get any easier. Volleyball is doing great and is 14-5 coming off a tournament victory in Mobile last week. Spirits at school are high and lots of great sports to go this year. GO DOLPHINS!!

In the absence of Dr. Gaylon McCollough, our bi-weekly Student Athlete Scholarship qualifiers Introducer, the job was very ably handled by one of Doc’s Associates at the McCollough Institute, Dr. Yula Indeveya. Doc, gotta tell you she’s a lot prettier than you! Dr. Indeveya proceeded to introduce our Female Student Athlete, Marti McLaurin and her parents. She has a 4.2 GPA and is an outstanding Volleyball player, in fact, she is the #1 Beach Volleyball Player in Alabama. She’s also on the Bowling Team and coaches kids in her spare time. She is going to UAB and pursue an Athletic Training career.Our Male Student Athlete is Thor Tobiasson, who attended with his parents. Thor is #1 in the Senior Class of 207, with a 4.6 GPA and 32 on the ACT. He’s played Varsity Football for 4 years and caught a 72 yard-long touchdown pass last week. He is a Class Officer and member of the National Honor Society. He wants to go to either Auburn or Alabama. He thanked his parents for pushing him.

In the never-ending saga of the missing Dec McClelland, the best ever, Kevin Corcoran gave the Team Reports with a Top 25 rundown, plus some local favorites. The legendary Crying Towel almost predictably went to the deserving recipient, Mr. Poppa Rocco himself, for Michigan’s sound defeat by Wisconsin. Bill would have taken the Crying Towel, except he must have been in Mexico with Dec!
 
Andrew Hart gave a fine introduction of Sherman Williams, author and former star running back with the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Dallas Cowboys. He was the first player in Alabama to gain more than 3,000 yards in a season at Class 5A Blount High School in Mobile. He played at Bama 1991-94 under Coach Gene Stallings, was drafted #1 by the Cowboys, and was on the Super Bowl 30 winning team.

Sherman and former Tide and Vikings standout David Palmer operate the Palmer Williams Group which offers assistance, encouragement, and life skills training to youngsters all over. Starting his presentation with a prayer, he teaches kids to have the “Heart of A Champion,” when you’re faced with adversity. Sherman, the author of Crimson Cowboy, faced a 15 stint in Federal Prison which motivated him to be better than he was and help others. He said “Help others and have a forgiving heart.”

Graduating from college after that time, Williams is a true example of someone picking themselves up and becoming a success. He had a taste of success early, winning a PeeWee football championship, a Class 5A High School championship, a National Championship at Alabama in 1992, and a Super Bowl with Dallas in 1995. He left us with G.O.A.L.S., Gratitude/be grateful, Take advantage of Opportunities, Accomplisments, Life Lessons, and Success. He said “I leave you with the peace and love of Jesus.”


In a Q&A session, he said he still wears his UA Championship ring, but one of his daughters goes to Clemson. He noted that his former teammate, Dabo Swinney, was quite the recruiter. 

The 50/50 was drawn and awarded to Bob Higgins who immediately gave it back to the Club. Adjournment was at 8:30pm.

By: Bill Tunnell





By: Linda Martin
From Our 
GCAC Meeting

Monday
October 7th, 2019

Reese Dismukes
 
Auburn University Center
Rimmington Trophy Winner
Consensus All American
NFL Career
By: Jim Walker
By: Jim Walker
President Linda Martin opened up the October 7, 2019 meeting of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club meeting at 7:00pm. She noted we are already halfway through the season. New members and guests were introduced, which included the Bride of Head Coach Matt Blake, Courtney Blake and son, Paten Blake.
George Autrey took the podium and announced we have a new leader in the Football Pool. BulldogBilly is currently in first place in the season-long contest with a winning percentage of 56.7%, followed closely by 87Bama with 56.0%. This week’s winner, with 8 of 10, was “Claudia”, Ms. Dale Sumpter. Great picking, Dale! The previous three season-winners, including your Editor, are all lingering toward the back of the pack, but watch out for a strong finish! The season is still young.

Coach Matt Blake was introduced and thanked the Club for its continued support. GSHS had a rough outing last week against the State’s #1 team, Saraland, with a 28-0 deficit after the first quarter, but played a solid game after that. Lots of opportunities and a reminder that it’s a four quarter game. Our very own Andrew Hart handled the game PA duties for the first time, subbing for our very own Kevin Corcoran, the long-time PA announcer for GSHS Football, who was out of town. 

