Albany Herald Guest Columnist Furman Bisher
It bothers me when I pick up a headline that tells me Bobby Cremins has to take leave of the coaching bench due to an undisclosed medial issue. Bobby is only 64 years old, and always, yes, always, appeared to be full of vigor and good humor.
He has had a good run at College of Charleston, and every time I see a picture of him, his face is wreathed in an old familiar smile.
“Sixty-four years old?” That's not old. Nor when he left Georgia Tech and made a nest at Hilton Head Island, did it seem he should be of the retirement vintage. When he left Georgia Tech, it was not of his choice. At least, it was my notion that it was not his choice.
They planted his name across a section of the court at Alexander Coliseum, a sort of thing you do when a fellow is slipping into retirement.
Then came Paul Hewitt, who was a stranger to basketball at Georgia Tech. A name from out of the East, introduced from Siena College, an Albany (N.Y.) institution familiar to me only because it was an object of Gene Sarazen's charity. Not that was any connection between the school and Sarazen, beyond the fact that the gentleman golfer was Catholic, and so was the school. And, I might add, a very close friend to me over the years.
After running up quite a salary-increasing yearly at Georgia Tech, due to a mysterious contract that a departing athletics director left behind, ridding itself of Hewitt became an increasing burden with each passing season. Each year that passed, the departed Cremins was missed, simply because Bobby was a kind of coach with likeable qualities.
Now he's taken leave at College of Charleston, temporarily, I hope, while he recover from some kind of an undisclosed ailment.
Surely it won't take him out more than a short time, and it only disturbs me because I don't like to get news such as this, especially when it involve an old pal. Golfed together, traveled together, sat at the press table watching his Georgia Tech team make a run at a Final Four.
But it's more the man than the game, Bobby.