The Portland Leader
On Saturday June 7, Portland's Glen Gregory was inducted into the Macon County Sports Hall of Fame. Gregory was one of five new members to the elite club that was organized in 2001.
Gregory spent seven years on the Macon County football staff and was head coach for the last four. In those four seasons, the Tigers were 30-13 with two playoff appearances and an Industrial Bowl winner. “We had a lot of good athletes in those years at Macon County and they loved to play football,” Gregory said recently. “They were good years and as I look back, we didn't have any major problems.”
Gregory grew up in Portland and played for the Panthers, making all-conference while the Purple compiled a 24-16 record and made two bowl trips. After graduation from Austin Peay, Gregory came home to Portland where he spent two years at Portland Junior High School.
Gregory became friends with Macon County's football coach and school superintendent; when an assistant coaching position came open on the Lafayette staff, Gregory made the decision to go to Lafayette. “I spent three years as an assistant coach and took over as head coach before the 1971 season,” Gregory explained. The Tigers won 22 games in those three years before Gregory took over as head coach in 1971. In his first season, the Tigers were 10-1 and won the Industrial Bowl and went 8-2 the following campaign and made the playoffs that year.
Macon County fielded its only undefeated regular season squad in 1973 although the Tigers lost in the first round of the TSSAA playoffs. “The 1970 team played Maryville in the playoffs (and lost) and Maryville had beaten Bristol High School by three touchdowns in a pre-season scrimmage. Bristol went on to be named National High School football champs,” Gregory remembered. “We played some good teams back then.”
One player that stands out to Gregory is Mark Shrum. Shrum, after a stellar career of wearing the Blue and White, went to captain his college football team. Shrum introduced Gregory at
Saturday night's festivities. “I can truly say that as good of a football player Mark was, he was an even better person off the field,” Gregory said.
Another standout that Gregory coached was Gary Perdue who went on to the Ohio Valley Conference, and tackle Eddie Goad, who was a four-year Letterman for the Tigers. The 1974 team had high expectations but managed to win just two games. “1974 wasn't a good year but I loved that bunch, Gregory stated. “We started seven sophomores and lost four or five games by six points or less.” After the season ended, Gregory decided to come home to Portland to coach after the retirement of Edgar Johnson following the 1974 season. Gregory was head coach for two years and finished up his
coaching career as an assistant when Jon Collins became head coach in 1977. Gregory closed out his coaching career on a cold November evening at Greenbrier in 1985. Since then, Gregory has served as principal of J.W. Wiseman Elementary School and is currently on the Sumner County School Board.
Some 34 years have passed since Gregory roamed the Macon County sideline as a member of the coaching staff. And though Gregory's blood runs purple and white, he is thankful for the opportunity to have coached at Lafayette and the honor he received Saturday night.
“I was surprised when I received the invitation in the mail,”Gregory said. “I didn't know anything was in the works. It was exciting, especially after all these years away from the community. There has been an obvious population change since 1975 and it was very gracious and nice that they still remember what happened back then.” The remaining four inductees included Will Taylor Chamberlain, Glen Harold Donoho, the late Eddie Goad and Rickey Shoulders. Gregory coached Goad in the early 70's and played against Donoho as a high school player.