Hembrough gets his 'Way'
CHAMPAIGN — Sometimes the right things happen anyway.
Years ago, former Centennial football coach Gary Hembrough was nominated for the coaches association state Hall of Fame. Paperwork was sent to him and, upon its completion, he was told consideration would be given for his induction.
Hembrough never filled out the forms, telling friends he didn’t think he was deserving.
He devoted 41 consecutive years to football, as a player or coach and was more than a teacher of the game. He was a father figure to many of his former players and impacted lives far beyond the victories his teams achieved on the field.
Less than a year after Hembrough, 73, passed away last October, a fitting tribute has been created. The Champaign City Council this week agreed to name a section of Crescent Drive (near Centennial High School) after the beloved coach, Honorary Coach Hembrough Way.
This time, he couldn’t stop the recognition. Now, if the paperwork could just be filled out, Hembrough could also be considered for his rightful spot in the Hall of Fame.
Recognition like this is better late than never.