2022 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
     Taylor Means & Charlie Hollis
(Baylee Grace Taylor not present)
Website Publishing: Jim Walker
Congratulations to the 
Gulf Coast Athletic Club 
$2,500 Scholarship Winners!
Baylee Grace Taylor and Charlie Hollis
Taylor Means presenting to Charlie Hollis
Baylee Grace Taylor was at another school event.
​The Gulf Coast Athletic Club opened its August 29, 2022 meeting in some familiar surroundings, the newly renovated Clubhouse at Craft Farms in Gulf Shores. Damage from Hurricane Sally in 2020 caused the GCAC to seek temporary quarters at Woodside Restaurant in Gulf Shores and Woodside Restaurant is to be commended for its excellent performance for the Club.

President George Autrey welcomed the crowd of 55 members and guests at 7:00pm. Guests and new members were introduced around the room after opening comments.

Our scheduled Speaker, Gulf Shores High School Coach Mark Hudspeth, had some JV games cancelled last week due to the intense rain, 63 straight days of rain, according to Mayor Craft, and the games were rescheduled for tonight. The Club was fortunate to get former USA Head Coach Joey Jones. Coach Jones graduated from Murphy HS in Mobile and played at Alabama from 1979-83 for Coach Bryant. 

After a pro career with the Birmingham Stallions and the Atlanta Falcons and a highly successful high school coaching career, Joey became the first Head Coach at Birmingham Southern College in 2007, then accepted the first ever Head Coach position at the University of South Alabama in 2008, retiring in 2017.

Our own UA Great, Dr. Gaylon McCollough, introduced Joey and commented that both he and Joey had written books about Coach Bryant. Joey’s “In Good Hands” commented that Coach Bryant always said that “Bigness is in the heart”. Gaylon said Joey was one incredible receiver, one of the last “laid out” receivers, no overthrows with Joey on the receiving end. He is on the UA 1980s All Decade Team.

Rather than talk about experiences in his life that he’s talked about in prior GCAC appearances, Coach Jones made some comments and then opened up the floor for an excellent discussion on the current state of College Football. Discussions on the Name, Image, & Likeness, that he says has changed college sports forever, the Transfer Portal, and other subjects made for an entertaining and thought-provoking evening. Coach noted there are 460,000 college student-athletes and the NCAA is a $18.9 Billion business.

NIL has less restrictions than the NFL and college athletes can be paid much more as there is no salary cap or other hindrances. Pros included: 1) Reduces family financial obligations for the student-athlete, although players already get a COA “Cost of Attendance” of up to $15,000 per year; 2) smaller sports, like women’s softball, can get more money and can flourish through social media, and; 3) players can “brand’ themselves coming out of college.

Cons include: 1) It’s all about MONEY, no limits, and colleges/boosters have various ways to sweeten the pot; 2) Certainly can cause division on the team between the ‘Haves’ and Have nots’, and; 3) It is pay to play and the Rich will get richer. He did note that in 2009, players were concerned who was the Head Coach, where, less than 10 years later, the emphasis had shifted to who has the better facilities.

He said the fabric for football has changed. High School Coaches can still mold players and that may be a reason College and Pro coaches are coming back to the High School level so they can influence young men. Joey said Coach Bryant taught “oneness” and toughness, qualities that stuck with him. He said today’s coaches now have to coddle more than coach. One hurt feeling or cross word can send a player to the Transfer Portal. The Portal has helped smaller schools, but not so good for the larger schools.

Dr. McCollough commented that amateur sports, as we knew them, are now gone. High school kids are getting agents and deals, the NCAA is losing power, and the College Football Playoffs will control all.

President George Autrey announced 40 members have paid and more signed up tonight. The golf tournament will be held on November 18th and it’s our major fundraiser for scholarship money and GSHS athletic donations. He said that, even in our past three ‘Covid’ years, we have contributed more than $40,000 in donations and male and female student-athlete scholarships.

The Prolific Pigskin Prognosticator contest, commonly known as the Office Football Poll, is back and open to members and non-members at only $25.00 for the year. 12 games against the odds seems easy – you need to try it!

The Dolphin Report has Football starting the year coming off a great 6-4 year in 2021. GSHS now stands at 2-0 with a season-opening win over St. Michael’s and a blitz of Citronelle. Next is a very good Faith Academy team.

Team reports were adroitly handled by the always amusing Dec McClelland. In a surprising move, a rare first meeting Crying Towel was handed out to Jim Walker, our Nebraska diehard, who was “dubly” honored for the Huskers’ opening 31-28 loss in some foreign country more noted for beer than their football.

The first 50/50 pot was awarded to the Birthday Boy, Taylor Means, age not disclosed.

