Ralph Starling had a bunch of ole' dogs in town last weekend for Thomson High Booster Club's annual banquet and golf tournament. Among that group was the other Guy.
Al Guy is the older brother of the more renowned Ray Guy, and a classmate of Starling's from the THS class of 1966.
Al Guy has quite a football legacy of his own from his days at Thomson High School through many years of college and high school coaching. Al played under Coach Paul Leroy at THS and received a football scholarship to East Tennessee State University.
"I was one of 13 Georgia boys signed by Coach John Robert Bell that year, and I'm proud to say that 12 of us graduated together from East Tennessee four years later," Guy said.
After playing safety for East Tennessee State, Guy headed off to Florida State to serve as a graduate assistant coach for the Seminoles in 1971. Larry Jones was the head coach in Tallahassee then.
"I worked on a staff that included, among others that would become famous, Steve Sloan and Bill Parcells," said Guy.
Sloan was a quarterback at Alabama under Bear Bryant that later held several college coaching and administrative jobs. Parcells' claim to fame is that of a Super Bowl winning coach in the NFL that coached for several teams before his current job as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
Guy returned to East Tennessee State and served as an assistant coach there in 1972. He then went to Newberry (S.C.) College, where he coached from 1973 through 1975. While at Newberry, he ran into several Georgia boys on the team that included Tim Bunch, a high school teammate of mine and the son of former Lincoln County coach Thomas Bunch.
In 1976, Guy coached at Georgia Tech on the staff of Pepper Rodgers. Bill Curry was the offensive line coach on that staff. Needless to say Guy ran into his share of football names during his stretch of coaching in college.
From 1977 through 1986, Guy coached at high schools in Georgia. Those stops were Newton County, Lamar County, where he served as head coach for three years, Northside-Warner Robins and Marietta.
"In 1983, I was on the staff at Northside and Luther Welsh was on Robert Davis' staff across town at Warner Robins," Guy explained. "When Luther called me about Thomson I told him to jump on it because they had a great tradition and even greater people. The rest is history."
Guy settled into teaching only while at Marietta High School and now serves as the adapted physical education teacher for Clayton County Schools south of Atlanta. He currently travels to four different schools to serve the needs of various students and is coordinator of the Henry County Special Olympics.
"I can't imagine doing anything more rewarding in life than teaching special education," he said.
Al's wife Kay is a native of Zebulon, Ga., and she is the comptroller for Hank Aaron Toyota in McDonough. They have three children and four grandchildren.
When asked how much did he get to watch brother Ray's pro football career Al quickly responded.
"I was at two Super Bowls with Ray," he said. "In fact, after the '84 game in Tampa, Ray didn't want to fly back to California to pick up his car, so he put me on the team plane, and I felt like a real big shot," he said laughingly. "But I did have to drive his car all the way back to Hattiesburg, Miss.
"In all my travels in the coaching business, Thomson is the most unique situation I've ever seen," Guy said. "The people are good Christian folks that get along well together and their tradition is strong. The key to Thomson is the people!"
The people - and ambassadors like Al Guy.