October 28, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Mental Health, Department of

11th Annual Charley Pell Classic

Mental health advocates and former Alabama and Auburn football players will gather to
promote awareness about mental illness by honoring Coach Pell

MONTGOMERY – Mental health advocates, former Alabama and Auburn football players, and other golf enthusiasts will tee off next Friday, November 4, at the 11th annual Charley Pell Classic. The event will be held at the Ol’ Colony Golf Course in Tuscaloosa. Coach Pell’s widow and honorary tournament chair, Ward Pell, and ADMH Commissioner Zelia Baugh will also be in attendance.

The tournament was established in honor of football player and collegiate coaching great Charley Pell, and promotes awareness about mental illness and services provided by the Alabama Department of Mental Health. Coach Pell was a member of the University of Alabama’s undefeated national championship football team in 1961. During his tenure as a head coach, he built three national championship-level programs at Jacksonville State University, Clemson University and the University of Florida. Both the ACC and 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 mental illnesses. He was a passionate spokesperson and also served on the ADMH Board of Trustees until his death in May 2001.

Tournament proceeds are used to promote the message of Coach Pell through education and anti-stigma campaigns. These educational efforts seek to decrease negative public opinions about mental illness and encourage individuals to support loved ones who are experiencing mental illnesses. This year, proceeds will be used for the Project Rebound campaign. Project Rebound provides counseling and assistance in the aftermath of a disaster in partnership with federal, state and community organizations. It is actively serving Alabamians affected by the April tornadoes and last year’s Gulf Coast oil spill.

Tournament registration and lunch will start at 11 a.m., with a shotgun start at 12 p.m. An awards ceremony will be held immediately following play.



For more information about participating in the 11th annual Charley Pell Classic, contact Jane Davis at ADMH at 334-242-3107.

The Legacy of Charley Pell, a 17-minute award-winning documentary produced by ADMH on the life of Coach Pell, his struggle with depression and his recovery from a mental illness, can be found on ADMH’s website at www.mh.alabama.gov/video/LegacyOfCharleyPell.aspx.

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