The meeting adjourned at 8:15pm. 
Submitted by Bill Tunnell, GCAC Secretary
From Our GCAC Meeting

August 29th, 2021

Coach Joey Jones

1st South Alabama
Head Coach

Former Mississippi State​
Assistant Coach
From Our GCAC Meeting

September 12th, 2022
Charlie Hussey

Deputy Commissioner
& Chief Operating  Officer of the 
​The Gulf Coast Athletic Club opened its September 12, 2022 meeting in the Clubhouse at Craft Farms Golf Resort. President George Autrey welcomed the crowd of 65 members and guests at 6:52pm.

With so many “new” faces over the past several years, Co-Founding Member Chuck Norwood gave the crowd an amazing history of a “pretty special club” that has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Gulf Shores High School Athletics and GSHS Student-Athletes. He mentioned Board Members like the late Joe Gilchrist, Dr. Gaylon McCollough for starting the Student-Athlete Scholarship program, David Lee for starting the GCAC Foundation, and others. He finished his remarks with an astonishing list of speakers over the past 20-plus years that included almost every notable sports figure ever except Bear Bryant and Shug Jordan. He stated the original (and still) motto was to have fun and make money for GSHS.

Guests and new members were introduced around the room after opening comments. President George announced the golf tournament will be held on November 18th and it’s our major fundraiser for scholarship money and GSHS athletic donations. He said that, even in our past three ‘Covid’ years, we have contributed more than $40,000 in donations and male and female student-athlete scholarships.

The Prolific Pigskin Prognosticator contest, commonly known as the Office Football Poll, is back and currently Mayor Steve Means is on top. 29 are participating to win the coveted trophy.

The Dolphin Report, delivered by Coach Owen Corcoran, has Football starting the year at 3-0 for the first time ever in history, although UMS, with some homer Mobile officials, defeated the Dolphins 35-28 last Friday night. Coach Hudspeth has them playing great ball in 5A. Volleyball is 22-11, cross country has started, and swimming is around the corner.

Dec McClelland broke up the crowd as usual with the Team Reports. Dec missed calling on Fred Dickinson for the Alabama report which led your Editor’s table thinking the Tide would get the illustrious Crying Towel for its lackluster, but winning, performance against the Longhorns. The CT Committee, chaired by Dec, gave the award to Wisconsin for its loss to the late David DeMeyer’s beloved Washington State Cougars, failing to give the Crying Towel to Dec’s own 0-2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This “oversight” brought former 15-year Team Report Veteran, Kevin Corcoran, up to the podium for some casual personal reflections about the controversial decision, but Dec pointed out he was the committee!! Good fun.

New member Doug King brought us a phenomenal program with his son-in law, Charlie Hussey. Charlie has one of the coolest jobs ever – Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the Southeastern Conference. Yup, Commissioner Greg Sankey’s right-hand man. Charlie, an Ole Miss grad, started out of college as an unpaid intern, but has worked himself into a prime position after 22 years. He is the liaison with the SEC AD's and oversees all TV & ESPN.

He gave a slide presentation with bullets and explanations on almost every aspect of the SEC, NCAA, CFP, and other noteworthy tidbits that occupy his life on a daily basis. It’d take your Editor another day to write it all down, but here are some highlights:

*He’s working on an upcoming SEC Basketball documentary similar to the recent College Football 150.

*He helped launch the SEC Network on ESPN, the most successful cable channel launch in history.

*He said NIL needs Congressional action and oversight to insure enforceable standards.

*Commissioner Sankey saved the COVID year with his decision to play a 10-game all-SEC schedule.

*Lots of talk about the 12 team CFP, Texas and Oklahoma joining the League, and TV contracts.

*Pirate’s Cove was included in this year’s SEC Football hype video., plus comments on the new ESPN+.

*Coaches & Ads want a “clean rotation” of who plays who in an 8 year football scheduling cycle.

*Other topics hit on mental health, NCAA transformation, Transfer Portal, TV rights that go to Disney.

Your Editor’s opinion, but one of the most informative and entertaining programs in recent history.

The 50/50 pot was awarded to Chuck Norwood and President George said our Speaker donated his speaker’s fee to the Crippled Children’s Foundation.

Next meeting on September 26th will feature Scott Myers, CEO/Executive Director of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

The meeting adjourned at 8:33pm.
Submitted by Bill Tunnell, GCAC Secretary

Click here for all meeting pictures!
Pictures by George Autrey
From Our GCAC Meeting

September 12th, 2022
Scott Myers

CEO/Executive Director
Hall of Fame​
The Gulf Coast Athletic Club opened its September 26, 2022 meeting in the Clubhouse at Craft Farms Golf Resort at 7:00pm. President George Autrey welcomed the crowd of 60 members and guests, including parents of our Scholar Athletes.

