Celebrating Sports Fellowship, 
Spirit, and Community Pride
Important Note:  All those planning to attend the next meeting, 
please RVSP to David Lee prior to the meeting night.  
This will insure proper food coverage for the meeting.
David Lee: davidtlee107@gmail.com
Gulf Coast Athletic Club
2017 Scholarship Recipients
GCAC Donates $5,250
To Gulf Shores Middle School
The Gulf Shores Athletic Club presented the Gulf Shores Middle School football program with a check for $5,250.00 on Thursday, May 23rd.  

Earlier Discussions with Head Football Coach Mel Stringfellow, revealed that the Gulf Shores Middle School football program was in dire need of
updated equipment, especially from a safety standpoint. As an example, Coach Stringfellow pointed out that all of their shoulder pads were in disrepair, 
and were literally held together with string and tape.  

The Gulf Coast Athletic Club made a decision to help.  The donation from GCAC allows the school to purchase new shoulder pads for the entire team and help with the purchase of new uniforms.

This donation only helps Coach Stringfellow in his quest to update their equipment and the Gulf Coast Athletic Club would encourage other individuals or organizations to consider doing the same.  

A strong Middle School program can do nothing but help the Gulf Shores High School Dolphins football program.
GCAC Donates $5,000
To Gulf Shores High School
Gulf Coast Athletic Club President, John McCormick, was pleased to surprise Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, Ben Blackmon, with a check for $5,000 at Monday nights meeting.  The funds will be used to purchase a much needed endzone camera for filming each game and practices.  

The portable unit is needed to replace the previous method of borrowing a bucket truck, that was able to pull up to the endzone and raise a volunteer high enough to record the games.  New renovations at the football stadium do not allow for a truck to be used in the this same manner.  

Coach Blackmon seemed genuinely surprised by the donation  and thanked the club for the very generous contribution to the needs of the football team.

Coach Kevin Steele, later added that this is how communities can make a difference in not only how the teams can prosper, but how individuals can be benifited by these types of technologies as well, to further their goals and ambitions. 
Welcome, Members & Guests! 
Guest Speaker lineup for the 2017-2018 Season!

Date                    Speaker                                          Comments

Aug. 28:                  Ron Baynes                                        SEC and NFL Official

Sept. 11:                Chris Childers                                     Sirius XM Radio Sports

Sept. 25:                 Jeff Bower                              Southern Mississippi Player and Coach 

Oct. 9:                      Bill Battle                         Former Alabama Crimson Tide Athletic Director

Oct. 23:                Dr. Charles Karr     Dean of the College of Engineering at The University of Alabama 

Nov. 6:                   Tommy Ford                                 Alabama Assistant Athletic Director 

Nov. 20:                 Al Del Greco                                      Auburn Tiger and NFL Kicker

Jan. 22, 2018:             TBD                                                            Stay Tuned!

The Gulf Coast Athletic Club
Is Proud To Announce Our 
2015 Scholar Athlete 
$5,000 Scholarship Award Winners!

Brittany Leserra & Ryan C. McIntosh

Brittany and Ryan will both receive a $5,000 Scholarship Award.
The GCAC, through the hard work of their members and partnered sponsors, were able to increase the scholarship award 
to the highest in the clubs history.

Brittany and Ryan were chosen from a distinguished list of Scholar Athletes from the Gulf Shores High School.  We wish nothing but continued success in the futures of both our winners.
G U L F   C O A S T   A T H L E T I C   C L U B
From Our
November 23rd, 2015

"Rivals Week"
"College Game Day"

Special Guests were 
Lou "Dec" Holtz & Chris "Kevin" Fowler
From College Game Day!
This was NOT the meeting to miss!
​GCAC was treated TWICE on this special meeting night!  First up, was GSHS Head Football Coach, Jamie Williams, with some X's & O's that many of us hadn't understood....until last night.  Now I know what an A-gap is!  Coach showed us how our donations are put to work and how they free up other funds for additional, much needed equipment to help better the GSHS squad.  Great job Coach Williams!

Our second treat of the evening was surely a classic and, hopefully, something we will be enjoying each season.  College Game Day was brought to you by the GCAC Sports Network....who knew we had a network?!?  The brain child of Kevin Corcoran with an incredible, star studded group of additional talent, especially Dec McClelland with his dead-on Lou Holtz impersonation.  Kevin's son Owen was a huge part of the background crew, and special guests included Barb Patty, David DeMeyer, 
Dr. McCollough, & Bob Grant.  

As with any TV show, commercials are just the price you have to pay, but when a commercial is sponsored by the McCollough Institute who's motto was "If You Can't Keep Your Chin Up....We'll Do It For You"!......well, that's creative juices flowing!  
This was one of several....surely non-approved....commercials that graced the airwaves of Game Day!

