Someone recently told T.C. Gammons the American Dream is dead.
Gammons, a 2007 North Surry graduate working in his dream job, believes otherwise.
Gammons started a new position as coordinator of operations at the Atlantic Coast Conference headquarters in Greensboro on Tuesday.
For the last year, he has worked as football operations and video assistant for the ACC.
“I ran into this guy the other day and he was talking about the American dream being dead. I don’t believe that,” Gammons said. “I’m truly living that every single day. I’m very blessed and fortunate to be here. Just being at the right place at the right time.”
Gammons played high school basketball at North and was part of a talented Greyhounds’ team that reached the Class 2A Western regional semifinals in 2007.
He said growing up he always wanted to work in sports.
When he graduated high school, he began taking the initiative to make that happen. Gammons went to Surry Community College and then transferred to Winston-Salem State, where he earned a degree in Sport Management in 2012.
But Gammons wasn’t sitting by at WSSU waiting to get a degree.
“Once I got to college, I was 25 minutes away from the (ACC) office,” he said. “I volunteered for women’s hoops four or five years ago and it just kind of went from there.”
From April 2010 until July 2012, Gammons worked as a basketball intern for ACC men’s and women’s basketball. During that stretch he met the assistant commissioner of football who ran the Game Day Operations Center. In August 2011, Gammons started a nine-month internship with ACC Game Day Operations, where he worked all game days to ensure plays were captured for review by conference officials.
He said that experience led to an ACC championship/baseball internship.
Gammons then graduated from WSSU and took a six-month position with Rhino Sports & Entertainment Services in Winston-Salem.
From August to December 2012, Gammons worked in football game day operations at Wake Forest University. He got on with the ACC in Greensboro in June 2013.
“Growing up, everyone around here lives and dies ACC sports,” Gammons said.
The ACC has its Game Day Operations Center in Greensboro, which has live video feed of all televised ACC football games. Gammons said a group of 10-12 interns ensures the games are recorded, and then specific pre-determined plays of interest are logged for conference officials. These might be fouls, replays, injuries, scoring plays, player conduct, etc.
According to the ACC.com’s website, every game is monitored at the operations center where each foul is recorded along with a variety of plays to ensure proper administration of the rules is conducted. The center is the starting point for video review of all plays and the source for creating weekly training videos which are sent out to all coaches and officials — as well as media when appropriate, according to the website.
Once specific plays are logged by the interns, Gammons would put the plays together in a database for the football officials coordinator to review the following day. Early in the week, the plays are sent out to officials to review.
“We are kind of the eyes and ears of the conference during football season,” Gammons said.
Gammons, now living in Greensboro, has been able to work the ACC football championship, ACC basketball tournament and conference baseball championship, as well as championships in men’s and women’s lacrosse, rowing, swimming and diving.
He was also assigned the ACC Lacrosse Championship held at Boston College University.
What most fans don’t see is the leg work that goes on behind the scenes preparing for such big ACC sporting events. Gammons said the preparation for the football championship starts months in advance.
Gammons said he still keeps in touch with a few of the guys from the Greyhound hoops team that had a special season back in 2007. North went 25-5 on a team that included Kent Brown, Lee Martin, Beau Booker, Garrett Howlett and Camron Moore. The Greyhounds, coached by Chris Butler, reached the Western regional 2A semifinals before falling to Shelby 55-54 at Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem.
The Lions would go on to lose a close contest to Starmount, which had future Virginia Tech player Victor Davila, in the regional final. Starmount finished the state runner-up to Burlington Cummings in a tight championship game.
Basketball was Gammons’ favorite sport. He also played football at North his junior year.
Gammons said he wakes up every day looking forward to going to work. In his new position, he’ll be in charge of handling official payments for Olympic sports, football, men’s and women’s basketball, and working game day operations and championships.
“Just being able to be around sports, and talk sports, not only who won and who lost, but the operational stuff behind the scenes,” he said. “To be able make a living, and make a career out of it is just phenomenal.”