October 15, 2009

State of Alabama
Press Release: Mental Health, Department of


Event promotes awareness about mental illnesses by honoring Coach Charley Pell


MONTGOMERY – Golf enthusiasts and mental health advocates will tee-off tomorrow at the 9th Annual Charley Pell Classic Friday, October 16, 2009, at Ol' Colony Golf Course in Tuscaloosa. The tournament was established in honor of football player and collegiate coaching great, Charley Pell, and promotes awareness about mental illness and other services provided by the Alabama Department of Mental Health. Tournament registration and lunch starts at 11 a.m. and a shotgun start will begin at 12 p.m.


Coach Pell’s widow and honorary tournament chair, Ward Pell, and other officials will also be on hand for the event. There will be an awards ceremony following play. Proceeds from the tournament will be used to further Charley Pell’s message of hope and encouragement to people facing the challenges of a mental illness.


Coach Pell was a member of the University of Alabama’s undefeated national championship football team in 1961, and during his coaching legacy built three national championship programs at Jacksonville State University, Clemson University, and the University of Florida. Both the ACC and the SEC conferences named him “Coach of the Year.” Following a brilliant coaching career, Coach Pell progressively experienced profound depression and eventually attempted suicide. In his recovery, he became an advocate for people who have experienced a mental illness. He served on the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation Advisory Board of Trustees until his death in May of 2001.


For more information about the 9th annual Charley Pell Classic or the documentary The Legacy of Charley Pell, contact the department at (334) 242-3417.



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