2021 Scholarship
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

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: George Autrey
Alleigh Coburn       Harsh Gandhi
George Autrey     Taylor Means
2020 Prognosticator of the Year 
Award Winner!
Ken Fletcher

Awarded at a small get together with:
Back Row: Charlie McAnnally--Joe Gilchrist--Chris Warner--Steve Means
Front Row:  Ron Sumter--George Autrey--Ken Fletcher

Gulf Shores High School
Introduces New Football Coach

Coach Mark Hudspeth

Mark's family looks on – wife Tyla and sons Major, Captain and Rocky.

                   Link to AL.com: Introduction to Gulf Shores

                   Link to AL.com: "We will be relevant"
Website Publishing: Jim Walker
Meeting Dates for 2021-2022 Season

Aug. 30    Mark Hudspeth  Gulf Shores HS Football Coach
Sept.13     Brian VanGorder  GSHS Defensive Coordinator
Sept. 27    Brad Edwards  Former ESPN College FB Analyst
Oct. 11     Cole Cubelic    Auburn Alum/Analyst/Announcer  
Oct. 25     Chris Childers  ESPN Radio/SiriusXM Radio Ch.84
Nov.  8     Phillip Rivers     NFL Hall of Fame Candidate
Nov. 22    Bo Bounds       ESPN  host: Out of Bounds Show   
Jan.  17    Senior Bowl Meeting

Congratulations to the 
Gulf Coast Athletic Club 
$2,500 Scholarship Winners!
Alleigh Coburn and Harsh Gandhi
(pictured with GCAC President, George Autrey and Taylor Means)
We are so sorry to announce the passing of GCAC member, John McCormick.

John was an avid Tennessee fan wearing the colors proudly at each meeting.
John was also a huge part of the team overseeing GCAC Golf Tournaments.  
John was a past President and served on the BOD.

We certainly extend our deepest sympathies to John's wife Anne.
A really great guy that will be missed by friends and family.

Shown here receiving a plaque honoring his service to GCAC.
From Our GCAC Meeting

August 30th

Mark Hudspeth

Gulf Shores
High School
Head Football Coach
President George Autrey opened up the August 30, 2021 meeting of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club at 7:00pm at Woodside Restaurant in Gulf Shores as our usual meeting space at Craft Farms is still undergoing refurbishments from Hurricane Sally. He thanked everyone in attendance given the inclement weather we have experienced due to this most recent storm, Hurricane Ida. After the season we all had last year it feels good to be back together again! Since we last met as a club we have lost several members, including Gary Klussman, Wayne Villadsen, John McCormick, and most recently Ted Dupre. There will be a service this Saturday, September 4 at the GlenLakes Golf Club in Foley at 2pm for Ted Dupre. Ted along with Gary, Wayne, and John were all long time members and supporters of GCAC and will be sorely missed!

George Autrey updated the club regarding the membership for this year. So far around 35 members have paid this years dues. Any members wanting to rejoin again this year, please see GCAC Treasurer David Lee. There are several great speakers on the schedule for this season so encourage those not in attendance and those you think may be interested in our club to attend the next meeting, September 13. 

The club is hosting another year of its College Football Pick 'em Challenge for the Prolific Pigskin Prognosticator Trophy. Week 1 starts this Saturday, so do not forget to get signed up. See George Autrey for more information. Last season’s champion Ken Fletcher looks to defend his title after narrowly edging out Bill Broyles.

The Pre-Season Top 25 was announced recently and the top team to start the 2021 season is Alabama, followed by Oklahoma, Clemson, Ohio State and Georgia. Several members gave their teams updates for the upcoming season. There seemed to be a good deal of optimism for each team represented at the meeting!

This week’s speaker was Coach Mark Hudspeth who is the current Head Football Coach at Gulf Shores High School. Coach Hudspeth has been a football coach at several NCAA teams including Central Arkansas, Nicholls State, Delta State, Navy, North Alabama, Mississippi State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Austin Peay. Coach Hudspeth told several interesting stories from his time at Navy, where before the game vs. Army President George W. Bush came into the locker room to give pregame speech as well as Senator and former Midshipman John McCain. Coach Hudspeth talked about his time with Coach Ed Orgeron at Nicholls State and his time working with Dan Mullen at Mississippi State.

