Forsyth Central athletic director Jerry Cauley certainly made a mark on the Bulldogs’ program over the decades he was with the school.
He led that school’s softball team to a state championship in 1996, and during his last 10 years there, he served as the athletic director, playing a big role in bringing sports like volleyball, swimming, gymnastics and lacrosse into the fold.
It’s been around seven years since Cauley retired from his post, but on Thursday morning, he returned to Central after receiving a call on Wednesday from current AD Dan Kaplan, who asked if he could identify something. However, what Cauley was actually there for was something completely different and unknown to him.
“They fooled me real good,” Cauley said. “I walked in this morning and there was a picture of our '96 state championship softball team sitting there, and I was like, 'Well, they want me to identify all those girls.' And then I turned around and here was Mr. (Rudy) Hampton, my former principal walking in, and there was (Forsyth County regional athletic director Nathan Turner) walking in. And I said, ‘Wait a minute, what's going on here?’”
Turner then broke the news: Cauley had been selected to the Georgia Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame. He was surprised by the honor, but felt like it was a fitting way to top his long career. He and Turner, who was once North Forsyth’s athletic director, reflected on the kind of demanding work being an AD takes.
“We were talking about it this morning, how many hours you put in,” Cauley said. “Especially in the spring, there's an event every single night. You're at 10 or 11 o'clock leaving the school every night and there's tournaments every Saturday of some kind, whether it's wrestling or volleyball or a cheer competition or softball or something. Some of those days when you had six basketball games, you pretty much were there all day long.”
In addition to his 16 years leading the softball team, Cauley spent his first nine years at Central coaching the girls basketball team and spent some time coaching golf as well. He’s most proud of his 10 years as the AD, though, working to create a culture that valued sportsmanship above all else – The Bulldogs won three sportsmanship awards during his tenure.
“I was really proud of that,” Cauley said “That was pretty cool. That was a statewide thing that involved everybody.”
The induction ceremony will take place during March’s GADA state conference in Savannah, a meeting that Cauley once attended every year with Turner.
“It'll be great, it really will,” Cauley said. “I know I'll see a lot of the ADs that I knew and worked with at the time. It'll be good to see some of the guys again. It'll bring back a lot of memories, I'm sure.”