Basketball coaches relax during golf outing

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NORTH AUGUSTA — Brian Gregory is a member of Atlanta’s Cherokee Town and Country Club, but he probably sees himself as more of a stranger.

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Clemson coach Brad Brownell (from left), Eastern Tennessee State coach Murry Bartow, Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory, Augusta State AD Clint Bryant and South Carolina Upstate coach Eddie Payne practice on the putting green at The River Golf Club on Tuesday.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Clemson coach Brad Brownell (from left), Eastern Tennessee State coach Murry Bartow, Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory, Augusta State AD Clint Bryant and South Carolina Upstate coach Eddie Payne practice on the putting green at The River Golf Club on Tuesday.

Although the Georgia Tech men’s basketball coach has been a member for more than a year, he’s played there only once.

A coach’s life is hectic, after all. Especially for one who recently took over a new gig.

Fortunately for him, Tuesday was the perfect opportunity to hit the golf course as Nations of Coaches held its first Celebrity Golf Classic at The River Golf Club.

“I haven’t had much time to play some of the great courses in Georgia,” said Gregory, who has attended a practice round at the Masters Tournament and also played at Augusta National.

The second-year Yellow Jackets coach was just one of many big-name coaches to play at Tuesday's fund-raising event.

Nations of Coaches helps support coaches in all walks of life, including family life and work in the community.

Among the participants was Clemson coach Brad Brownell, who said he enjoyed the event’s atmosphere, as coaches could interact and exchange friendly trash talk about golf before attending the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam.

Brownell also mentioned that Laney graduate Rod Hall will have a chance to start this upcoming season as a sophomore.

Tuesday’s list of coaches also included North Carolina’s Roy Williams and former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins, who was at the College of Charleston before retiring in March. Cremins said he’s working as an assistant to the president at the College of Charleston, where he’ll be watching his former team and helping raise funds.

Cremins is also helping Georgia Tech round up former players for the first game at the new McCamish Pavilion.

But most importantly, he says he’s healthy. Cremins had taken a medical leave of absence in January.

“I’m doing great,” he said with a smile.

Frank Martin is the new name among area coaches. He is nearing his first season with South Carolina after he took Kansas State to the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three seasons.

He said he's looking forward to the end of off-season craziness and the start of the season with the Gamecocks.

But first he had to take the time to shake off the golf rust.

“Today will be the first time I actually hold a golf club in two years,” Martin said before Tuesday’s event.


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