Coach Hudspeth has been a part of some successful football programs and has continued that success so far this season. The Gulf Shores High School football team is boasting a 2-0 record so far with wins over Elberta (17-7) and Brookwood (31-0). They will face a very formidable opponent this week when they play at Spanish Fort, who is the reigning Class 6A Runner-up. 

Gulf Shores City Schools Board President, Kevin Corcoran also spoke to the club about the current success on the football field as well as all the improvements in facilities and equipment. All these accomplishments have been achieved by the local support it has received by members of the club as well as others in the Gulf Shores community. In order to continue the level of success Gulf Shores is currently experiencing on the football field, it will take continued efforts and local support. Kevin, thanked Coach Hudspeth for his hard work and even told of a story from the first week of the season where the Dolphins were on the road vs. Elberta. Coach Hudspeth after the game was heard in his post-game speech stressing to his players the importance of leaving the opposing locker room in better shape than what they found it. All this to say, Coach Hudspeth is not only coaching for wins on the field, but coaching and teaching his young players to be good citizens and appreciate the opportunities they have in front of them.  

George Autrey closed the meeting out, again thanking those in attendance and reminded everyone of the next club meeting, Monday, September 13th. An email will be sent out soon regarding meeting location and speaker. Lastly, sign up for the Football Pool and get those new members to join the club.  

From: George Nick Autrey III
Special Thanks
For Hosting
this meeting!

Located at
State Park Road
In Gulf Shores

Link to
​The Gulf Coast Athletic Club opened its September 13, 2021 meeting at Woodside Restaurant in Gulf Shores. After social time and dinner, President George Autrey welcomed the assembled crowd at 7:00pm.

He reported that our longtime meeting site, Craft Farms Golf Resort, is almost complete with renovations, repairs, and reconstruction since Hurricane Sally did its work on our area almost one year ago this week. Hopefully, we’ll be back in two weeks for our September 27th meeting with former ESPN commentator and now author, Brad Edwards. This should be a great meeting.

Membership is still trailing our normal since last year’s COVID issues, but it’s still picking up and a return to our normal meeting spot will certainly bring a boost. No guests joined us this evening.

Team Reports are always the highlight of any meeting and, despite several team representatives being absent (you know who you are), it was excellent as usual. Somewhat strange to hear an Alabama report from anyone other than the unique but ailing Barb Patty, but an informative report nonetheless. It was noted that Alabama’s last three starting Quarterbacks all started yesterday’s NFL season opener. Last time two Bama QBs played against each other in the NFL? Snake Stabler and Richard Todd last century!!

Mississippi State fans are optimistic again this year with a couple of early wins. Auburn is loaded this year with an improved Bo Nix and an average of 61 points in the first two scrimmages. A real test comes this week with the annual White Out Game at Penn State. Tom Grabowski warned the Tigers fans he would be relentless if his Nittany Lions can blow out the Plainsmen.

Maryland fans are delighted with Tua’s younger brother and the Terps are up early this year. LSU fans aren’t quite so lucky with some doom and gloom in Tiger Town. Of course, we can’t understand the Coach and maybe that’s their problem, too!!
Our annual Pigskin Prognosticator Challenge is rolling into its third week with two perennial favorites, Bulldog Billy and Geronimo3509 heading the pack early with lots of games to go. It was noted our Fearless Leader was allowing the rest of the pickers to get a head start as not to embarrass them later.

Crying Towel – who does it better than Kevin Corcoran??? Answer is nobody!! He said it was good to get back to normal, but we need some more diversity in Team Reports as many of our team reps are no longer with us. With no FSU or Ohio State reports or reps and the perennially traveling Dec McClelland (GO IRISH) missing in action, the CT went to LSU – “Sweet 16 Not So Sweet – UCLA 38 LSU 27.” Seems a few fans are a little upset with Coach O right now.
Kevin also recognized our member, Steve McMillan for his 41 years of service to the State of Alabama as our State Representative as Steve is retiring after this term. 
THANK YOU, Steve!!

Kevin then introduced our Guest Speaker, Brian VanGorder, currently the Defensive Coordinator at Gulf Shores High School. We are really fortunate to have a gentleman with his credentials, abilities, and tenacity coaching and leading our Dolphin defensive efforts. These kids are playing with a new-found intensity like never seen here before, hitting hard and involved in every play.

Brian has seen an incredible array of talent in his career, coaching at the college levels and NFL with legends of the game. This Detroit area kid played college ball at Wayne State, then had a very successful coaching career at Auburn, Georgia, 
Notre Dame, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, among others.