Gulf Shores Middle School Volleyball just won the County tournament and Varsity VB is also doing great. Cross Country once again has a strong squad and should qualify several for the State Meet. Swimming won the first two matches. In two weeks, Basketball and Wrestling will start. GO DOLPHINS!!

The Pride of the Irish, Dec McClelland, returned from his Mexican sabbatical and led the Team Reports, noting 6 SEC Teams in the Top 25 in the AP Poll. We think he was trying to avoid the Crying Towel by being so far out of town. The Crying Towel went to the Auburn Tigers for their loss to the Florida Gators. “Florida Gators Nix Auburn” or something like that. John Boller was gracious in his acceptance “speech”.
President Martin told all that the Memorial Service for the late David DeMeyer, our late infamous Washington State Cougars fan, was excellent and a fitting tribute to a really great guy. RIP, David.

Past President Taylor Means introduced former Auburn Center Reese Dismukes, who ably stepped in for the missing Johnny Davis who have to cancel at almost the last minute for a medical emergency. Reese played at Spanish Fort HS and, at Auburn, was the Nation’s #1 Center his Senior Year, winning the Remington Award which recognizes the best Center in America.

He currently is in the Insurance business on the Eastern Shore and also coaches Middle School Football at UMS in Mobile. He noted the first key to success is to get your 6 out of bed and get going. Reese credits Coach Matthew Wells, his Line Coach, at Spanish Fort, for his playing success.  
Reese started 50 games during his four year stint at Auburn, starting every game as a Freshman, an amazing feat in itself. He was All SEC twice, and an All American, plus served as AU Team Captain for his last two years. During his time, Auburn did play in the National Championship game against Florida State, but, as he says, came up “13 seconds short” as FSU mounted a late game scoring drive to win in 2013.

He gave a great rundown of key games in his AU career with lots of comments about the “Prayer in Jordan-Hare” and the “Kick 6’ games. His professional career wasn’t as successful, although he was a member of the Carolina Panthers team who played Denver in Super Bowl 50, Payton Manning’s last professional game. Injuries cut short a promising career.

Reese continued his talk with a Q&A session with good thoughts about this year’s AU Tigers, plus other comments on the impact of social media. He concluded his remarks by talking about his major project, the 50 Foundation, which aids children with epilepsy. He started the Foundation in 2017, and has had success in raising funds for scholarships and service dogs. He also has a podcast, “Between the Tackles”.

The 50/50 was drawn and awarded to Fred Connell. Adjournment was at 8:11pm.
 
By: Bill Tunnell
From Our 
GCAC Meeting


Monday
October 21st, 2019

Verge Ausberry
 
Former LSU Linebacker
Presently
Executive Deputy AD at LSU

On a rainy Monday evening, President Linda Martin opened up the October 21, 2019 meeting of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club meeting at 7:00pm. New members and guests were introduced.

George Autrey took the podium and announced that Scott Johnson is the new leader in the Football Pool. George noted several are struggling, your Editor included, but still a lot of ball to go.

Coach Matt Blake was introduced and talked about last week’s game with Daphne, which was rescheduled for Saturday because of Tropical Storm Nestor. Coach noted they are on their 6th Quarterback of the season, but he’s very proud of his guys for their efforts every day. Volleyball is 31-9 and playing great, currently ranked #9 in the State of Alabama. Area and State tourneys are coming up. Winter sports started today for Basketball and Wrestling with all new Head Coaches. Cross County won on Saturday and should go to State. Swimming has 13 or 14 qualified for State already and Boys and Girls Bowling, with our own Coach Owen Corcoran, has started. GO DOLPHINS!!

Doctor Gaylon McCollough, our usual Student-Athletes presentation guru, was out of town, so the duties were ably handled by his Associate at the McCollough Institute, Dr. Yula Indeveya, who, once again, did a wonderful job. Our Female Student Athlete was Lisa Patel, a member of the Varsity Basketball Team. She has a 4.4 GPA and is #1 in the Senior Class and is also President of the Student Government Association. With an ACT score of 29, she hopes to attend UAB or Auburn and major in Biomedical Sciences. She wants to get a Masters from UAB. She thanked her parents and the GCAC and noted that sports were a big part of her life. 

