On Saturdays in the fall, 66-year-old Danny Ford can be found one of two places. He either is watching a Clemson football game on a big-screen TV while tailgating with friends at Memorial Stadium, or he is listening on the radio from an air-conditioned tractor while baling hay when the Tigers play on the road.
Football has run like blood through Ford’s veins his entire life.
Ford grew up in Gadsden, Ala., where he played football, basketball and baseball, all the while knowing that any young Alabaman had little choice about which sport would steal away his heart.
Ford played football at Alabama under legendary coach Bear Bryant, earning all-SEC honors one season and playing in three bowl games. Then he went into coaching. Following a brief stint as an assistant at Virginia Tech, Ford went about creating the same state of hysteria over football in South Carolina that he had experienced in his home state.
During his 12 seasons as coach at Clemson from 1978 through 1989, Ford’s teams won 96 games. They captured five ACC championships and won six bowl games. His 1981 club went unbeaten and won a national championship, bringing with it unprecedented recognition for football excellence to the state of South Carolina.
From an article by Ron Morris at TheState.com.
Notes From the Meeting, by David Lee
The GCAC conducted its second meeting of the year September 14th, 2015, which featured guest speaker Coach Danny Ford, who coached at Clemson and Arkansas, and played at the University of Alabama under coach Paul Bear Bryant from 1967-69. Ford headed the Clemson Tigers from 1978-1989 and won a national championship in 1981. He led the Arkansas Razorbacks from 1993-1997. Ford compiled a career coaching record of 122-59-5.
Taylor Means, President, opened the meeting by greeting our guests and asking David DeMyer, membership chair, to provide his report. David noted that we has surpassed the 100 member mark reaching 102 paid members.
Taylor introduced GSHS Athletic Director Jamie Williams who reported on sports activities. Williams said the football team was still looking for its first win but was making progress. He noted the difficult schedule the Dolphins have faced this year, with its played-opponents currently having a 16-2 record.
Taylor asked Dr. Gaylon McCullough to introduce our male and female student athletes being honored. Both students spoke for several minutes about their backgrounds and thanked the club for its work and for being honored. Parents of the students were in attendance.
Kevin Corcoran led the team reports section of the meeting and the crying towel was presented to Arkansas for their 16-12 loss to Toledo, despite 5 trips to the “red zone”.
Coach Ford took the stage and recounted several stories including his first bowl game against Ohio State. The game was infamous and most club members remembered the hall of fame coach from Ohio State Woody Hayes punching a Clemson player on the sidelines after a Clemson interception that sealed the win for Clemson. This led to the downfall of Hayes as a coach. Ford told other motivational stories, and provided several inspirational lessons he learned from Coach Bryant while a player at Alabama.
After the 50/50 drawing, the meeting was adjourned at 8:45pm.