The Football Poll has 26 participants and currently Auburnite John Boller is on top. Your Editor swears he heard his name mentioned along with Bob McDowell and our Fearless Leader. Coach Tubbs, our awesome GSHS Athletic Director, gave the Dolphin Report this week. Football has started the year at 4-1 for the first time ever in history. Volleyball is #10 in the State, and we have 74 Middle School Football players. GO, DOLPHINS!!!

Dr. Gaylon McCollough brought us our first Scholar Athletes of the year, each of whom will compete for the Male and Female Scholar Athlete Scholarships awarded each year by GCAC. Normally each scholarship awarded will be between $2,500 and $5,000, depending on the success of our fundraising activities. This year, our major event is the annual Golf Tournament at Craft Farms on Friday, November 18th . Go to our website for details.

Doc started the year off right with our Male Monthly Honoree, Kevin Ellis. He has only made all A’s his entire time in school (your Editor made one once) and scored 32 on the ACT, while maintaining a 4.38 GPA. Active in Cross Country and indoor and outdoor track, this Engineering prospect is looking at Virginia Tech, Auburn, and Purdue. Great attitude as he said “I just ran.” As a former trackster, yes!! 

Our Female Scholar Athlete and her parents couldn’t be with us. Kayleigh Steele is a member of the GSHS Soccer Team and also plays Club Soccer. She’s in the Junior Key Club and wants to be a Dentist.She’s looking at Huntingdon College and UAB Dental School.

Team Reports was handled by Dec McClelland who told our El Presidente “thanks for that well-rehearsed introduction”. After a comprehensive team by team report (meaning that if your team doesn’t win this week, don’t show up), the coveted Crying Towel was awarded to the ever gracious Karen Sabatino for her beloved Colorado Buffaloes, being buried in Boulder 45-17 by UCLA. 

Dr. McCollough did double duty and introduced our Speaker, Scott Myers, Executive Director of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, as well as head of the Bryant-Jordan Student Athlete Scholarship program. Scott also serves as the Honorary Counsel to Guatemala. Doc knows him well as a member of the ASHOF and a strong proponent of the Bryant-Jordan Scholarship program, having established the McCollough Medical Scholarship there some 35 years ago.

The HOF is situated in downtown Birmingham across from the SEC Headquarters and is recognized as the finest Hall of Fame in the United States. 28 sports are included and honors Senior and modern Alabamians for their outstanding sports contributions. Myers, a Samford graduate, has been there 13 years and said all Alabama schools get free tours of the museum. Another fascinating program.

The 50/50 pot was awarded to Dec McClelland.

Next meeting on October 10th will feature former Mississippi State and Texas A&M Coach Jackie Sherrill. This will be a great meeting to attend.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.
Submitted by Bill Tunnell, GCAC Secretary

From Our GCAC Meeting

November 7th, 2022
Bill Clark

​Former Head Coach
University of Alabama 
at Birmingham
The Gulf Coast Athletic Club opened its November 7, 2022 meeting in the Clubhouse at Craft Farms Golf Resort at 7:00pm. President George Autrey welcomed the crowd of 52 members and guests. No GSHS Scholar-Athletes tonight as all had conflicts. They will be introduced at our 11/21/22 meeting.

The Football Poll again has Cynthia Tunnell ahead of all 25 prognosticators with about a month to go. Tough picking last week when the auto-pick wins!! Congratulations to HiYield!! 

GSHS Coach Owen Corcoran gave the Dolphin Report. Girls Volleyball went to the Final Four in the State Tournament and finished with a great 39-18 season. Football is 10-1 and won the first round of the 5A State Playoff against Carroll of Ozark 42-0, the first playoff game here ever!!! Next is travel to Lineville to play a tough Clay Central squad. Live broadcast on Sunny 105.7. Boy’s Swimming qualified 14 for State. Cross Country has ended with Boys in 8th and Girls in 13th. Basketball starts tonight for both teams in Spanish Fort, and Bowling and Wrestling start shortly. GO, DOLPHINS!!!

Team Reports brought forward a newbie to the podium, our own Auburnite, Taylor Means!! After a warm reception, Taylor told us there were reports that our regular TRMC was last seen near a correctional center in South Bend. Handing the duties like a seasoned pro, Taylor rolled through the team reports with little fanfare until the coveted Crying Towel was awarded to Tennessee for their loss to Georgia. Amazing that there were no orange people present – surprise. Bulldog vs the Blue Tick Hound – “Smokey not ready to run with the Big Dogs 27-13”. Great fun!!

Our Speakers this year have been fantastic and this week was no exception. Former UAB Head Football Coach Bill Clark was as dynamic at the podium as he used to be on the field. Born in Anniston, he graduated from Jacksonville State University, coached 9 years at Prattville HS winning 2 State Championships – a record of 109-11! He then went to be Defensive Coordinator at South Alabama when they won 17 straight games. Hired at JSU, he was Head Coach for a season before joining UAB. After 2 successful seasons, UAB shut the football program down, only to revive it 2 years later. Clark went to 5 straight bowls with UAB going 48-26, and won the 1st Conference USA Championship. Unfortunately, UAB was too much politics for him. After retiring with back issues, he may coach again, just not at UAB.

