2015 Humanitarian of the Year

DAL SHEALY

Dal Shealy presenting Dabo AFCA Coach of the Year Award
Dal Shealy giving Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney the AFCA Coach of the Year Award.

Dal Shealy has been a mainstay in the coaching world for years. He was born August 1, 1938 and went on to attend Batesburg-Leesville High School in Batesburg, SC. During his time in high school, Shealy was a 3 sport athlete in baseball, football, and basketball- earning four varsity letters in each sport. As a football player he made All-State as an offensive guard and linebacker. Shealy went on to attend Carson-Newman College and started all four years in football. He was honored as All-Tennessee and was an Honorable Mention All-American in 1960. After college, Dal went on to play four (4) more years in Quantico and honorably serve his country in the Marines as a lieutenant.

Following his honorable discharge, Shealy came back to South Carolina to coach football at Laurens High School. Over the next several years his career began to blossom and he was chosen to reinstate the football program at Mars Hill College. Eventually, he was then again chosen to do the same at his alma mater at Carson-Newman College. Dal began to quickly build the program from the ground up. He went on to earn Coach of the Year in both 1971 and 1972 and took the team to the NAIA championship in 1972. After his stellar track record, Shealy coached in several capacities such as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at programs including Baylor, Tennessee, Auburn, and Iowa State. It was during this period that he felt a closer connection to a higher calling and began speaking at FCA events and clinics. In 1980, he took the job to reinstate yet another program, this time at the University of Richmond. As Head Coach he took the Spiders to the NCAA 1-AA playoffs twice in nine seasons (1984,1987). Shealy and his Spiders were 1987 Yankee Conference Champions and he earned Coach of the Year honors, as his team was ranked no.1 for seven weeks.

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Dal was a pioneer in coaching and football his entire career even developing the concepts and techniques now used in the popular spread offense. However, it was the other life calling of ministry that drew him out of coaching. In 1989 Dal joined the FCA as executive Vice President and eventually succeeded to the title of President in 1992. He maintained that role leading the FCA into one of the more well-known ministries in the world until 2005. After retiring from being President at FCA, he stayed on as the executive director of the FCA Football Coaches Ministry.

He has lived his life showing the epitome of servant leadership, and has written several books including, “One Way to Play: Drug Free!” and “One Way to Play: A Game Plan for Coaches.” Dal currently lives in Clemson with his beautiful wife Barbara and they recently celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary. They have three grown children, nine grandsons and two granddaughters.