Our Male Student Athlete was John Paul Uter. He has a 4.37 GPA and has been a member of the National Honor Society for three years, and he concurrently attends Coastal Alabama Community College. A Quarterback (for 11 years) and Safety of the Football team, he also participates on the Wrestling Team, which he noted is a “Gentlemen’s Sport”. He wants to go to college and study engineering. He thanked God and his parents and said his teammates have shown a lot of heart during this tough season. 

Dec McClelland led the Team Reports with his usual excellent commentary on the giving’s and misgivings of all our favorite teams. The SEC still has 5 teams in the Top Ten. The Crying Towel was awarded to Maryland for their 34-28 loss to Indiana “Your loss is our win”, but sadly, Maryland Mike was nowhere to be found to accept this week’s laundry. Seems the Terps have given up 2,000 yards so far this year.

Our Speaker was Verge Ausberry, the Executive Deputy Athletic Director and Executive Director of External Relations at LSU. Verge played Middle Linebacker for LSU from 1085 through 1990. This New Iberia, LA native is married and loves what he does, primarily dealing with governmental relations and the Educational side of Athletics with LSU’s 500 athletes, and he noted “College Athletics help make young people better.”

He said the Name/Image/Likeness is the biggest issue today and, with coaches making huge salaries, the student athletes get relatively nothing. He did note that each athlete does get a “cost of attendance” fee of about $1,900 per month or about $300,000 per athlete during their career. “We take care of you for life”, saying you could come back in 40 years and get your degree if you wanted to, but paying athletes to play would be disastrous for most schools who lose money on athletics right now.

Verge said women outnumber men in college now and Title 9 will further reduce men’s scholarships in the future. He opined that long-term big money contracts for college coaches is killing colleges and suggested a bonus system for high performance makes more sense. It’s all about Finances and Money.

The 50/50 was drawn and awarded to Ron Sumpter. Adjournment was at 8:27pm. 
By: Bill Tunnell
From Our 
GCAC Meeting


Monday
November 4th, 2019

Joe Cribbs
 
Former Auburn RB
and Buffalo Bills Legend
With the excused absence of writer/historian Bill Tunnell, I will attempt to recollect our November 4th meeting as well as I can...gulp!

President Linda Martin opened the meeting with guest introductions. A brief report on the GCAC Office Pool was given by George Autrey. Pres. Linda then introduced Gulf Shores football coach/AD, Matt Blake. Coach Blake shared the latest efforts of the Gulf Shores Dolphins and once again showed his pride and enthusiasm for the great efforts put forth by all his athletes. 

President Martin then had a special announcement that hushed the audience. With an unexpected booming introduction befitting the highest office of the land, President Donald Trump strutted into the room, pressing flesh all the way to the podium. A raucous welcome by the audience surely humbled our POTUS! With his blonde hair flowing and a slightly orange complexion, POTUS took the stage. 

Our vaunted Crying Towel selection committee somehow secured POTUS to fly in on Air Force 1 to personally present the heralded "Crying Towel"! Yours truly was certain he was a shoe in for the not-coveted award, with Nebraska on a 3 game losing streak and Wisconsin waiting in the wings. However, the University of Florida had also lost 2 of their last 3 games......thank you Gator's! Tom Moo graciously accepted the "award" from POTUS and I personally breathed a sigh of relief but quickly realized I could be next. POTUS then left as quickly as he entered, but apparently forgot about Team Reports! Again, I personally thank him for that quick exit, not wanting to revisit a bleak 3 week stretch.

To show 100% reporting accuracy, it's important to acknowledge what may hit most as a bit of a shock. This was not actually Donald Trump. Our own impersonator extraordinaire, Dec McClelland, was playing the part of POTUS. You never really know who you're talking with when standing in front of Dec. At different times, it could be Lou Holtz or now, President Trump!

Our own President, Ms. Linda, then introduced Dr. McCollough to introduce the latest Scholar/Athletes to our club. Lauren Quigley and Eli Taylor were accompanied by their proud parents. Both thanked the GCAC for their nominations and demonstrated why they were selected as recipients. 

Taylor Means then introduced our guest speaker, Mr. Joe Cribbs. An outstanding running back for Auburn and a former NFL Rookie of the Year and Pro-Bowler. Joe shared many stories from his early childhood memories on through his NFL career. Personally, I think Mr. Joe might still be able to play!