As the son of a Coach, he preaches what he believes, eye contact shows you’re listening, and then you must believe in the program. 3 rules for success with Coach Clark: 1) Be ready, on time or early; 2) Protect the team – behave yourself outside or in class – you represent the school, play for the team, and: 3) Yes/No – no whining, complaining, no excuses. “Does that make sense”, he reiterated.

When UAB started again in 2017, he reestablished pride and positive culture. “What we are known for – Effort. Finish the game, play hard, do what it takes to win. No turnovers! The Ball is the game – hold on!” The team’s Mission Statement said it all – Do it better than it’s ever been done before. That creates 1) confidence, do it over and over, 2) Faith – believing in each other, 3) Trust, and 4) Family. Finally, always get guys who enjoy the game – football is hard. Good job, Coach.

Our annual fundraising golf tournament is November 18th and we need sponsors and players!!

The 50/50 pot was awarded. The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm. 

Next meeting on November 21th and will feature GSHS Head Coach Hudspeth.

Submitted by Bill Tunnell, GCAC Secretary
From Our GCAC Meeting

October 24th, 2022
Paul Rhoads

Coach Gulf Shores HS
​Former Head Coach
of Iowa State
for 7 years.
The Gulf Coast Athletic Club opened its October 24, 2022 meeting in the Clubhouse at Craft Farms Golf Resort at 7:00pm. President George Autrey welcomed the crowd of 42 members and guests.

The Football Poll has Cynthia Tunnell winning each of the last two weeks and she has pulled ahead of the other 25 prognosticators. Taylor Means allegedly is DAL with the GSHS PA announcer and Professor Lee lurking in that neighborhood. Congratulations to HiYield!! Many more games to go.

GSHS Athletic Director Coach Tubbs gave the Dolphin Report. Girls Volleyball is going to the State Tournament in the Top 8. Football is 8-1 and will host the first round of the State Playoffs here in two weeks, the first playoff game here in 22 years! Boy’s Swimming is #1!! GO, DOLPHINS!!!

After a lengthy introduction, Team Reports was deftly handled by Dec McClelland who told the crowd the SEC had 7 in the Top 25. After another 2 weeks, the coveted Crying Towel was awarded to Ole Miss for not showing up at the LSU game. Maybe they had the wrong address. You could hear the large exhale from all the Tide fans, noting more orange in the crowd as the season wears on. Hotty Toddy!!

Kevin Corcoran, the aforementioned GSHS PA Guru who also doubles (in his spare time) as President of the Gulf Shores School Board, introduced tonight’s special Guest Speaker, another of the incredible coaching hires for GSHS, Coach Paul Rhoads. Commenting that GSHS is making the right decisions and heading in the right direction, Kevin says Coach Rhoads is a perfect example of that.

Coach gave the club a laugh when he said he had either coached for or against every team in the Team Reports! Probably not far from the perfect truth as he coached for 33 years at NCAA schools. The list includes Auburn (under Coach/Senator Tommy Tuberville), Pitt, Arizona, Arkansas, UCLA, and Ohio State, plus Paul spent 7 years as Head Coach at Iowa State.

His HC stint at Iowa State from 2009-2015 had him returning to his home town – he was born 10 minutes from Iowa State - where his mother was ill, so he was able to be with his parents as they went through her illness and death. Dad was a High School Coach and is still living at age 95. Paul said he left Auburn after 2008 to go to ISU and ISU Head Coach Gene Chizak came to Auburn at the same time.

He was an analyst for Ohio State last year when he saw an ad for Defensive Coordinator at Gulf Shores High School. Echoing comments made earlier this year by former USA HC Joey Jones, High School Football allows Coaches to do what they love best - a great passion of shaping young boys to become good gentlemen, fathers, etc. Coach Rhoads said it’s an opportunity to teach, coach, and mentor, make them better young men. It’s all about growing up with honesty and good judgement.

Saying it was the right move for him, he’s having a ball with this 66-player team and considers this a great privilege to teach them, even though it’s tough with limited daily practice time with his defense and also with 6 kids going both ways!! 
In Q&A, he said the major difference now between college and high school is almost every college player thinks they can play in the NFL, but high schoolers are realistic enough to know only some of them can play at the next level. 

Thank you, Coach Paul Rhoads, another absolutely superb program!!

Our annual fundraising golf tournament is November 18th and we need sponsors and players!!

The 50/50 pot was awarded to John Mitchell who donated it back to the club.

Next meeting on November 7th and will feature Coach Bill Clark, former HC at UAB.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm. 
Submitted by Bill Tunnell, GCAC Secretary