Sam Gealy: A Man for all Seasons

Victoria Hedrick, Writer

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If you are affiliated with Catawba College athletics, you know Sam Gealy. And chances are Sam knows you too. Gealy attended North Carolina State University and earned a degree in recreation. Throughout his time at NC State he lettered in golf and men’s basketball. He was a member of the 1965 ACC championship basketball team. Gealy takes great pride in being apart of the Championship team and wears the ring everyday. Aside from his victories in basketball Gealy finished off his career in the 1966 ACC golf Championship with a tie for ninth.

Gealy was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania and currently lives in Salisbury, North Carolina with his wife Judy who is a retired mathematics teacher from Salisbury High School. She tutors children from her home and keeps up with the lives of her busy family. The Gealy’s have two sons Elliot and Todd. Elliot is the head golf coach at Lenoir Rhyne and Todd is a teacher with ICS in Bangkok, Thailand.

Gealy began his coaching career at Bunn High School, coaching football, basketball and baseball. He coached other teams at Cardinal Gibbons High School before settling in Salisbury, North Carolina. Gealy came to Catawba from Salisbury High, where he coached men’s golf, basketball and operated as the athletic director. In 1998 he took the position of the head coach of the Catawba College Men’s and Women’s Golf teams. Since becoming an Indian has been entitled SAC Men’s Coach of the Year three times and has been the SAC Women’s Coach of the Year twice. Gealy has guided Catawba to consecutive SAC Championships in women’s golf.

Gealy is known for being a creature of habit. He sticks to his go-to restaurants and daily routines. Catawba’s assistant golf coach Jim Mundy said, “Sam won’t go eat at a Mellow Mushroom simply because he never has.” His particular ways are evident to those that know him best. Every morning Coach Gealy drinks Bojangles coffee, watches his golfer’s workout, sends out an email about practice at 11, and attends practice. Throughout the day he converses with other coaches, and students about sports and life in general. He enjoys talking and never seems to be in a hurry.

Sam is an understanding, gentle man who is loved by his fellow Catawba Indians according to the golf team. Jaime Cassell current golfer said, “Coach is a great man, he is a teacher of lessons much more imprinting than how to strike a golf ball correctly. He has taught us not to stress over shots once they have been made, in relation to life, not to worry about things we have no control over.” Gealy’s accomplishments validate the credibility his players have given him. He plans to continue his coaching career as long as he is able.

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Sam Gealy: A Man for all Seasons