Coach insists that his players get used to: 1) great organization, 2) over & over repetition, and; 3) outrageous enthusiasm! He says ‘I raise warriors’ and the Dolphins are certainly playing like that, getting a penalty last week for, as the official agreed, “hitting too hard”. He believes in giving back to our youth and giving them great life skills. “They need to love life.” We’re fortunate to have Coach in Gulf Shores.

Upcoming programs:
9/25 Brad Edwards: ESPN GameDays, College Football host. New book “Dynasty By The Numbers.”
10/11 Cole Cubelic : ESPN SEC Network sideline reporter, WJOX radio host of McElroy & Cubelic.
10/25 Chris Childers: ESPN radio/Sirius XM Channel 84 host of Chris Childers & Rick Neuheisel.
11/8 Phillip Rivers: Former NFL All Star QB, future Hall of Famer, and now Coach at St. Michael’s.
11/22 Bo Bounds: ESPN radio host of The Out of Bounds Show.

The meeting adjourned at 8:15pm.

Submitted by Bill Tunnell, GCAC Secretary

From Our GCAC Meeting

September 13, 2021

Brian VanGorder

Gulf Shores High School
​The Gulf Coast Athletic Club opened its September 27, 2021 meeting at Woodside Restaurant in Gulf Shores. After social time and dinner, President George Autrey welcomed the assembled crowd at 7:11pm.

He again reported that our longtime meeting site, Craft Farms Golf Resort, is almost complete with renovations from Sally, we think, but still no official word if and when. Woodside has been awesome and very accommodating and we may end up there for the duration. We’ll see.

Membership is still trailing our normal, but we had 3 guests, with one becoming a new member! 40 people were present.

Club Treasurer David Lee gave a brief Financial Report. Without our normal Fundraising golf outing last year, the once bulging coffers are fairly bare-boned, but David says we should scrap by without dipping into the $45,000 reserve. With a Dues increase from $250 to $275 per person this year, we will come close to breaking even this year. There have not been any GSHS funding requests so far. The GCAC Foundation has about $9,000 in the bank for scholarships for this coming year, so, ok on that front.

Speaking of Gulf Shores Football, the team started hot at 2-0, but then ran into Spanish Fort, currently #1 in Alabama, and McGill, who played like they were #1. The Dolphins bounced back with a win against Robertsdale, but now gets Citronelle and Saraland on the road before getting back to friendly turf. Dr. Dr. Akin says the goal this year is to get to the playoffs. Looking good so far!! GO, DOLPHINS!!

Our annual Pigskin Prognosticator Challenge is now into its fifth week with Bulldog Billy still leading the pack. early with lots of games to go. 32 players this year, and, if you haven’t paid your $25 entry fee yet, Bubba and Guido will be calling on you soon. Your Editor and your President are tied, two slots away from DAL, poised for a second half run!

Team Reports led off with our President noting that, after only four weeks or so of the season, the Pre-season Top 25 already had 9 teams with 2 losses each, including 3 of the Top 10! This season is wide open with FSU, Clemson, Missouri, and others all underachieving. The Alabama report began with longtime member and former Pigskin Prognosticator Champion Fred Dickinson giving us his best Barb Patty impression. Not really. His comment, “Alabama and Ole Miss this weekend should be a good one”. Pretty sure about that! More on that later from our Speaker.

Arkansas has started 4-0 and fans are looking forward to challenging the Georgia Bulldogs this weekend. That will go a long way in determining the future for those clubs. The Hog Fans say “We’re pretty good”, as do the Army Fans, noting the West Pointers have started 4-0, but with little opposition so far. Auburn reported they won the last game by 10 points, which brought laughs from the assembled crowd. They get a chance to visit Coach O in Baton Rouge this week – offense looking better, defense ok, and Coach O? May be on a hot seat – like the Mississippi State Coach -seems Air Raid South is fluttering. Maryland fans are delighted with Tua’s younger brother, Tulia, and the Terps are 4-0 early this year. Iowa is next.

Crying Towel – Last spotted on the shores of Lake Michigan hollering “USA! USA!”, Dec was still MIA, but President George did a great job in recognizing that Auburn came within 45 seconds from earning the Crying Towel from the GSU game. Stating “It can’t be Mississippi State every week’, he then turned around and gave the War Eagles the CT for the Penn State game with Penn Stater Tom Grabowski doing the honors. “Penn State Whites Out Auburn 28-20”in the White Out game.