It was hilarious to see unsuspecting interviewees, nervously taking questions from Chris "Kevin" Fowler, unsure of what to expect from a known comedian.

We now know that Dr. McCollough answers to many names....David DeMeyer is the Washington State flag bearer at each Game Day broadcast, we also know that Bob Grant is a man of few words, and Barb Patty, is a woman of many words.  After a lengthy interview with Barb, eventually the Game Day segment ended returning to Barb's interview that apparently went late into the night.

As was appropriate, the evening ended with a standing ovation with whoops & hollers for the Game Day crew.  Here's hoping they don't retire this year and will make a return trip to Gulf Shores, AL again in the near future!

Here You Go!   Rivals Week--College Game Day--Video
Brought to you by the GCAC Sports Network!

For a high resolution video experience, click here.

College Game Day!  Rivals Week!
Chris Fowler & Lou Holtz....sorta
The Gulf Coast Athletic Club
Is Proud To Announce Our 
2016 Scholar Athlete 
$3,500 Scholarship Award Winners!

Taylor Brown and Ishan Patel

Taylor and Ishan will both receive a $3,500 Scholarship Award.
The GCAC, through the hard work of their members and sponsors.

Taylor and Ishan were chosen from a distinguished list of 
Scholar Athletes from the Gulf Shores High School.  
We wish nothing but continued success in the futures of both our winners.
G U L F   C O A S T   A T H L E T I C   C L U B
From The Archives!
Classic GCAC Meeting
The Gulf Coast Athletic Club
Is Proud To Announce Our 
2017 Scholar Athlete 
$3,000 Scholarship Award Winners!

Tristen Fitts and Conner Reese

Tristen and Conner will both receive a $3,000 Scholarship Award.
The GCAC, through the hard work of their members and sponsors.

Tristen and Conner were chosen from a distinguished list of 
Scholar Athletes from the Gulf Shores High School.  
We wish nothing but continued success in the futures of both our winners.
G U L F   C O A S T   A T H L E T I C   C L U B
Shown below are more scenes from our tournament. 
Click on the link below to view the album
2017 GCAC 15th Annual
Golf Tournament Results
Congratulations to our Winners!

A special thanks to our Tournament Co-Chairmen, 
John McCormick and Fred Dickinson, who year after year, put on a great tournament.  Also we want to thank Craft Farms and their staff for exceptional support to our tournament, to 
all the volunteers who provided additional help, and 
especially our tournament sponsors for supporting 
the GCAC 15th Annual Golf Tournament!

Conner Reese and Tristen Fitts
Next Meeting: Moday, January 22nd, 2018
PLEASE RSVP TO: gulfcoastathleticclub@gmail.com
From Our
GCAC Meeting
August 28th, 2017

Ronnie Baynes

​Supervisor of NFL Officials since 2001. 

Full Bio - Click Here
The Gulf Coast Athletic Club started its 2017-2018 season on August 28, 2017. President David Lee opened the meeting and thanked all attendees for their interest and attendance. He noted it had been 215 days since the Alabama – Clemson National Championship game.

David reminded the attendees of the fun fund-raiser for the club. The On-line Football Pool is a weekly opportunity for all amateur prognosticators to show their stuff by picking winners from a 15 game weekly lineup selected by Professor Lee. Entry is $25 for the year and the year-end leader will split the annual pot and take home a beautiful trophy. This year’s reigning Prognosticator of the Year is Battleship60, Bill Tunnell. All members will be sent an email with the link to join the GCAC contest.

President Lee told the audience of GCAC’s mission to celebrate college football and raise money for the Gulf Shores High School Athletic Department and for student athlete scholarships. The main sources of fundraising are an annual golf tournament and donations to the Gulf Coast Athletic Club Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization. He thanked Fred Dickinson and John McCormick and all the volunteers who put on this year’s successful golf tournament.

Prior to calling GSHS Assistant Principal Mark Glassford to the podium, David announced that the Club had approved presenting a check for $2,520 to cover uniform expenses for two GSMS basketball teams. This made a total of more than $40,000 donated by GCAC in the last three years and more than $150,000 since the club’s beginning in 1998.

Assistant Principal Glassford remarked that, due to the Club’s unwavering support over the years since the creation of GSHS Athletics, GCAC will be included as part of the first class being inducted into the Gulf Shores Athletics Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be at the Dolphins’ first game on Friday, September 1st. Congratulations to all members past and present. President David Lee will accept for the club. All members are invited to attend.

President Lee introduced Ron Baynes, an Auburn graduate who played football, after turning down a pro baseball offer, for four years against our own Dr. Gaylon McCullough. He played in the 1965 Blue-Gray Game, was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, but had his career cut short by injury.
A high school coach and administrator, Ronnie then went into college officiating for 13 years, then served 14 years as a Line Judge in the NFL, officiating in two Super Bowls. He showed a great video that depicted an average day at an NFL game as an official. 
“I’ve been very blessed,” said the member of the Alabama Baseball Hall of Fame and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He went on to tell of how officials were chosen to be in the NFL and talked about his later career of training officials for the SEC.