President Martin then called the meeting to a close after the cash drawing.

By: Jim Walker

By: Jim Walker
By: Jim Walker
By: Jim Walker
By: Jim Walker
By: Jim Walker
By: Jim Walker
Webpage Oversight:  Jim Walker
From Our 
GCAC Meeting


Monday
November 18th, 2019

Alex Lincoln​

Former AU/SF49'rs Linebacker
Senior Vice President, Strategic Business Development EXOS

President Linda Martin opened up the November 18, 2019 meeting of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club meeting at 7:05pm. She thanked Craft Farms for everything, including some tasty Fried Chicken. Guests were introduced, including Coach Blake’s son, Paten. President Linda also gave a shout-out to Ace Photographer and GCAC Website Guru Jim Walker, who has handled all pictures and website updates as long as your Editor has been in the club.

George Autrey took the podium and announced that Dec McClelland is the new bottom picker in the club in the Football Pool. George noted several are struggling, but President Martin is no longer last!! Only two more action-packed weeks to go.
Coach Matt Blake was introduced. He said the Girls Bowling Team has started 4-0. Boys aren’t doing as well, but still are very good. The GS Middle School Wrestling team hosted the Junior Varsity tournament and won!! Our own Kevin Corcoran’s son won his first three matches by pins. All 16 team members won at least one match. Basketball has started. Questioned about where GSHS will be in either 5A or 6A next year, he said we’ll soon find out, it’s strictly based on enrollment. GO DOLPHINS!!

David Lee talked about the upcoming Trivia Night fundraiser on Monday, December 2nd. It was decided to still hold the event despite a Craft Farms member golf event that same day and evening. Table for 6 are $120 and, even if you don’t have a team, it’s only $20 each and you will be assigned to a team. Again, Craft Farms is allowing GCAC to bring in its own food and the bar will be open as usual. Always a great time and look out for the Mississippi State team! Wear your favorite colors!!

President Martin announced that our own Dr. Gaylon McCollough has been selected to receive the University of Alabama Distinguished Alumni Award this year. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Dec McClelland led the Team Reports and Crying Towel presentation. In a completely unexpected move, he ditched the Team Reports and proceeded to give the illustrious Crying Towel to President Linda Martin for the hapless performance of her favorite Mississippi State Bulldogs. Dec noted the Dogs had more losses than Isis and was dropping faster than Bernie Sanders in the polls. “Crimson Tide clobbers Fail State in showdown.” President Martin was gracious in her acceptance.

Past President Taylor Means took the podium and said he has rarely had any speaker cancellations in all his years of procuring speakers, but has had two this year! Our scheduled speaker, Cole Cubelic, did secure former Auburn University and San Francisco 49ers Linebacker Alex Lincoln.

This program was clearly one of the best your Editor has ever witnessed. Alex told us of trials and tribulations of being a non-recruited college football player. He graduated from Murphy High School in Mobile, AL but ended up going to Mississippi College in Clinton, MS for his freshman year. His father convinced Alex to transfer to Auburn to “go where the big boys play. Go pursue your dreams”. Though an enrollment error caused him to be redshirted his next year, being a walk-on and basically unloved, he told of the struggle to compete and earn a spot as a starter at Auburn. Dad’s advice was “All you can do is all you can do, but are you doing all you can do?” That next year, Coach Tommy Tuberville arrived and the rest is history. Alex said he got to experience football in an incredible way after that.

Alex was drafted by the 49ers and Coach Bill Walsh, who told Alex “we drafted you for your character”, but Alex had a recurring issue as he couldn’t feel his hands and feet and had suffered a cracked vertebrae. After his second year, he was released with no medical explanation to his situation. Dr. James Andrews, he of sports medicine fame, had watched Alex for years while at Auburn and knew he had a huge heart. He approached Alex with an offer to run his new sports medicine clinic in Gulf Breeze, FL.

Alex had the opportunity to work with top level athletes from all sports and also Military Active Duty and Veterans at Andrews as they shared common ailments and injuries. “They listen to me because I played football, but these guys save lives.” For the last nine years, he has headed an organization named EXOS that works with elite athletes for $3,500 per week, the “most elite gym” in the world.

