Former Southern University football player adopted by the Georgia Bulldog Nation is returning to the sport as an assistant at Jefferson High School.
Former Southern University football player Devon Gales, seriously injured during a 2015 game against Georgia football, is returning to the sport this spring as an assistant coach at Jefferson High School. A house was built for Gales in a Jefferson neighborhood last year. Jefferson is located less than 20 miles north of the University of Georgia campus.
Most Georgia football fans are familiar with Gales’s story. During Southern’s visit to Athens in 2015, Gales was paralyzed following a collision with former Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan. The university and football donors have supported Gales in numerous ways since his injury, including the handicap accessible home in Jefferson.
Jefferson head football coach Gene Cathcart offered Gales the job last week on the recommendation of Jefferson City School’s superintendent Dr. John Jackson. Gales spoke to the Jefferson senior class last week.
“It was brought to our attention upon meeting this wonderful family that Devon missed the game and practices and being part of a football team in the game he still loved so much. Dr. John Jackson had the idea of getting him involved in our program in some way and how our young men would benefit from his living example, character, strength in facing adversity and perseverance,” Cathcart said.
Cathcart introduced Gales as a new assistant coach on Monday. He joins a robust coaching staff and historic program which has as a 61.24-percent winning percentage in 72 years. Since 2007, the program has a record of 120-28 with five region championships in three different classifications, and a 2A State Championship in 2012. The Jefferson coaching staff also includes former Georgia linebacker and All-American Boss Bailey.
Gales won’t have to wait long to return to the sport as a newly minted assistant coach. Spring football begins next month, featuring a scrimmage against another school. Summer practices start in July and the 2019 high school football season will arrive in early August.