Our speaker for the evening was Brad Edwards, a 25-year ESPN veteran and author of a new book with the longest title ever “Dynasty By The Numbers: Why Alabama Now Owns The Greatest Decade-Plus Run In College Football History”. It’s rare that we have a guest speaker with such a vast knowledge of data, info, and just great material about almost everyone. He said that he got to watch, write, and talk about college football every day for 25 years. How cool is that?

This University of Alabama made a connection with an ESPN higher-up, who later called him at his post-college job at Chili’s and offered an ESPN job, unheard-of now in this environment. This began a 25-year career with ESPN writing for ESPN.com, and on air on ESPN Radio, and on TV with College GameDay, Sports Center, and College Football Live. His knowledge of analyzing the data and predictions led to a reputation of “Expert” on the BCS Championships. The COVID layoffs did him in and 300 others in 2021.

Growing up in Jackson, MS, he was a Bulldog fan, but learned to love the Tide when Coach Bryant and his Wishbone offense went 58-3 against the SEC in the 1970’s. He went to ESPN HQ in Hartford, CT, thinking he was there for 2-3 years, but 25 years went quickly. The layoff this year gave him the opportunity to write the ultimate Bama stats book – 6 National Championships in 12 years. He had some humorous stories about Cooter Brown and Lee Corso, a chicken sandwich, and a golf cart wreck.

This year, Bama, Georgia, and Ole Miss are the cream of the crop, and all three could be in the Playoffs. Offensively, he sees Bama not as good as last year, Ole Miss better. Defensively, Bama not as good and Ole Miss better. Georgia has the most talent this year. Three things to look for: 1) Ole Miss hasn’t played anyone, 2) Bama has better players at every position except QB when Corral has a slight advantage, and 3) Ole Miss hasn’t played a true road game in a full stadium in 2 years and the NOISE factor will be key.

Texas and Oklahoma coming into the SEC just means more money, but it will hurt recruiting for all other SEC teams in Texas. It will certainly be harder to go undefeated, regardless of the Division set-ups.

Other observations: Name, Image, and Likeness will continue to present issues as Donors may ignore helping other sports to concentrate on athletes, who, in turn, might try to avoid making game mistakes to protect their image. The majority of Coaches are against more games, as the biggest challenges are injury-related. College students aren’t as invested in College Football now, and of course, the elephant in the room, ESPN, owns the SEC and ACC Networks, which concerns the Big 10 & PAC 10 and others.

Upcoming programs:

10/11 Cole Cubelic : ESPN SEC Network sideline reporter, WJOX radio host of McElroy & Cubelic.
10/25 Chris Childers: ESPN radio/Sirius XM Channel 84 host of Chris Childers & Rick Neuheisel.
11/8 Phillip Rivers: Former NFL All Star QB, future Hall of Famer, and now Coach at St. Michael’s.
11/22 Bo Bounds: ESPN radio host of The Out of Bounds Show.

The meeting adjourned at 8:35pm.

Submitted by Bill Tunnell, GCAC Secretary
From Our GCAC Meeting

September 27, 2021

Brad Edwards

ESPN Game Days
New Book
"Dynasty by the Numbers"
Click on pictures to expand
​The Gulf Coast Athletic Club opened its October 11, 2021 meeting at Woodside Restaurant in Gulf Shores. President George Autrey welcomed the assembled crowd at 7:02pm.

George commented about the crazy weekend and the equally crazy week, so crazy that our Speaker, Cole Cubelic was stuck in Atlanta this afternoon. He tried to get here, but ended up going to Monroe, LA where he wanted to do a Zoom meeting which didn’t happen since his flight was late getting on the ground. We’ll have him back at some point.

Woodside Restaurant has been very accommodating and until Craft Farms is ready, we’ll stay here.

Our excellent GSHS Athletic Director, Coach Kevin Tubbs gave us a Dolphins Football update. Finally, we get three Home area Games in a row and this week is Homecoming. Other sports are hopping. Girls Volleyball is 31-16 and ranked #10 in the State. Lots of other sports have started. In all, there are 49 separate teams in Middle and High School in Gulf Shores!! GO, DOLPHINS!!