He said his main concerns for the sport are twofold: 1) kids spending too much time on just one sport, and; 2) it’s too expensive to play these sports, although he believes all should play tough team sports.

After thanking the club for what it does, Mr. Baynes received a well-deserved standing ovation.
After the 50/50 drawing was held, the meeting adjourned at 8:33pm.

By: Bill Tunnell

From Our 
GCAC Meeting

September 11th, 2017

Chris Childers
Sirius XM
On-Air Personality

Chris Childers
From Our Last
GCAC Meeting

September 25th, 2017

Jeff Bower
Long Time 
Southern Mississippi
Player & Coach

Subbing for absent President David Lee, Linda Martin welcomed all to the September 11, 2017 meeting of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club. She got huge applause when she said she wouldn’t be telling any of David’s jokes.

She also displayed the plaque awarded the GCAC for its induction into the Gulf Shores High School Hall of Fame before the first GSHS home game this year. President Lee and several other Club members attended the game, with President Lee accepting on behalf of all the past and present GCAC members, honored for their longtime commitment to Dolphins athletics.
Ms. Martin also acknowledged our own Dr. Gaylon McCullough for his receipt of the Paul W. Bryant Alumni Award given at halftime this past Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Congratulations, Doc, for years of dedicated service to the University of Alabama and to GCAC!!!
Visitors were introduced and Membership Chairman David DeMeyer announced we had 15 new members so far this year.

Linda announced the Office Football Pool was off to a rousing start. Leading the pack after the first two weeks is none other than Fred Dickinson, closely followed by the rest of the field.
New Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Matt Blake was introduced. He said he was glad to be back and looked forward to “making a difference in these young men and women” at GSHS. He noted lots of turmoil over the summer and his first day on the job was only on August 3rd, barely six weeks ago.

Stating he was happy to be working with new GSHS Principal Veasey, he said she gets it and is fully supportive. Coach Blake said he is proud of the way his team has fought in the first two games. They gave all and should be proud. “You’ve got to believe that you’re really as good as you are’” He continued, “We can play with anybody. We’ve just got to believe.”  Cross Country and Girls Volleyball are doing great with strong performances in several tournaments.

Andrew Hart handled the Team Reports in the absence of the wandering Dec McClelland. No real surprises in this young season unless you support Auburn, Notre Dame, or Ohio State.

With Dec’s absence, Linda said she turned to the only person who could do the Crying Towel the best. Coming out of retirement for one appearance, longtime Crying Towel Guru Kevin Corcoran was at his absolute best with his quips. Noting the young blood in the club, he said that brought the average age to “Deceased.” His performance was spectacular and the Crying Towel was awarded to Texas A & M, whose logo was magically transformed. You had to be there, and unfortunately, no A & M fans were.

Past President Taylor Means introduced Chris Childers with Sirius/XM Radio. Being one of the pioneers in satellite radio, his current show “Full Ride” airs 9am to 1pm daily. Nicknamed “the Show Pony”, he is the most popular host on the station. Wanting to be in college football (“the greatest sport in the world”) at an early age, he worked his way up the ladder until he took over for Tim Brando.

He gave a running summary of current teams –Alabama – great, Clemson – maybe, Auburn – too many sacks, Georgia – encouraging. He stated Dabo had “Sabanized” the Clemson defense and Auburn’s defense was very good. Oklahoma shocked him against Ohio State.

He then fielded question from the crowd about Coaches Kevin Sumlin, Chip Kelly, Butch Jones, Bob Stoops, Jim Harbaugh, and others. He ended by telling about making Coach Saban smile.

Afterwards, Taylor Means won the 50-50, the meeting was adjourned at 8:45pm.

By: Bill Tunnell
The names that get bandied about when the talk turns to Southern Miss football generally include the likes of quarterbacks Brett Favre or Reggie Collier, or maybe running backs Sammy Winder and Derrick Nix, or even look to the great names of the "Nasty Bunch" defense that have included Michael Boley, Rod Davis and Adalius Thomas. They might even mention Ray Gay, arguably the best punter to ever lace up the spikes. Those names are some of the best to ever be a part of the Black and Gold.

There is one man, though, who has spent most of his collegiate playing and coaching career in Hattiesburg, and been a part of this program for almost a third of its 90-year history. During this season, he will have coached more games than any other Golden Eagle football coach, and his stability on the sidelines have enabled the Southern Miss program to reach new heights.

His name is Jeff Bower, and he is truly "the face" of this Golden Eagle program.

