Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament

Less rough for Cremins lately

College basketball legend thinks worst of health woes behind him

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 3, 2012 

Bobby Cremins plays the final round of the Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament last year at Harbour Town Golf Links. Cremins is expected to be among the celebrities playing again this weekend.

SARAH WELLIVER/STAFF PHOTO

Bobby Cremins watched a playing partner's tee shot Sunday on the ninth hole at Harbour Town Golf Links and hollered loud enough for the group behind to hear.

"Wooo, wow," he said. "That was a bullet."

After his own tee ball, he was more subdued.

"Uh oh, that's trouble," he said. "Give me an Irish bounce."

A relaxed Cremins, playing the final day of the Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament, thinks he dodged the worst of health problems that caused him to resign as College of Charleston's basketball coach earlier this year.

He thinks he has pinpointed the issues, then unknown -- anxiety, a lack of sleep and perhaps depression. The former Hilton Head Island resident, who still owns a home here, agreed to stay on part time at College of Charleston to guide the transition of its new coach and as an assistant to George Benson, the college's president.

"I'm going to try and stay busy as hell," Cremins said. "After a year, I'm going to see how everything is, then I'm going to figure out what to do with my life."

He has formed a committee at Georgia Tech, where he coached the Yellow Jackets 19 years and the court is named for him, to bring together as many former coaches and players as possible for the unveiling of the new basketball arena in November.

Cremins visited McCamish Pavillion in August and walked on its recently finished floor.

"I got chills up my spine," Cremins said. "I really got chills. It was so beautiful. I was so proud of what Georgia Tech had done."

Other than his project with the Yellow Jackets, Cremins remains busy with events like the celebrity golf tournament, which raises money for various children's charities. He was one one of several sports figures in the field, including former University of South Carolina running back and Heisman trophy winner George Rogers, retired Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield and former NFL players Ken Anderson, Mark Collins and Dwight Hicks.

In its 32nd year, the Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf has raised more than $3.9 million, according to the event's website. After rain pounded the area early in the week, the sun was out for the tournament, which started at Palmetto Dunes on Friday, moved to Colleton River Plantation and finished at Harbour Town.

Cremins, a native of Bronx, N.Y., kept his group light with a steady stream of commentary, some directed at himself ("All right, Bobby," he said before a delicate pitch shot. "Team needs you." He introduced members of his group to Hilton Head Island resident Tom Moore, the former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator, and picked up a friend in his cart at the turn.

He said he and his wife plan a cruise out of Hilton Head and that he will coach a basketball clinic in Maui. Though his health has returned, Cremins said a return to coaching is still a long shot.

"I'm not going to go back to coaching unless I'm 100 percent sure," he said. "If I did go back, I would now know what to do. I now realize what happened. But it happened for a reason."

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