Dr. Hallie Gregory, the first African-American head coach at the Coast Guard Academy and a 2001 CGA Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, passed away at the age of 78 on Sunday in Salisbury, Md.
The Coast Guard Academy Division of Athletics sends out condolences to the Gregory family upon hearing the news of the passing of former coach, professor and administrator Hallie Gregory over the weekend.
He was a professor and coach at the Academy from 1971 to 1989. In 1980, Coast Guard Academy Athletic Director Otto Graham appointed Gregory, the Academy's assistant track and basketball coach, as the Academy's head track coach, making Gregory the first African-American head coach in the history of the Academy.
"Coach Hallie Gregory was such a positive influence on me and so many other officers in the Coast Guard," said RADM James E. Rendon, Coast Guard Academy Superintendent. "While at the Academy, he was always ready to mentor, motivate, and inspire others ... his impact on our Coast Guard was immense." RADM Rendon ran track for Gregory and had him as an instructor.
Gregory, a 2001 inductee to the Coast Guard Academy Athletic Hall of Fame, was a men's track and field coach from 1978-1984 and the men's basketball head coach from 1984-1989 while also serving as Assistant Director of Athletics in 1989.
While at the Coast Guard Academy, Gregory founded the USCGA Genesis Club, a support organization for minority cadets. He also helped develop the academy's cardiopulmonary resuscitation program.
"With the passing of Coach Hallie Gregory, the Coast Guard Academy lost a tremendously revered and respected figure in our history and a true pioneer," said Tim Fitzpatrick, Coast Guard Academy Director of Athletics. " As CGA's first African-American head coach, he blazed a trail for others to follow and along the way made a huge impact on the lives and careers of many, many cadet-athletes in the sport of track & field. His legacy will live on in our memories and he will be sorely missed."
He then spent 11 years as the Director of Athletics at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (1989-2000).
From 1967 to 1971, Gregory served as an assistant professor of physical education and head track coach at Central State University in Ohio.
Gregory earned a Doctorate of Education in higher education administration from Indiana University. He holds a Master of Science in physical education from Moorhead State College in Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts in health, physical education and recreation from Dakota Wesleyan University in South Dakota.
"Coach Gregory was an outstanding coach, and even more outstanding person who cared deeply for the Academy, the cadets and his athletes," said Dr. Kurt Colella, Coast Guard Academy Dean of Academics, who was coached in track by Gregory. "He taught me a great deal about how to interact with others, balance the rigors of cadet life, and challenged me in every developmental dimension to be the best I could be. He will be sorely missed by all!"