In Q&A, Alex talked about Tua’s injury and how Tua’s heart has affected the atmosphere at Alabama and elsewhere. He commented about how many players he worked with in the past had just had their careers ended, life changing events and the adjustments needed to continue. He said Coach Joe Whitt was a huge inspiration to him.

The 50/50 was drawn and awarded. Adjournment was at 8:10pm. 

By: Jim Walker
By: Jim Walker
From Our 
GCAC Meeting


Monday
January 20th, 2020

Jody Wright​

Former Offensive Assistant
with the
Cleveland Browns
​President Linda Martin opened up the January 20, 2020 meeting of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club meeting at 7:00pm. She thanked the Club for allowing her to be President for the past two years.

Trivia Night was held in December. The winning team was captained by Taylor Means who evidently surrounded himself with really smart people. A new continuing trophy was displayed for the first time.

President Linda introduced her hard-working Board of Directors and thanked them for their service. She also thanked Taylor for his work with our Speakers.

George Autrey took the podium and announced that fourth year of the Pigskin Prognosticator Contest was now in the books. Taking the crown away from last year’s winner, Cynthia Tunnell, was Bulldog Billy, Bill Broyles, with a winning percentage of 59.3%, 0.1% over second place finisher, 87Bama. Previous winners were Bill Tunnell in 2016, Fred Dickinson in 2017, and Cynthia Tunnell in 2018. Of course, the previous winners noted they had 15 games per week as opposed to the 10 weekly games in 2019.

Coach Matt Blake of the Gulf Shores High School Dolphins said the Bowling Team is going to State, led by Coach Owen Corcoran. Indoor track has 11 qualified for State. Wrestling took second in the region. He also introduced two new Head Coaches with him at the meeting.

Taylor Means also presented Coach Blake and Coach Jackson a check for $2,500 to go towards a new $10,000 batting cage at GSHS.

Dr. Gaylon McCollough talked about his favorite part of the meetings, the significance of the Club’s Scholarship Award program for two outstanding GSHS students, awarded annually at school year end. The scholarships are typically $2,500 to $5,000 depending on the success of the GCAC fundraising events, Trivia Nights and a major springtime Golf Tournament chaired by Fred Dickinson.

This month’s female honoree is Grace Lawrence. She has a 4.2 GPA and is in the dual enrollment program, earning college credits in high school. She is on the tennis and bowling teams and is 5th in the Region. She is a member of the National Honor Society and went to Girls State. She has chosen the University of Alabama for studies in Political Science with an eye on Law School. She thanked GCAC, her parents, and coaches.

Jackson Carey is our monthly male honoree. Jackson is in Honors classes and dual enrollment. He has a 31 on his ACT and a 4.2 GPA. He plays three sports with four letters in football, wrestling with three letters, and does two events in track, running the 440. He will go to the University of Alabama, major in Business Administration, and wants to be a personal trainer. Thanks to Parents and Coaches!

Dr. McCollough also gave a tip of the cap to GS School Board President Kevin Corcoran and the most excellent Gulf Shores City School System, noting the System is on its way to a great future. He urged all to participate in our events and raise more for GSHS scholarship opportunities.

Fred Dickinson stated this year’s GCAC Golf Tournament will be May 8th. More info later.

Kevin Corcoran said the Dolphin Athletic Club’s annual Drawdown will be February 1st at the Hangout. 24 sports are supported by the DAC. It’s a chance to win $7,500 for a $100 investment.

Dec McCelland handled the Team Reports and Crying Towel starting with a “Go, LSU”. He ended with the Crying Towel going to Auburn for losing to Minnesota 31-24 in the Blooming Onion Outback Bowl. John Boller was gracious in his acceptance.

George Autrey gets double duty tonight as he introduced Jody Wright, recently with the Cleveland Browns, but sadly not retained by the Browns when they fired Coach Freddie Kitchens. Jody grew up in Carrollton where he played for his Dad and was a two time All State running back. He went to Jacksonville State but knee injuries got him.

He coached at Mississippi State under Sylvester Croom and Dan Mullen form 2010-2012., went to the University of Alabama where he worked in Player Personnel for Coach Saban, who he cannot thank enough for the opportunity. He was hired as an Offensive Assistant for the Browns. Commenting that Coaches and First Responders should be making millions, he talked about growing up and his family, as being a Coach’s son was a great experience.