Dr. Gaylon McCollough began the introductions of our first set of Scholar/Athletes by saying this is his highlight of any meeting. Our Female Scholar/Athlete is Caroline Hudson. She is now a 3 sport athlete - Cheerleader, Soccer, & Cross Country. She has a 4.1, a member of the National Honor Society, and is President of the Student Government Association. She’d like to go into Criminal Justice at the University of Alabama, where she’d like to try out as a UA Cheerleader. She’s also in our Homecoming Court.

Our Male Scholar/Athlete is Charlie Hollis, #86 at Tight End on the Football Team and a Champion Wrestler with a 48-2 record last year! He has a 4.2 GPA and is a National Honor Society member who serves as a Gulf Shores High School Ambassador. He’s been offered a Football scholarship to Birmingham Southern and represented GSHS at Boys State. He thanked God first and foremost.
Dr. McCollough reminded the Club, when he told these outstanding Students, that we award two scholarships at year’s end to the Club’s choice of the most deserving nominated Female and Male Scholar/Athletes and these nominees are now in the running. 

Our Pigskin Prognosticator Challenge is now into its seventh week with Bulldog Billy still leading the pack. Our Fearless Leader pointed out that his accuracy is better than Bulldog Billy as he has picked more losers than Billy has picked winners. Spin it, George!! Your Editor is close behind – or ahead. 

Team Reports News Flash – Chairman Dec McClelland has surfaced after globetrotting throughout the world. Obviously, he must have spent his time well as he seemed to have some new jokes. 7 SEC teams are in the Top 25, 4 from the Big 10, and others from elsewhere. Presenting the Alabama report, Fred Dickinson said he couldn’t remember Alabama ever getting a Crying Towel although it might happen tonight (Alert!). They still are the top ranked one-loss team. Tom Grabowski with Penn State lamented that a school the size of Penn State should have at least one good backup Quarterback after their Star got hurt. It seems they did last year, but those two QBs transferred to Mississippi State and Kentucky, whose fans both thanked Tom.

Kentucky, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, LSU, and Auburn all reported in – some good, some are like Coach O – don’t know the end of that story yet. Auburn did say they played a good first 5 minutes Saturday.
Crying Towel – As expected, the Tide received the CT for its last second loss to Texas A&M and former Saban Assistant, Jimbo Fisher. Enough said. More on that later as well.

As our Speaker was still literally up in the air, our Champion, Dr. Gaylon McCollough, rose to say a few words – of course, when Doc speaks, everyone listens as any man, who had Coach Paul W. Bryant as his Mentor, has pearls of wisdom, and Doc had some excellent thoughts.

The week after a big loss, the Coach is never on more display. In 1961, Alabama won the National Championship. In ’62, they were 8-0 going up against Georgia Tech. They lost to Tech 7-6 on a failed Two Point Conversion. After each game, the players always knelt in the Locker Room and said the Lord’s Prayer. After this game, Coach Bryant came in and personally led the prayer, saying “Let these young men forgive me for losing this game. If I had stayed home, they would have won”. Doc said he’s pretty sure that’s what Coach Saban said as they use similar techniques.

Doc noted that A&M scouted the Tide well as Bama normally runs on first down 70+% of the time, passes on second, etc. They never changed that pattern in the game, never ran their famous Slant-in Pass, dropped lots of passes, plus the players clearly weren’t ready – Saban said ‘reading their press clippings’. He said the noise factor only affects changing the play at the line – nobody can hear it.

On predicting football, a great story ended with Coach Bryant saying “I have no clue what these 18-22 year old kids will do on Saturday”. On playing so many in a game, Doc said playing so many works because if you practice hard all week and then don’t get to play, next week’s practice won’t be quite as hard. Give them hope and attitudes will be better – empty the bench.

In talking with former Southern Miss Coach (and former GCAC member) Jeff Bower, a former member of the CFP Selection Committee, there may be an increase in the CFP to 8 teams, but healthy players will be an issue with added games. 
More $$$$$$.

Upcoming programs:
10/25Chris Childers: ESPN radio/Sirius XM Channel 84 host of Chris Childers & Rick Neuheisel.

11/8Phillip Rivers: Former NFL All Star QB, future Hall of Famer, and now Coach at St. Michael’s.

11/22Bo Bounds: ESPN radio host of The Out of Bounds Show.
The meeting adjourned at 8:14pm. 

Submitted by Bill Tunnell, GCAC Secretary
From Our GCAC Meeting

October 11, 2021

Cole Cubelic

Auburn Alum
SEC Network Analyst
Click on pictures to expand
Stuck in Atlanta!
To be rescheduled