Full......Very Interesting Bio.....Available Here!
Our Very Own Dr. McCollough Wins Prestigious Award!
A big THANK YOU to Linda Martin for filling in for President David Lee!
From Our 
GCAC Meeting

October 9th, 2017

Bill Battle
University of Alabama 
Athletic Director
Bill Battle, Director of Athletics at The University of Alabama, announced Sunday evening that he is going to retire from his post to assume a new role as Special Assistant to the President.

Battle, currently in his fourth year as Director of Athletics, had led the Crimson Tide athletics department since March of 2013, when he succeeded the late Mal Moore. University of Alabama President Stuart R. Bell said that Battle will continue to lead the department until a successor transitions into the Director of Athletics role.

"Bill has done a tremendous job as Director of Athletics, and has accomplished so much during his career," said Bell. "His business expertise, coupled with his coaching experience and his strong understanding of the role an athletic department has in the daily fabric of a university, has allowed us to achieve the great successes we have enjoyed during his tenure. We are blessed to have the continued benefit of his counsel."

"It's been a distinct privilege and honor serving as Director of Athletics these last four years," said Battle. "When I took over this role my wife, Mary, and I made a commitment to serving four years and I am pleased to have been able to do just that. There are so many people in the department who do a great job every day to make the Crimson Tide successful. I am deeply grateful to each and every one of them for their extraordinary efforts and loyalty to the University. Being able to lead this department has been an honor and a privilege for which I am most grateful."

"It is my hope that during my tenure here, we have been able to make a difference in young people's lives and at the same time move forward on many different fronts. I look forward to continuing to serve the university by working closely with the new AD to assist in a smooth transition. At the end of that period I look forward to working with President Bell in the role of special advisor assistant to advance his strategic initiatives for The University of Alabama. I look forward to remaining active with the Crimson Tide Foundation and supporting Crimson Tide athletics."
Linda Martin, our Acting President subbing for our Missing in Action President David Lee (actually, we do know where he is) welcomed all to the September 25, 2017 meeting of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club. She said she had attended the Mississippi State game and obviously the team that played so well the week before, didn’t show up and the MSU team seemed to know she was there.
Visitors were introduced, one of which was Coach Blake’s father. The parents of this week’s Student Athletes were also introduced.

Membership Chairman David DeMeyer reported we are up to 87 members for the current year.
Mrs. Martin reminded the club that RSVPs are absolutely necessary as we turn in a guarantee on Friday afternoon. We had more than 20 people show up without RSVPs tonight, which creates food and seating issues.

The Office Football Pool is going great with 23 participants. Leading the pack at this point is Dale Sumpter. The winner at the end of the season will split the $25 per person entry fee with the Club.

Coach Blake’s Gulf Shores High School Dolphins won their first game of the season, breaking a 15 game losing streak. Homecoming is Friday against Faith Academy (Ed. Note - they won again!!) Coach Blake brought a very important visitor, GSHS Principal Cindy Veazy, who said she is completely supportive of Coach Blake and all the male and female athletic teams.

Dr. Gaylon McCullough presented our first Student Athletes, both who will be eligible for GCAC scholarships at year’s end. He also thanked Dec McLelland for getting info and students for this.
The first is Erin Corcoran, daughter of our very own Kevin Corcoran. Erin is a Senior with a 4.17 GPA and an ACT score of 25. She is President of the Student Government and also went to Girls State. She has been on the Volleyball team for 4 years and is also on the Bowling Team. She hasn’t picked a college yet, but wants to be a Nurse Practitioner.
Our second is John Corbitt, who has a 3.89 GPA and an ACT of 25. He is a three year starter in both football and wrestling. He wants to play college football and study engineering.
Dec then led the Team Reports and handed out the Crying Towel to none other than acting President and Mississippi State fan Linda Martin.

Dr. McCullough then introduced our Speaker, Jeff Bower, former Head Football Coach at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is from New Jersey, but played ball in Georgia, and won State championships in Football, Basketball, and Baseball.

He and his wife, Debbie, a former Miss USM and a Miss Mississippi USA, actually have lived in Orange Beach for the past two years. Jeff is known as the “Face of Golden Eagle Football”, and won the Johnny Vaught Coaching Award. He coached Brett Farve, but said Reggie Collier was his most dominating player during his years there.

Coach Bower is a member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, which he loves. He spoke of the difficulty of the rankings and the immense amount of details available to them each week. Each member is responsible for two conferences, he has the PAC 12 and the MAC. He said the committee meets 7-8 times a year, weekly starting in late October.

