“It’s a tremendous honor to have his alma mater celebrate him in such a tremendous way throughout this season,” said Joy Gault, Coach Gault’s wife.
The commemorative decals will appear on the Blue Hose helmets for the first time during the team’s first game of the season on Saturday Aug. 31 at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.
Coach Gault became PC’s head football coach and athletic director in 1963. He served as head coach until 1984 and as athletic director until 1995.
His 126 victories in his 22-year career on the sidelines is the most by any head football coach at PC. He posted eight seven-win seasons, including a best 11-2 mark during the 1979 season when the Blue Hose won the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Championship. Presbyterian won the SAC Championship in 1978 with an 8-2-1 mark as well.
“This is not just an honor for the 2019 team to be wearing this decal, but an honor for everyone who has worn the PC uniform,” said Tommy Spangler, head football coach at PC.
Gault was named South Carolina Coach of the Year in 1964, 1966, 1968, 1972, and 1979. He was the Carolina Conference or SAC-8 Coach of the Year in 1969, 1970, 1977, 1979, and 1984.
Fifty-seven players earned all-SAC honors during Gault’s time as head coach, while another 21 were named All-Americans. Jimmy Spence and Clayto Burke were each named SAC Offensive Players of the Year in 1978 and 1979, respectively. Charles Huff took home Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1984.
Coach Gault earned a reputation for high sportsmanship and the title “Dean of South Carolina Football Coaches” during his 22 years as the head coach of the Blue Hose. He served as athletic director for a total of 31 years.
He was given the title of Director Emeritus of PC Athletics upon his retirement.
Coach Gault received a number of awards, honors, and other recognitions during his storied career. In 1984, then South Carolina Governor Dick Riley bestowed the Order of the Palmetto onto Gault. Considered the highest civilian honor in the state of South Carolina, the Order of the Palmetto recognizes a person's lifetime achievements and contributions to the state.
In 2000, PC presented Gault with an honorary Doctor of Public Service for his service to the College during his illustrious career. Coach Gault received the Thomas Aurelius Stallworth ‘55 Alumni Award in 2010, and also served on the ROTC Alumni Council Executive Committee. He did more than coach and serve as an athletic director: He was also as a teacher, mentor, counselor, and friend to hundreds of young people for more than 40 years.
In 1988, Gault was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame and the Greenville High School Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame in 1989.
Before becoming the legendary head coach and AD at his alma mater, Coach Gault lettered in football, baseball, and basketball for the Blue Hose. He also served as a first lieutenant in the ROTC Program.
Coach Gault was a member of Student Council, the Glee Club, and Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, serving as president during his senior year. He earned a history degree from PC in 1948 and a master of education degree from the University of South Carolina in 1956.
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