“Big C” Golf Tournament continues helping students

Published 8:06 am Tuesday, June 20, 2023

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The sixth annual Colin “Big C” MacGuire Scholarship Golf Tournament concluded Friday evening culminating in an awards ceremony, a barbecue dinner, and stories shared by many former University of Alabama football players who recounted their college football careers under Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. 

Tournament supporters gather each year in an effort to help fund scholarships for local students planning to attend the University of Alabama. Many players from the 1978 team were on hand as this year’s tournament celebrated the 45th anniversary of The University of Alabama 1978 National Championship football team. 

“We are pleased to be able to play a small part in furthering a student’s education,” said Butler County Bama Club president Jana Ealum. “We would like to give a huge thank you to all those who had a hand in putting this event together. We can’t thank our community enough.”

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The tournament and scholarship, established in 2017 is named in honor of Colin “Big C” MacGuire and has helped many deserving students from Butler County and the surrounding area. Three of those students were recognized as part of the evening’s activities. Nolleigh Reaves, a graduate of Highland Home School will be attending the University of Alabama (UA) this fall and plans to study nursing. Claire Hutson, a Fort Dale Academy graduate, also plans to start classes at UA this fall. 

The scholarship funds also assist students returning to the university. Stirling Hamilton, a second year scholarship recipient who recently completed his freshman year at the university was also recognized. 

MacGuire served as a student manager for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team in the 1970’s under coach Bryant and has connected Greenville with several well known personalities from the University of Alabama. Many have chosen to come to Greenville to speak as part of the tournament, including Alabama’s men’s basketball play-by-play announcer, Chris Stewart, and the voice of the Crimson Tide football team, Eli Gold, who visited in 2021. 

Former football players also return each year to support the scholarship efforts and to support “Big C”. A few in attendance this year included National Championship quarterback Jake Coker, lineman Roger Shultz, safety Jim Bob Harris, and linebacker Randy Scott. 

Many who shared the sidelines with MacGuire and played for Bryant regaled the crowd with stories of the legendary coach along with praise for MacGuire. 

“‘Big C” was such a great part of what we did, who we were, who we still are, and who we are always going to be,” Jim Bob Harris said as he concluded his story about his own recruitment to Alabama and his experience playing under Coach Bryant. 

Randy Scott, whose experience was similar under Bryant, complemented Big C saying, “He is just a classy individual, he is humble, and is always thinking about others.”

“The thing I like about this [golf tournament] is that I am able to help people go to Alabama,” MacGuire said. “The golf tournament has really grown.”

In addition to the food, and fellowship provided at the evening’s event, many in the crowd also went home with door prizes provided by local sponsors. Several items were auctioned off to raise money for the scholarship fund. 

The golf tournament is held each year at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail At Cambrian Ridge and draws in local players, visiting players from surrounding areas, as well as former Crimson Tide athletes and supporters. The winning four man team with the lowest overall score this year included players, Cody Wesley, Jake Coker, Jim Bob Harris, and Patrick Russell. Next year’s golf tournament is slated for Jun 7, 2024.