Although he couldn’t give details of exactly how the system works or reasons why one team or another was chosen or not, he was most complimentary of all the committee members. He said no member can wear any college logo to any meetings. They watch each of the Championship games together and maintain a calm decorum during the selection process. Important criteria includes: 1) the team record; 2) wins against Playoff 25 teams; 3) strength of schedule, and a few other key factors.
Before answering questions, he said they got the Final Four right and he and Debbie got to go to the Championship Game. He said the playoff will remain at 4 teams for the near future and picking the top 10 teams is easy, but difficult to narrow to the four. Margin of victory really means very little. He noted about 75% of the Final Four teams have returning Quarterbacks.

After Coach Bower’s presentation, the 50-50 was drawn and awarded, and given back to the Club.
Acting President Martin adjourned the meeting at 8:35pm.

By: Bill Tunnell
From Our 
GCAC Meeting

November 6th, 2017

Tommy Ford
Athletics Director
University of Alabama

David Lee, our Fearless Leader, returned to the podium after a short vacation. He thanked Acting President Linda Martin for her great job and also to Kevin Corcoran for his awesome Crying Towel stint during David’s first meeting absence.

He commented on Michigan and Oklahoma woes and welcomed Coach Bill Battle to our club. He had the Club Visitors and Guests introduced and decided not to call on Membership Chairman David DeMeyer in the interest of time.

The Office Football Pool is going great. Leading the pack at this point is UNAJIM, Jim Richards.
Coach Blake’s Gulf Shores High School Dolphins said the Dolphins won their Homecoming game against Faith Academy 31-30! One of the team’s smallest players broke through to block the game-tying extra point. It’s only the second Homecoming win in GSHS history. Girls Volleyball is doing great. Boys and Girls Cross Country teams and the Swimming team are all doing fine.

Team Reports were handled artfully by Dec McClelland, noting that 13 teams were still undefeated. The Crying Towel was awarded to Oklahoma for their loss to Iowa State, ending the nation’s longest current winning streak at 14 games. Sadly, Anne McCormick was not there to receive the award.

Coach Bill Battle, recently retired University of Alabama Athletic Director, was introduced. He was born in Birmingham and his father was Director of Athletics at Birmingham Southern College. He played Tight End for Coach Bear Bryant’s 1961 first National Championship, and was selected for the All SEC Team. After graduation, he coached under both Bud Wilkinson at Oklahoma and Paul Dietzel at Army. He later joined the University of Tennessee where he became Head Coach at age 28. He was 59-22-2, and won 4 of 5 Bowl Games. He beat Coach Bryant’s Alabama team 24-0 in their first meeting.

He was selected on Alabama’s All Decade Team and in 2005, won the Paul W. Bryant Award, ironically in Bear’s later years, Battle was Coach Bryant’s agent! That gave him the idea for licensing and he then founded the Collegiate Licensing Company and did licensing for the NCAA, so when you pay a licensing fee on those school caps or uniform jerseys, it all started with Coach Battle, who was working for Larry Striplin in Selma after leaving UT. His company was bought out by IMG in 2007.

He noted that he was wanted to come here for years, but now he doesn’t have to go to Away Games. He said he played at West End High School and they won 6 games in 4 years. Then, he said that his 1959 recruiting class at Alabama shut out Auburn for the next 4 years! He was in ROTC, and served two years of military service after graduation.

Coach Battle remembered many of his experiences for the Club. He said Bryant was a great teacher and mentor, tough but mental. Bryant said he did what he needed to do to keep you from getting fat-headed and you needed to keep them focused. (Ed. - Sounds like the current Bama coach). Coach Battle was also involved with Coach Bryant’s “Call Your Momma” TV ad for South Central Bell that many in the club remembered fondly.

In 2013, Alabama called and Coach Battle said he never wanted to be an AD. “If I hadn’t taken it, I would have always regretted it.” Although tough on his wife, Mary, he did it until health issues forced him to retire in March 2017.

He gave reflections on Bryant and Saban – both the best of their times. Alabama now has 525 students athletes with an average 3.2 GPA. Noting Saban gets $75,000 per speech, Battle noted Saban is focused and intense, highly organized, has a great routine, and works hard.

After Coach Battle’s presentation, the 50-50 was drawn and awarded to Fred Dickinson.
President Lee adjourned the meeting at 8:50pm.
By: Bill Battle
As Director of TIDE PRIDE, Tommy Ford oversees football and basketball ticket priority programs. His department is also responsible for providing scholarships for all student-athletes, funding improvements to the athletic facilities and even supporting the Million Dollar Band.

Ford, a Gadsden, Ala., native, earned his bachelor's of science in finance from the University of Alabama in 1978, and he earned his master's in higher education administration from UA in 1998.

After graduating from the Capstone, Ford worked for American National Bank and the Gadsden Chamber of Commerce before returning to the University in 1982.

During the first five years of his return, Ford worked for the Alabama National Alumni Association. In 1987 he was named the University's Athletic Ticket Manager before moving into his current role with TIDE PRIDE in 1993.

