Another Summerville man has been enshrined in the Brevard College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Thad Talley was recently inducted into the Hall, making him the second inductee from Summerville in the schoolís 100 years of existence. John McKissick, head football coach at Summerville High School, is also one of the 16 members of the North Carolina schoolís athletic hall of fame.
Talley, the head track and cross country coach at Brevard from 1965 to 1968, was inducted under the category of coach. During his four years with the College, he helped the cross country and track programs become one of the top junior college programs in the country. His track team was ranked second in the nation by the National Association of Junior College Athletics. Five of his track and cross country runners were selected to the National Junior College All American Team.
After leaving Brevard, Talley served as assistant track coach at the University of Tennessee, head track coach at Arkansas State University, assistant track coach at Kansas University and head track coach at The Citadel. During his career, Talley coached five Olympians and ten All-Americans.
Many of Talleyís runners came from all over the country to share the special moment with their former coach, who is widely known for his trademark yell, ìWhat a day! What a day! What a beautiful Day!î
In addressing the coachís qualifications for the Hall, Tommy Hodge, Talleyís first track and cross country runner to be an All-American, said his old coach knew how to get the very best from his athletes.
Olympian Dr. Thomas Hill, Jr., another runner Talley once took under his wing, agreed.
ìCoach not only demanded your very best, but he truly cared about you as a person,î Hill said with tears falling from his eyes. ìHe and his wife Harriet provided clothes for my son, Thomas, when we were first married and we had very little.î
Other speakers included Charles ìChuckî Rohe, Talleyís track coach at Furman University who later was named the head track coach at the University of Tennessee. Under Coach Rohe, Talley ranked as high as sixth in the world in the 800 meters.
Coach Talley, along with his wife, Harriet, his two sons, Rob and Clay, his daughter-in-laws, Mickey and Lynn and his four grandchildren, humbly accepted his selection to the Brevard College Athletic Hall of Fame.
ìI have coached some of the most talented athletes in the world,î Talley said. ìI have had the opportunity to coach at universities with long traditions of having the very best track and cross country programs. But itís Brevard College and those I came in contact with that touched my heart the most.î