GWU alum named head coach
A coach with over 20 years of collegiate coaching experience has been tapped to lead the Gardner-Webb University football program.
On Monday, the university introduced Carroll McCray as its next head coach.
McCray replaced Ron Dickerson Jr., who resigned last week to “pursue other opportunities.”
McCray, a native of Monroe, is a 1983 graduate of Gardner-Webb and was a three-year letterwinner for the Runnin’ Bulldogs under coach Tom Moore.
Over the course of his 20-plus years of experience, McCray has spent time at Appalachian State, South Carolina, Samford, Mississippi State, Austin Peay, Furman and Mercer.
He was hired on Jan. 15, 2012 as the head coach at North Greenville University.
“I am humbled and overjoyed with the opportunity to return to Gardner-Webb University,” McCray said. “This place has always been very special to our family.”
McCray will be only the second alumnus to be named head coach. The first was Woody Fish, who was head coach from 1984-1986.
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GWU Athletic Director Chuck Burch said that the university tried to move quickly on a replacement for Dickerson.
“He (McCray) is a man of impeccable character and a person we are confident is an outstanding fit here at Gardner-Webb,” Burch said.
McCray started his coaching career as a graduate assistant for Sparky Woods at Appalachian State and moved into a full-time position upon receiving his masters degree in 1985.
After Woods left Appalachian State, McCray followed him to South Carolina where he coached the offensive line, tight ends and H-backs. From there, McCray moved to Samford where he coached the offensive line from 1994-2000.
After two seasons at Mississippi State, McCray earned his first head coaching job at Austin Peay. He was responsible for taking a non-scholarship program into the Ohio Valley Conference. He spent three years in Clarksville, Tenn. before coaching the offensive line at Furman and one year as the associate head coach at Mercer.
McCray said that he plans on focusing his attention both on and off the field at GWU.
“Fielding a good team isn’t the only part of the equation,” McCray said. “Building a program this university can take pride in, a highly-respected program, is the ultimate goal. The wins will come.”
The Runnin’ Bulldogs will open the 2013 season by hosting Furman on Aug. 31.
Gardner-Webb sports information contributed to this report.