Ford's career with the Tide also includes authoring a book about the UA football program entitled, "Alabama's Family Tides".

He is married to the former Robin Rich of Gadsden, and the couple has one child, John Michael.

From President, David Lee.

The 14th Annual Gulf Coast Athletic Club Golf Tournament was held  at Craft Farms. The tournament was a great success with over 100 golfers enjoying a fun day of golf and festivities. The net proceeds from the tournament of over $9000 fully funded the scholarships to be presented this year to deserving Gulf Shores High School senior scholar athletes and helps assure GCAC‘s continued support for Gulf Shores High School Athletics.

Thanks to all who participated as golfers and those who volunteered their time to make this tournament a success. A special thanks to John McCormick & Fred Dickinson and their committee members for all their hard work.

Congratulations to all winners including:

1st Place Ladies: Susan Hirsch                         #2 Place Ladies: Elaine Durmer
                              Joy Majors                                                          Anne McCormick       
​                              Linda Spangrud                                                 Sue Finnell              
                              Jan Taylor                                                           Marilyn O'Brien


#1 Gross:   Albert Thompson                              #1 Net:  Fred Dickinson
​                   Mike Cunningham                                           Bill Oliver
                   Eli Ridgeway                                                    Larry Snedecker                        
                   Tommy Williams                                              Haymes Snedecker                        

Thanks to everyone for helping to make this a great year for GCAC. I know everyone is looking forward to our new season which starts with our kick-off meeting in August.

See you then!

David Lee
From Our 
GCAC Meeting

October 23rd, 2017

Dr. Charles Karr
Dean of the 
College of Engineering
University of Alabama
A good friend of Dr. McCollough that has travelled with Nick Saban and should have some good insight into the man, the myth, the legend!

Dr. Charles "Chuck" Karr is the Dean of the College of Engineering at The University of Alabama. In his 12 years as dean, he has overseen impressive growth in enrollment, expansion of the faculty, extension of educational offerings as well as the development of new teaching and research facilities. 

Passionate about helping young people realize their potential, Karr has worked to develop relationships across campus to broaden the academic experience for students studying engineering and computer science. He has also worked diligently on economic development issues across the state, in particular with the automotive and aerospace industries.

Chuck Karr has become a strong advocate for programs across campus. He has worked to recruit students to the Honors College, the University Fellow’s Program, as well as the College of Engineering. Karr has been called on often to help recruit for the athletic department. He regularly speaks at football recruiting events on campus, and he travelled for years with Coach Saban on the Crimson Caravan.

Karr is a three-time graduate of UA, completing his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in engineering. He has served the College of Engineering as an assistant professor, an associate professor, a full professor, the head of the aerospace engineering and mechanics department, Associate Dean for research and Dean.
President David Lee welcomed all to the October 23, 2017 meeting of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club. He commented on College Football results over the past two weeks and welcomed Dr. Charles “Chuck” Carr, Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Alabama, to our club. After some engineering jokes and stories, the crowd cheered when he was finished.

He had Club Visitors and Guests introduced, including the parents of our Student-Athletes. He also introduced three new members, Coach & Mrs. Jeff Bower, and Coach Matt Blake’s father, a former coach himself.

Membership Chairman David DeMeyer noted we are now up to 92 members.

The Office Football Pool is going great. Still leading the pack at this point is UNAJIM, Jim Richards, with an overall winning percentage of 62%. Last week’s big winner was our own El Presidente, Professor Lee, with 11 correct out of 15.

Linda Martin has accepted the challenge of raising scholarship funds for the Foundation. Her first project sounds like a winner – Trivia Night. Tentatively to be held at Craft Farms on Monday, December 4th, it will feature 20 tables of six trivia players going through eight rounds of sports and non-sports trivia. Craft Farms will allow food to be brought in, plus having a cash bar, so all proceeds will go to the Foundation. Decorations promise to be a great fun addition to what looks to be a great and fun evening. Seven tables have been sold, and Fred Connell has promised to match up to $1,000 of table sales.

Coach Blake’s Gulf Shores High School Dolphins said the Dolphins took former State Champs Daphne High Trojans down to the wire. The Trojans scored with less than 30 seconds left on its Homecoming night. Coach Blake talked about character and leadership and how this team is growing to believe in itself. “We’re in the business of changing people’s lives.” Girls Volleyball also did great, finishing third in our area but ranked seventh in the State!

Student Athletes were introduced by Dr. Gaylon McCullough. Annalee Lane is a Senior who has a GPA of 3.8. This 4 year veteran of Cross Country and Swimming has recently moved here from Baton Rouge, LA, where she was a member of five straight State Championship teams. She wants to go to Birmingham Southern and become a Physical Therapist. Vincent Russo has a 3.64 GPA with 28 on his ACT. He participates in Football and Track. He wants to go to Auburn and study Mechanical Engineering. Both students are now qualified for our year end scholarships.

