NEW LONDON, Conn. - At the 2018 Eclipse Week awards ceremony, representatives of the Eclipse Legacy Fund were proud to announce the naming of the Roland Hall Fifth Deck as the Dr. Hallie Gregory Field House.
Doctor Gregory was also posthumously awarded the Coach Hallie Gregory Respect Award "given to any member of the greater Coast Guard community having a connection to Academy athletics who has excelled in actively demonstrating and promoting the unifying Core Value of Respect." His daughters accepted the award on his behalf.
Joining the representatives of the Eclipse Legacy Fund was CDR Mark Harris, '96 (ret), former basketball player and Coast Guard Academy Hall of Fame Inductee, who made remarks along with the Gregory family, Coast Guard Academy Superintendent RADM James Rendon, Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Aram deKoven and Director of Athletics Tim Fitzpatrick.
"We are so privileged to be able to appropriately honor a man of Dr. Hallie Gregory's stature by naming a very prominent and visible CGA Athletics facility in his memory," said Fitzpatrick. "In all of his works and deeds, Dr. Gregory embodied the Academy's core values and his mentorship made an enormous difference in the lives and professional development of countless cadet-athletes."
Dr. Gregory was a professor and coach at the Academy from 1971 to 1989. In 1980, Coast Guard Academy Athletic Director Otto Graham promoted Gregory, the Academy's assistant track and basketball coach, to the position of 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 while at the Academy.
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.
"I'd always heard of Dr. Hallie Gregory, but unfortunately it was only after his death that I really understood the magnitude of the man he was," added Harris. "His biography alone speaks to his courage, grit, wisdom and compassion. While his impact will always be seen in many of the leaders the Coast Guard Academy has produced since his arrival in 1971, especially the many cadets he coached and mentored."
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.
"Dr. Gregory had great foresight when starting the Genesis Club, it has positively impacted nearly every underrepresented minority who have entered CGA," said Harris. "The Genesis Club was a huge reason that I decided to attend the academy and was one of the more important reasons that I succeeded there. Having a space to be myself and a group that could encourage and accept my differences made difficult days bearable."
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."