Fourteenth Annual Real Estate
Prayer Breakfast 2012

Bill Curry
 

The Player
As a player, Bill Curry learned the game from such legendary masters as Bobby Dodd, Vince Lombardi, and Don Shula.  He snapped the ball to a who’s who list of quarterbacks, including Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, and Billy Lothridge.  He was a two-time Pro Bowl center and a three-time NFL Champion, including victories in Super Bowls I and V.

The Coach

As a coach, Bill restored the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to national prominence.  As the Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year, he led the University of Alabama to an SEC Championship and to wins in the Hall of Fame Bowl, the Sun Bowl, and the Sugar Bowl.   At Kentucky, Bill led his Wildcats to their first bowl game in nearly a decade.  In 2008, Bill accepted the challenge of building the Georgia State football program, from the ground up.  The Panthers enjoyed a magical first season in 2010, posting a winning record and captivating the city.

The Leader
As a leader, Bill served as President of the National Football League Players Association during one of the most tumultuous periods in NFL history.  He was the Chief Operating Officer for the National Consortium for Academics & Sports.  He founded, designed, and implemented the leadership initiative at The Baylor School in Tennessee.  Bill’s counsel is treasured throughout the country by businesses attempting to cultivate leaders from within their ranks.

The Analyst
As an analyst and on-air personality for ESPN, Bill was the announcing equivalent of comfort food.  There was nothing better for the true football fan – no surer source for that indescribable feeling of satisfaction and contentment, and, indeed, that all was right in the world of college football – than settling into a plush easy chair on Saturday night and hearing that unmistakable voice teaching, but never pandering.

The Husband, Father, And Grandfather

As a husband, he has somehow managed – through 34 moves and 48 years of marriage – to hang onto to his brilliant and beautiful wife Carolyn, who, by the way, was his grade school sweetheart.  In Bill Jr. and Kristin, Bill has two incredibly accomplished and successful children.  And, in grandchildren Alex, Elliot, Evelyn, Claire, and Brett, Bill has the most promising generation yet of the Curry family.

The Man

Most importantly, as a human being, Bill has touched countless lives.  To the thousands of athletes whom he has coached, Bill has been a mentor, advisor, father-figure, role model, philanthropist, and, in short, pretty much every other descriptive term one can think of that describes a person who improves and enriches the lives of everyone he touches.  To be around Bill is to become a better person.

On the basis of the movie by the same name, the term “Forrest Gump” has come to refer to a person who leads a long and extraordinarily noteworthy life, and who, by both design and serendipity, uses compassion, wisdom, and love to positively influence the destinies of those around him.  On the basis of this definition, Bill has led the most Gump-like life since Forrest himself.

If Bill’s ego allowed him to have a football shrine or trophy room, he would need a gymnasium-sized warehouse.  Who else has memorabilia ranging from Super Bowl Championship rings to casual pictures of a weekend spent hanging out with Sammy Davis, Jr.? . . . from an original portrait of himself by famed artist LeRoy Neiman to an Amos Alonzo Stagg Award  and a President Gerald R. Ford Legends Center Award, both of which are ultimate honors for lifetime contribution to the game of football?

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Bill Curry Bo Jackson  
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