“Coach Gault was an old version of Dabo Swinney"
Gault is honored by the Touchdown Club.
The Laurens County Touchdown Club paid tribute to the late Cally Gault, Presbyterian College football coach and Laurens County Athletic Hall of Famer, at its Thursday luncheon.
Retired coach Bob Strock said of the man he coached under for 18 years and knew as a friend for 60 years, “Coach Gault was an old version of Dabo Swinney - a man of God who relates to his players.”
Gault would split the honoraria he received from speaking engagements with his under-paid assistants. He knew psychology.
“We had a player, Bobby McNair (son of former SC Governor Robert McNair) who came in one day to quit,” Strock said. “And Coach Gault said, ‘I hate to hear that Bobby, cause you caused me to lose a bet. Everybody else here said Bobby’s going to quit, but I said, oh no, he is not.’ You know what, Bobby McNair stuck it out, and became a good wide receiver for us.”
Strock said hhe ran up against Gault’s fierce competitive streak. “I was fired many times on the sidelines; we made our peace and he re-hired me.”
Strock said Coach Gault would call in the players in pre-season and give them the training rules, “and they’d say, ‘Oh no, he’s going to make me cut my hair and take these things out of my ears.’ Then, Coach Gault told them the one training rule - ‘Don’t do anything your mother wouldn’t want you to do.’ Last spring, we had a Brigadier General come back on campus, and he said his one rule to his troops was this, ‘Don’t do anything your mother wouldn’t want you to do.’
“I am so blessed to have known him and to have been part of his staff.”
Coaches of the three Laurens County high school football teams - Chis Liner, Laurens; Corey Fountain, Clinton; and Todd Kirk, Laurens Academy - spoke about their teams’ early-season games.
Fountain brought Jeremiah Boyd and Austin Caughman as stand-outs from the Red Devils first two games. Liner brought his starting offensive line - “our life-blood,” he said. Coach Liner also told the audience about the death of Frank Hill, of Hickory Tavern - “You won’t meet a better human being,” he said. Kirk said he saw his team “get some maturity” in its first game, a win over Faith Christian/Ridge Christian.
The Laurens game at Myrtle Beach and the Laurens Academy game at Beaufort Academy were cancelled by Hurricane Dorian.
Presbyterian College football head coach Tommy Spangler was the featured speaker. An organization under the umbrella of the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce, the Laurens County Touchdown Club will have its next meeting Sept. 26, noon at The Ridge, Laurens, with SC State football head coach Buddy Pough as the guest speaker. The group’s annual banquet - and Player of the Year announcement - will be December 4.