In 1967, Terry Money added one word to his name… Coach. That title went on to shape his life and affect the lives of thousands of kids over the next five decades in Chattooga County youth athletics. Coach Money began with baseball as a 21 year-old kid who loved the game and wanted to work alongside his twin brother, Jerry, as they coached their youngest brother, Don, who was a 14 year-old baseball player at the time. That first team won the region and finished 3rd in the state. With success on the diamond, Money added football and basketball to his resume in the next two years and, in the coming years, became the first (and possibly the only) coach in Summerville Recreation history to win championships coaching all three sports.
As the seasons passed by and the years turned to decades, the faces of his players became the parents in the stands. Winning state titles in basketball in ’76 and ’92, countless recreation league titles in Baseball, and 10 Super Bowls as well as dozens of league titles before that in football, Coach Money has stories that could fill several books. The kids who have played for him learned lessons that applied not only to the field of play, but to life in general. With his low key approach, Coach Money didn’t yell and scream like many coaches. His approach to coaching was to know the sport, understand the kids, and earn respect.
Terry & Jerry Money also filmed the high school football games at Chattooga High. For 22 years, they never missed a game until 1989. On that fateful day, Terry’s brother, Jerry, slipped away in the hospital…as the Indians kicked off without them. Terry regrouped and was drawn back to the world of sports; filming games now for the high school for 45 years and coaching 49 years for the Summerville Recreation Department. His teams continued to win and his legend continued to grow. His accomplishments in sports are known across the state and his impact as a coach is nothing short of historical.
The 1976 Championship basketball team he coached averaged 100 points a game. The 1992 Championship team included Tuffy Foster, father of current Indian football stars, Isaiah, Isaac and Darion Foster. That team was competing in Athens and found themselves trapped by the Blizzard of ’93 and took 26 hours to make it home. Terry Money coached Phil Cavin in 1967, Phil’s son Paul in the early 90’s, and then Paul’s son Cole Cavin in 2013 & 14. Three generations of athletes. Coach Money’s players have gone on to win MVP awards and championships beyond the rec leagues. With high school standouts and college players and now a former player in the NFL, Money doesn’t count his successes based on the accomplishments of his players. He places more value on those moments when he crosses paths with players from the past who hug him and still call him “coach.” His memories span the years and are as vivid as the days he made them.
Just since 1998, when the recreation teams joined with the North Georgia Youth Football League, Coach Money has rolled up a 151- 25 record. Amassing 10 Super Bowl victories, Money has coached countless undefeated seasons including the 2010 season featuring twin sensations, Isaac & Isaiah Foster.
When asked about some of his fondest moments coaching, Money recalls the experience of coaching his own grandchildren. Brett, Blaine and Baylor Wilson were all outstanding multi-sport athletes can vouch for the fairness of their grandfather as a coach. “I never showed favoritism,” says Coach Money. Terry has spent thousands of hours coaching other people’s kids as a volunteer coach with no pay. In fact, he has spent more of his own money than he cares to remember buying uniforms, mouthpieces, shoes, and other gear, for kids whose families couldn’t afford the cost of playing sports. He has put thousands of miles on his vehicles playing taxi driver to kids whose parents couldn’t get to practice or games. “If I had a dollar for every hour I’ve put in…” laughs Coach Money.
While his good memories far outweigh the bad ones, Coach Money fondly remembers the good manners from days of yore and the times he could pay his players $1 per free throw. He has witnessed changes in leadership in the recreation department. From the sole directors to the board of directors, which he served on for several years, Money saw them come and go. He has been a part of the increased spending on the athletes of the county. From upgrades in the gym and fields to the equipment and uniforms, Money has been encouraged by the city continuing to invest in youth.
Money laments about the decreased involvement of parents over the years and how the less time they give their kids, the less the kids see value in their own effort. Coach Money says, “the kids are kids… haven’t really changed…” and that the friendships he has made over the years are worth more than any pay he could’ve asked for. His position has left him being many things to the youth of Chattooga County; driver, parent, grandparent, counselor, baby sitter, priest, doctor, friend, motivator, and cheerleader. He has bandaged their wounds and dried their tears. He has celebrated their victories and shared their losses. He has led them into battle and he has taught them how to follow and how to lead. In spite of the epic story of the past five decades of Terry Money’s time with youth athletes, people in the small northwestern Georgia town of Summerville tend to take him for granted. They don’t all call him a living legend. Or a hall of fame champion. But everyone calls him… Coach.