Tifton Gazette


February 13, 2014

Do or Dye: Obstacles were opportunities for former coach, teacher


Turner County was a much different place in 1952.

For most travelers, Ashburn and Sycamore were not mere exit signs and a peanut statue on I-75. Mainly because I-75 did not exist. To see an Ashburn sign was to be on US 41 or GA 32. Downtown had a theater. Fast food chains were not available, but a variety of local places were.

In 1952, there were high schools in Ashburn and Sycamore and the one in Rebecca had recently closed. They would not unify to form Turner County High until 1957. Those were the major white schools.

Over on Lee Street, there was another building. It was small, wooden and painted white. It was also a school, one called Eureka. Schools operated in Georgia — and most of the south — under the law of "separate but equal" which enforced segregation. The Supreme Court outlawed it in 1954, but no major changes hit the area until the Civil Rights Act 10 years later, which forced school systems to act.

That is the building where John Dye started his teaching and coaching career. 

Eureka was also not a unified school when he began. There were county schools. "Sycamore and Rebecca," he remembered. They would also unify in 1957, the year that Eureka received a brand new brick building on Washington Street.

Dye is not a Turner native. He was raised in Brooks County and graduated from Fort Valley State. That's when he received an offer, he said, to go to Ashburn.

"Jobs at that time were hard to come by," he said. He accepted. That was in 1952. Dye stayed in Ashburn through the closure of Eureka and total integration of schools and became part of the coaching staff at Turner County High.

When he arrived, he found a bit of a sports program. "[They had] basketball, a little track and a little baseball they'd tried to play."

Text Only
Local News

Local Sports
20140726 John Reid.JPG

Tift County head football coach John Reid.

Police Reports
Your Agenda
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content
Business Marquee
Weather Radar
Sen. Chambliss addresses farm bill in Tifton
Riding the Steam Train at Ga. Museum of Agriculture
Nature's Beauty in a Tifton parking lot
Peanut Prices Remain Strong