Augusta University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Number of years in position: 30
Family: Wife, Trish Bryant; daughters, Lauren Ashley Bryant, Washington, D.C., and Kristin Amanda Bryant, Boston
Why I’m Passionate About What I Do: I’ve been in intercollegiate athletics since 1977, so I’ve had the opportunity to watch young people grow up. I enjoy seeing people come in as 17- or 18-year-old kids and seeing them leave as 21- and 22-year olds with their degrees. A lot of times they are the first generation in their families to get a college education.
Community Groups and Charities I Love to Support: I support a lot of them. I don’t want to leave any out, but a few organizations that I’ve supported are Boys & Girls Clubs, Family Y, The Warrior Alliance, 100 Black Men of Augusta Inc., American Heart Association and American Cancer Society. You name it; I’ve done it. But my biggest passion is helping disadvantaged kids or kids with special needs, and helping kids overcome obstacles. I’m also very passionate about our warriors and wounded veterans.
Biggest Career or Life Obstacle I’ve Overcome and How: I guess growing up as an inner city kid in Washington, D.C. — I’ve seen how you can go from there to having an opportunity to live the life I’ve lived and travel all over the world. I’ve been to places such as New Zealand, Argentina and every state except one. I’ve never been to North Dakota. Some of the travel has been for pleasure, but most of it has been work-related over the years.
Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of: Probably when I was selected to the NCAA Division II 40th Anniversary Tribute Team in 2013. The team is made up of former student-athletes who made a difference in competition during their playing days and as civic leaders after they graduated. I was one of 40 people recognized for contributions to the NCAA.
What Your Childhood Self Wanted to Be When You Grew Up: A fireman. There were always a lot of firetrucks around, so I had a thing about firemen.
Favorite Way to Spend Saturday Afternoon: Grilling. I can cook anything – ribs, chicken, all kinds of fish and wild game. If it’s edible, I can grill it.
Favorite TV Show: Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations”
Favorite Movie: Tombstone
Favorite Sports Team: Golden State Warriors
Favorite Comfort Food: Gumbo. In 1984, Bill Foster and I left Clemson University to restart the basketball program at the University of Miami after it had been on a 15-year hiatus. I recruited a young man out of Lafayette, Louisiana. I stayed at the Radisson, and I went to the concierge and said I wanted some real Cajun food. There were a lot of restaurants around, but I went 10-12 miles out of town. I ended up on this bayou at a place where they put the food on a table with paper and cold beer. The people there took a liking to me because I stopped in there every time I went to the area. The grandmother finally said that if I came back again, she would teach me how to make Cajun food. She taught me how to make the best gumbo.
Favorite App: Vivino. It’s a wine app.
Last Book Read: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Dream Vacation: I’d like to go to the San Francisco area, Sausalito, Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley because I’m crazy about wine.
Something That Has Changed My Life: The birth of my daughters and my basketball coach, Bob Hussey, at Belmont Abbey College. With his help, I had the opportunity to get into college coaching.
Best Thing I Ever Learned: Life is a never-ending process of getting used to things that you never expected.
One Word You Would Use to Describe Yourself: Outgoing
Favorite Hobbies: Cooking, fishing, golf
Secret Aspiration: To write a memoir
Reality Show I Would Totally Win: “Cooks Vs. Cons”
Something People Would Be Surprised to Know About Me: I was born in rural, coastal, eastern North Carolina in a small town called Bolivia. It is 22 miles south of Wilmington and 24 miles north of Myrtle Beach.