After blowing out his knee, he was hired as a Graduate Assistant by Coach Croom, then coached at UAB twice, UA, and the NFL. In Q & A, Wright said, under Coach Saban at UA, he was the Director of Player Personnel, which deals with recruit evaluations and ratings. Essentially he chose the players for Coach Saban and the staff to evaluate and then recruit. (Editor’s Note: Must have done a pretty good job). He gave a detailed description of that process. He commented that they preferred players with multiple sport experience for muscle development. He told some Derrick Henry stories and concluded that San Francisco should rush the ball to win the upcoming Super Bowl, but he believes Kansas City will win due to Quarterback arm strength.

The 50/50 was drawn and awarded to Tom Giles. Adjournment was at 8:26pm.
By: Bill Tunnell
The Gulf Coast Athletic Club 
is pleased to announce our latest donation, which is going
 to the Gulf Shores High School Baseball Program. 

Gulf Shores Athletic Director, Coach Matt Blake and Dolphins Baseball Coach, Chris Jacks, were on hand for our January 20th GCAC meeting.  They were brought on stage and awarded $2,500 
to help purchase much needed batting cages.  

GCAC continues to support 
Gulf Shores Athletics and Gulf Shores Student Athletes.

 L to R:  Past President Taylor Means, Athletic Director-Matt Blake, Baseball Coach-Chris Jacks
By: Jim Walker
By: Jim Walker
By: Jim Walker
By: Bill Tunnell
2020 GCAC Golf Tournament

The 18th Annual Gulf Coast Athletic Club Golf Tournament will be on Friday, May 8, 2020, at Craft Farms Golf Resort Cotton Creek Golf Course. Registration begins at 8:00 AM with a 4-person scramble starting at 9:00 AM. Following golf, lunch is served with prizes to be awarded. The entry fee is $100 for GCAC members and $120 for non-GCAC members. This includes a buffet lunch, 18 holes of Arnold Palmer golf, beverages, hors d’oeuvres and social celebration after golf with a chance for many great prizes.

Again this year, the tournament will have a separate flight for Ladies’ Teams competition. 

This is the primary fund raising event for GCAC with the proceeds from the tournament helping to fund the GCAC scholarships given to selected student scholar athletes from Gulf Shores High School and to fund Gulf Shores School System Athletics requests for needed athletic equipment. Over the last four years GCAC has contributed over $50,000 to Scholarships and the Gulf Shores Athletic Programs.

A $10,000 Hole-In-One prize will offer the opportunity to win big for that one special shot. Other par threes will also have great Hole-in-One prizes. 
We will again have the Ball-in-a-Boat Contest and a putting contest. And, many other great prizes and gift certificates will be offered.

WE NEED GOLFERS: An entry form is attached below. We hope that everyone will enter. Get your foursome together, promote the tournament among your friends and sign up. Do not worry if you are not part of a foursome--we will put you on a team, so go ahead and sign up. As provided last year, we will have a separate Ladies Flight for Ladies’ foursomes to compete with each other.

Please send your player entry forms and entry fees to Gene Lewellyn, 649 Estates Dr, Gulf Shores, AL 36542. Email genelewellyn@hotmail.com.

WE NEED SPONSORS:  If you or your business would like to sponsor a Tee Marker ($100), make a donation, or contribute prizes, contact Fred Dickinson at 251-228-0530, email fdickinson@gulftel.com.  Make checks payable to: GCAC and mail to: Fred Dickinson, 358 Cypress Lake Dr., Gulf Shores, AL, 36542 

Alabama and Auburn Tee Markers are available for contribution. If you wish to contribute to a Tee Marker for your favorite team—contact Fred. A tee marker is $100 minimum. All checks should be made out to GCAC per above.

Remember, this is the primary fund raising event for GCAC with the proceeds from the tournament helping to fund the GCAC scholarships given to selected student scholar athletes from Gulf Shores High School and to fund Gulf Shores School System requests for needed athletic equipment.

Join us on a fun day for a worthy cause.

If you have any questions, you can contact Fred Dickinson at 251-228-0530, email fdickinson@gulftel.com. Information and Entry Forms are shown below.

Fred Dickinson
251-228-0530

Download your team entry form HERE

Download this information sheet HERE