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Gruhn named to GACA Hall of Fame

POSTED: December 16, 2007 5:03 a.m.

For 29 years he stood at the helm of the Gainesville High football program and guided it to a 245-104-5 record which included nine trips to the state quarterfinals, 11 state semifinals appearances and four state finals appearances.

He retired from coaching in 1992 at the age of 63 after 23 consecutive winning seasons - good enough for the 18th spot in the all-time wins column among Georgia coaches.

On June 7, 2008 at the Northwest Georgia Trade Center in Dalton, legendary Red Elephant football coach Bobby Gruhn, who passed away in September 1995 at the age of 66, will be posthumously inducted into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

"Bobby (Gruhn) had a great record in both football and golf," said Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Executive Secretary Ray Broadaway. "He was placed in both categories and his plaque will reflect that."

Coach Gruhn's plaque in the Hall of Fame will hang next to the likes of his former boss at Gainesville High, Graham Hixon; former East Hall boys basketball coach Glenn Cassell; former Jefferson high wrestling and track coach Jack Keen and former Commerce High football coach Ray Lamb.

According to former Times sports editor Phil Jackson, Bobby Gruhn would consider himself fortunate to be in the company of greatness just as he did in life.

"Coach (Bobby) Gruhn was not flamboyant," said Jackson. "He considered himself lucky to have a head job in a town full of football tradition and gave that credit before himself.

"He would say (in regards to being inducted into the Hall), ‘This is great, but I didn't do anything. I had good assistants and great players and that made me good.' He never considered himself any extra."

There are currently 34 coaches in the GACA Hall of Fame.

"It means a lot for our family," said Bobby Gruhn's son Matthew Gruhn who currently coaches football at Lakeview Academy. "It's hard to put into words, but you could use all the normal adjectives; excited, pleased."

Matthew Gruhn and his mother, Bobby Gruhn's widow Jean Gruhn, will travel to Dalton for the ceremony and while there will have cause for two other celebrations.

"June 7 is his birthday," Jean Gruhn said, "and the day we were married."

Jean and Matthew Gruhn found out about the honor Monday evening.

"I really am excited," Jean Gruhn said.

"It's an awesome honor," Matthew Gruhn said, "and with him not being here it means even more."

Mrs. Gruhn admitted that, after her husband was denied entry into the Hall the past two years, she had conceded and come to terms with it not being, "meant to be."

The call from Broadaway, therefore, letting her know that coach Gruhn was being inducted brought feelings of both joy and relief.

"I'm still just glowing in it," said Mrs. Gruhn. "My hope is that he has a way of knowing.

"I just hope he knows."



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