Years ago, real men didn't eat quiche. Today, real men are leaders. Todd Knight, head football coach at Newberry College ensures his program creates leaders. Inspired by North Carolina State's Dick Sheridan's Diamond Club, Knight has created the Order of the Gray Stripe. The Stripe symbolizes an earned distinction, it designates the wearer as one of the elite, as the “best of the best.”
Gray, one of the school colors, was chosen to contrast with the red and white uniforms. The stripe runs the length of the helmet and is highly prized Knight is equally proud of the men who wear the Stripe. “They are leaders, on and off of the field,” he explains “They're well-rounded. It goes beyond athletics, it's integrity, effort, academics and attitude as well.”
The elite few who wear the Stripe will be immediately recognized by it. “It's a special reminder of the philosophy of the program,” comments Assistant Head Coach Todd Varn. “The Stripe signifies character.”
Eight men proudly wear the Gray Stripe: seniors Matt Holmes, Derrell Kinard, David Pressley, Josh Williams and sophomores Bryan Ehrlich, Chase Gamble, Joe Smith and Apollo Stretch All of the football coaches unanimously decide to extend the invitation to the Order of the Gray Stripe. Thus far, no one has declined to sign the oath. The students regard it as an honor; their signature equals commitment.
Real men not only are leaders, but at Newberry College real men create a legacy.