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Bo Williams

I fear we don't have enough people of this fiber anymore. I mean, surely it takes some minimum percentage of folks like this to keep a society functioning, doesn't it?

I didn't realize you and I had Donoho in common as well. I attended first through fourth grade, when it was Episcopal Day School, at Grace. That was 1976-1980.

Henry King

That was a good story. Enjoyed reading it. I played football under Coach Grubbs also in 1974 along with David Smith, John Bryan, Kim Moore and Joe Pitard to name a few. We had another coach: Wes Dumas. I can't remember if he only coached soccer or if he coached football and soccer. We also had a running back from Oxford named Bill Heard who was really good. Coach Grubbs coached or "chaperoned" the golf team also. I had no idea he played at Auburn or that he was know as the "Mattress Kid." That is a great story!

BN Heard

Bo, you are right! I enjoy reading your thoughts at www.bowilliams.com.

Henry, I remember them all well. My brother did gallup in the backfield for the Academy Falcons. His name was "Bud." All the guys you mention were great athletes.

BN Heard

Special thanks to the folks at Auburn and Alabama (TiderInsider) for linking to this story.

Folks outside of Alabama see the ESPN documentary and think we (Alabama and Auburn fans) are all nuts. If we are all nuts, I like the bowl we call home.


Bryan Read

You gotta love the Mattress Kid. I remember Coach telling us the story of parachuting at night time during the war. He landed in a tree--being afraid to move in the dark and not knowing how far from the ground he was; he decided not move till daylight. Hours later, when dawn came, he saw that he had been only 6 inches off the ground.

Thanks Brent and Thanks Coach.

Lee Grubbs

Thanks Brent for writing about my Dad he is truly a amazing person and loved all the players he coached. War Eagle!!!

David M. Smith

My main disappointment in leaving Johnston Jr. High in 1970 was that it meant I would not get to play football anymore. The Academy was where I needed to be, but football meant a lot to me. Pat Sullivan was my idol at that time and I loved trying to pretend to be him on the sandlots. Suddenly, Cliff Grubbs came to the Academy in 1971 to replace Coach Dumas as the Athletic Director and Coach Grubbs wanted to start football. In the spring of '72, we had spring training, learned about how to put on our uniforms and then had an inter-squad game as our jamboree. I got to play for Coach Grubbs for 3 full seasons (4-5-1, 2-7, and 4-5 records) and he had a major, positive impact on my life. He was the driver's ed teacher and, in 10th grade, we would drive all over town talking about football and life. I know that over the years at the Academy I disappointed him a few times, but he never acted like he didn't still love me. I would love to talk to him if you would be comfortable emailing me his phone number. Give my best to Bud Heard, the most determined and effective slow running back ever. Thanks for sharing this story!
David Smith

Bill Grubbs

Dear Brent or Bo,

My Dad, The Mattress Kid, has gone home. He passed away about an hour ago in his home in Mary Esther, Florida. My sisters and I were on the road to see him when we got the call from his son-in-law, Patrick, who had been serving him in his last hours with love, kindness and dignity. He did not suffer and passed on to his new eternal life with the Father and his Savior, Jesus Christ, peacefully.

We will keep you informed of the upcoming services. Thank you for your blog. It meant a lot to his family. Any stories you or others may have would be be appreciated and cherished.

BN Heard

I'm so sorry. I knew it was close. We loved him and we always will. How appropriate was it for him to go home on a Friday. He touched many lives.
BN Heard
(#5 for Coach Cliff Grubbs' Donoho Falcons)

Alex Sexton

Hi Brent, You are right Coach was exactly as you portrayed him.
He and I were very close and shared many good times. When I
lost Mike in 97 he reached out. To me and helped me through
a very tough time in my life. He helped Mike get a partial scholership
to Auburn. I will miss him. Remember the White Plains game
13-0. We did not have a chance but we shut them out.
WAR EAGLE Coach. Alex Sexton '70

Virginia Hayes

I found the link to your blog post on FB and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. As a Donoho alum (c/o 97) I heard many fond stories of Coach Grubbs over the years. Such a wonderful tribute:)

Doug West

Thank you so much for this article. I found it from a post by @wareaglereader on twitter.

My brother and I both played for him at Randolph School in Huntsville, Alabama in the 60s. He was a wonderful man, great coach, and the perfect mentor. He will be missed.

I wish somebody would write a book on his life.

Fan of the old coach

Do you remember how he kept the pickled pigs' feet on his desk at Donoho? (100% serious) I was a waterboy for him for a while. I never realized he was such a legend.

John Barrow

Haven't heard from uncle Clifford in a long time. I was just thinking the other day about him and how I looked up to him when I was a kid. At thanksgiving or christmas he would come into my grandmothers house with that deep voice and those eyebrows and ask " son,how are you doing in school?". Him being a football coach, I figured he would ask about that(football). I guess school was more important. Also, I was always amazed at all the "hot peppers" he could eat. Wow! Wish I would have kept in touch.

Fred Lybrand

Thanks for the good memories here...we all are indebted to Coach for many great lessons. I hope we are all taking to heart the value of passing the heritage of wisdom along to younger folks!

Grace and peace,

Fred Lybrand (Anniston Academy / Donoho 1972-1977)

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