CarolinaLIFE a tribute to the Frank McGuire legacy
As a student at the University of South Carolina in the 1970s, Donald Bailey loved going to basketball games. It was a time when legendary Coach Frank McGuire ruled the Carolina Coliseum and led the Gamecocks to six consecutive seasons of 20 wins or more.
But it was a sight off the court that has stayed with Bailey for more than 30 years. Before every game, McGuire would enter the arena and kiss his disabled son, Frankie, seated courtside in his wheelchair.
“When they saw Frankie at the games, the parents knew that it was OK to bring them along,” said Carol Ann McGuire-Morgan, the coach’s daughter and Frankie’s sister. “Dad was more pleased to see the wheelchairs in the arena than the basketball hoops in the backyards.”
“I vividly remember the impact that (gesture) had on students,” said Bailey, who lives in Charleston and is a former member of the USC Board of Trustees.
The impact was so strong on Bailey that he wanted to honor the McGuires when he launched a scholarship program at the university.
The Frank and Frankie McGuire Endowed Scholarship was created to provide funds for students enrolled in CarolinaLIFE, a two-year post-secondary-education experience for students with intellectual and cognitive disabilities.
“Dad would be very proud,” Morgan said, adding that her brother could have benefited from a program such as CarolinaLIFE.