Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Pursuit of Condredge Holloway

Mark McCarter of The Huntsville Times has written a great article about Condredge Holloway, Canadian Football Hall of Fame QB. The story starts with the Montreal Expos offering the phenom high school athlete a "suitcase full of cash" in 1970.

"The best high school athlete I've ever seen," former Lee basketball coach Jerry Dugan said.

The article focuses on football's readiness for a black quarteback.

If you have a couple of minutes, it's a good read.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

The Montreal Expos opened up a suitcase full of cash right in front of his eyes, dollars stacked inside like something out of a cops-and-robbers movie. John Wooden, the legendary UCLA coach, sent him a recruiting letter. Tennessee dispatched an assistant coach who would all but take up residence in Huntsville.

The pursuit of Condredge Holloway was competitive and varied, a testament to the athletic skills he displayed at Lee High School.

"The best high school athlete I've ever seen," former Lee basketball coach Jerry Dugan said.

But the competitive, varied recruiting effort took a bizarre turn one day in 1970, as told in "The Color Orange: The Condredge Holloway Story," a documentary that debuts tonight at 7 on ESPN.

"The phone rings, it's George Wallace on the phone, wanting him to go to Alabama," recalled Ray Trail, the Tennessee assistant who recruited Holloway. "He came back and he said 'Coach can you believe that? George Wallace, the guy that stood on the steps of the university and said there'll never be a black guy enter the University of Alabama, calls me.'"

Indeed, both Alabama and Auburn were interested in Holloway. Neither wanted him as a quarterback.

Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant was brutally frank with him, admitting Alabama wasn't ready for a black quarterback.

1 comment:

Daniel Gilbeau said...

I remember meeting Condredge Holloway in the late 70s or early 80s at the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club, McCann unit on McArthur road. This was just before the Ottawa Rough Riders traded him to Toronto. Too bad, Ottawa had 2 great QBs at the time, Tom Clemens and Holloway. After they left, Ottawa was hurting for many years at that position.