Clay McCall- New Athletic Director At Bob Jones
MADISON- A decision to halt his travels to pay a visit with his father more than 30 years ago altered the career path and eventually the life of Clay McCall, the new athletic director for Bob Jones High School. His move to see the senior McCall soon led him to become a coach, a school administrator and, now, overseer of athletics for the Patriots’ program.
McCall began his new position with the Patriots this week after 13 years at Auburn High in a similar position where he was named Alabama High School Athletic Director of the Year by the Alabama High School Athletic Association for 2013-2014 and in 2015 was presented with the State Award of Merit by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
The 56-year old McCall remembered back to 1990 and his chance to visit with his father, Bill, who was the head coach of the Lee County, Ga. High School football program. McCall was set to be a graduate assistant after graduating from Tulane University, but he volunteered to help his father and was soon hired where he coached football, baseball and track until1994 at which time he took an assistant football coach position at Auburn High.
“My stay at Auburn included handling the wrestling team, but in 2001, I had a chance to become a head coach in Rainsville at Plainview High,” said McCall, who remained with the Bears’ for two years before he returned to Auburn as an assistant principal. “My dad passed (2001) and my wife lost both her parents so we needed to get to Auburn, so I stepped away for a couple years before the athletic director at Auburn retired upon which I stepped into that position.”
Now, McCall and his wife, Michele, whom he will be married for 26 years in December, make their home in Madison while their oldest daughter, Reagan Eller, lives in Birmingham after recently getting married, while youngest daughter, Mallory, is a freshman at Troy University. “I met Michele in her hometown of Auburn. I must say I’m blessed to marry my best friend.”
McCall arrived in Madison with a spectacular athletic background. He was All-State in both football and baseball and also threw the shot put and discus in track at Berrien High in Nashville, Ga. He signed with Tulane as a quarterback, but was moved to tight end and handled long snapper duties under legendary coach Mac Brown 1986-1990.
“Being an athletic director is a highest calling for me as having a chance to serve has been my passion and all that starts with creating relationships,” said McCall. “I want to build those relationships at Bob Jones and the Madison community. Being athletic director I have that opportunity to promote our athletes as I do everything possible to support them to continue in academics and athletics.”
Being a father to two daughters and his experiences of dealing with parents of an enormous number of student-athletes, McCall understands and has insights on how today’s world is extremely difficult on both adults and students. “It’s important to be there for these students,” added McCall.
As a youngster, McCall and has family bounced around to different living locations close to 10 times, mostly in Georgia. While he followed his father and his coaching career, McCall learned to adapt to different surroundings and dealing with new people on a constant basis. Those experiences have easily led him to be able to adapt to his life as an adult.
McCall is a family man spending as much quality time as possible with his immediate family. He’s also a man of faith. He added, “We feel the Lord has opened up the door for this great opportunity. We’re tickled to be here.”
As for being among the staff at one of the state’s top rated high schools, McCall said, “Bob Jones is the heartbeat of what’s going on in the state. This school is well respected throughout the state and I’m very humbled to be part of this community.”
With a bachelor degree in Social Sciences from Tulane and a master’s in Educational Leadership from Troy University, McCall is proudly standing amongst his memories of his father and that chance visit to Lee County High where his passion and his career both began with a touch of fatherly love.