Team Reports were again handled artfully by Dec McClelland. Team Reports from the Top 25 and our local favorites were discussed. The Crying Towel was awarded to Papa Rocco for his Michigan team who got wiped out by Penn State.

Dr. McCullough then introduced Dr. Charles “Chuck” Carr, Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Alabama. This three sport athlete from Gulf Breeze, Florida went to Tuscaloosa 37 years ago from High school and has witnessed many changes there, not the least of which is that now the “new” Bryant Hall is 51% athletes and 49% Engineering students! More than $300 million in new buildings have been built there in the past 10 years.

38,000 students are now at UA, with more than 6,000 of them in the School of Engineering, and 15% of that number are athletes. Dr. Carr says “Don’t let your schooling get in the way of your education.” He also is heavily involved in all types of recruiting for the University, including being the only speaker Coach Nick Saban would take on the Crimson Caravan tours. He shared some humorous stories from those trips.
His keys to success in college is to balance athletics, academics, and social, and all must be important to the students. “Hold on to your moral compass.” His philosophy is to be honest with these kids. More than 1.4 million hours of community service was performed last year by students.

The story of the famous UA Sideline Medical Tent was told as it started as a project of mechanical engineering, who now are developing inventions and braces for injured players with alarming success! The Tent has exploded into a licensed marketing tool as all teams are asking to buy one. They also are developing riding saddles for autistic children as horse-riding settles down autistic children.

Chuck said, “Give back so you can pay it forward,” and also “Nobody cares what you think until they think you care.” Showing he cares for GCAC, he gave his speaking fee back to the Club. His presentation was one of the best ever at GCAC.

After Dr. Carr’s presentation, the 50-50 was drawn and awarded to Bob Conlyn, who gave the $105 back to the Club.

President Lee adjourned the meeting at 8:33pm.
By: Bill Tunnell
From Our 
GCAC Meeting

November 20th, 2017

Al Del Greco
Auburn University
and NFL Legend!
17 NFL Years
"Al" Del Greco (born March 2, 1962) is a former American football placekicker and a current sports radio personality. After eight years as golf coach at Spain Park High School coach in Hoover, Alabama, Del Greco was named the head coach of the men's golf team at Samford University on May 2, 2014.

Del Greco finished his 17 NFL seasons with 347 of 449 (77%) field goals and 551 of 554 (99%) extra points, giving him a total of 1,592 points. As of 2009, this ranks him #14 on the NFL's list of all-time leading scorers. He was inducted in the Alabama Hall of Fame. He was nicknamed "Automatic Al." Due to his popularity in fantasy football leagues, some fans consider him to be the greatest kicker in history.

A four-year letterman at Auburn, Del Greco completed 110 out of 111 PATs in his college career.  He also set the SEC record for field goal attempts in a single game and field goals made in a single game in a 1982 game versus Kentucky where he made six out of his seven attempts. As of 2016, He and Daniel Carlson are tied for the most Field goals in a single game for Auburn at 6. His 236 career points place him fifth on the Auburn career scoring list.

At Spain Park High School in Hoover, Alabama, Del Greco was the boys golf coach and the football team's kicking coach. His son, Trey was the football team's place kicker prior to graduating after the 2007 season. Trey went on to play golf on an athletic scholarship at Vanderbilt University. In 2003, Del Greco became Birmingham Steeldogs' kickers coach.

Del Greco was the starting Placekicker in Super Bowl XXXIV for the Tennessee Titans, in which his team lost 23-16. In the game, he made 1 field goal, which tied the game 16-16.

President David Lee welcomed all to the November 6, 2017 meeting of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club. He noted only 4 Power 5 teams were still undefeated. David welcomed our Guest Speaker, Tommy Ford, and said he had written many books, like our resident UA hero, Dr. Gaylon McCullough.

Guests were introduced around the room. President Lee stated the Office Football Pool is going great guns and our current leader is Dot Sumter with Fred Dickinson, Jim Richards, and Bill Tunnell tied for second. Still several weeks to go.

Linda Martin reported on what looks to be a fun night with our first annual Trivia Night fundraiser. 17 of the 20 six-player teams have been signed up for the December 4th event at Craft Farms. Checks should be made to the GCAC Foundation.

Coach Blake reported that the 2017 season finished last week with a win over Robertsdale! Several players who hadn’t played much over the year got to play. Other sports have started, Basketball, Cross Country (4 state qualifiers already), Wrestling, and Bowling are in full gear. Go Dolphins!

Team Reports were handled by Andrew Hart. Kevin Corcoran did another awesome job with the Crying Towel. It went to Tom Grabowski and his beloved Penn State team, celebrated for the two losses in “Two weeks to forget.”

Former Gadsden Mayor Steve Means introduced our Speaker, Tommy Ford, who grew up in Gadsden and graduated from High School in 1974. Ford is the Associate Athletic Director for the University of Alabama and works with the Foundation and Red Elephant Clubs. At UA, he was the Sports Editor for the Crimson White during Coach Bryant’s coaching years. He is the current Director of Tide Pride and is a prolific author, with ten books about the Crimson Tide.

Ford talked about his 36 years at the University and the numerous changes over that time. He noted it’s been under 9 Head Football Coaches and another 9 Athletic Directors! The Development/Alumni Office was started in 1982 with 16,022 students enrolled in school. Currently, there are 38, 563 enrolled, a 90% increase after University President Robert Witt was hired. They hatched a plan to enlarge Bryant-Denny Stadium, and built 38 Sky Boxes which sold for $500,000 each.

Coach Nick Saban came in 2008 and has gone 128-19. This has created a waiting list for tickets that numbers more than 30,000 Tide supporters, some will never see their request filled. Tide Pride was created as a fundraising system and last year brought in $32 million and $475 million in 30 years. Truly a remarkable report and career by a remarkable man.

The $165 in the 50-50 drawing was awarded to Dot Sumter.

President Lee adjourned the meeting at 8:25pm.

By: Bill Tunnell
GCAC Donates $9,260
To Gulf Shores High School
& Middle School
The money donated will be used throughout Gulf Shores Athletics, including new track uniforms, state of the art sideline communication equipment, and much more.
Acting President Andrew Hart welcomed all to the November 20, 2017 meeting of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club. He received great applause when he said he’d tell no bad jokes. He also thanked all the speakers associated with the University of Alabama as there’s lots of orange in the crowd tonight for former Auburn standout, Al Del Greco.

After introductions of our guests, including the parents of our Scholar/Athletes, Andrew proclaimed only one more week of the Office Football Pool. Fred Dickinson has a slim lead over Battleship60, Bill Tunnell.
GSHS Athletic Director Coach Blake said the Swim Team has had 5 qualify for the State Meet, with two Individual winners. GSHS is hosting a basketball tourney and the Wrestling Team starts next week. The Bowling Team is doing great and it’s a positive attitude at school!!

Linda Martin reported on the December 4th Trivia Night. All 20 tables have been sold, but she needs all to pay up. Craft Farms is allowing food in, but will have beverages available. All funds received go directly to the GCAC Foundation. Awards are for winners of best table decorations as well.

Dr. Gaylon McCullough introduced our Scholar/Athletes for this month. Caitlyn Wyers has a 3.7 GPA and is inspired by her mother, who doesn’t let her settle for average. She is a Basketball player and wants to study Physical Therapy at UAB. Devon Swainston is on the Football, Basketball, and Track teams. He is a proud representative of GSHS at Boys’ State and his father is currently on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan. Devon hasn’t chosen a college yet, but wants to study Physical Therapy and always puts forth his best effort that he got from his father.

Dec McClelland handled the Team Reports a bit differently since UA Cheerleader Barb Patty was absent, due to a new shoulder replacement. Dec announced the Crying Towel was not given for a single week’s performance (or lack of), but for a season of mediocrity. He then called on Vol Fan John McCormick to receive the Towel for Tennessee’s lackluster season, which included the dismissal of their Coach. “We need a new Coach. Any Volunteers?”

Andrew Hart introduced Al Del Greco, former star placekicker for the Auburn Tigers, where he made 110 of 111 extra points! He also scored 1,592 points in the NFL. He is the Golf Coach at Sanford in Birmingham, holds a +1 handicap (Editor’s Note: That’s awesome!), holds the Celebrity Lowest Score Record, and is a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
He co-hosts a sports radio show daily on WJOX in B’ham and very proud his son was an Academic All American of the Golf Team at Vanderbilt. He noted all student-athletes have a tough time balancing everything. Al walked on at Auburn after a high school career in Miami, Florida, but became the first kicker to receive a scholarship.

He had lots of great breaks along the way, was chosen by Green Bay, but former St. Louis Cardinals Coach Gene Stallings (who later coached at Alabama) made him work hard after a trade, and made him develop discipline, the reason he was able to play 10 more years.

He has hosted the radio show with Jay Barker for 12 years, still loves golf, and is recognized as Chi Chi Rodriquez. He’s just become a grandfather and credits his own father for great advice, that your behavior is something to be proud of. He says he loves the mental aspect of golf, its discipline especially.

He ended with telling Auburn fans to lay off Coach Gus Malzahn. Calm down and trust the coach. Bama’s wins are not the norm and Coach Saban won’t be there forever. Great presentation!

The 50-50 drawing was awarded to Chuck Norwood. Hart adjourned the meeting at 8:22pm.

By: Bill Tunnell