Theophilus Gregory is a name that many in west Savannah remembers. Theo, as he is known by many, and his family were raised in the Woodville community.
He says that his parents instilled the foundation of work ethic, education, and achievement in him and his siblings at an early age. Theo’s father, Edward Buddy Gregory, was a Word War II veteran, longshoreman and a railroad switchman while his mother, Carrie Belle Cynthia Gregory, taught school for 30 years. His mother, a Georgia State College grad, taught primarily in South Carolina. His sister Shakila Jenkins, a 1980 SSU grad, still lives in Savannah and his brother Rollo Jovan Gregory resides in Atlanta.
Although they lived in Savannah, Theo and his siblings attended high school in Hardeeville, South Carolina. Theo played football and basketball at Matthew West High School, the same place where his mother taught.
After high school he enrolled at what was then Savannah State College where he majored in teacher education and physical education. Gregory graduated magna cum laude in 1974. “My family was full of Savannah State graduates because it was our family tradition to attend school there,” he states.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Savannah State”, he says. “I was able to get a good education, be involved in athletics and join a fraternity.” He adds “that academic rigors in excellence, fraternity life and intercollegiate athletics were the three benchmarks of my success in college. It helped me grow and achieve the things that I wanted later on in life.”
Because he wanted to be a teacher and a coach, Gregory decided that he needed to be involved in athletics so he joined the Tigers football and baseball teams.
A big influence on Gregory was the late John Myles. Myles was a decorated athlete while he attended Savannah State and later because a teacher, coach and athletic director.
Standing about 6-feet and weighing 175-pounds, Gregory lettered for three years on the football team and joined the baseball team as a senior.
As a senior, Gregory averaged 34.4 yards as a punter while in baseball he played in 12 games and stole 23 bases in 26 attempts.
College friend William “Rick” Royal was going to attend graduate school at Ohio State University and didn’t want to go alone so he gave Gregory an application to fill out. It was at Ohio State where Gregory began to flourish.
Gregory began his career in athletic administration at Ohio State University, where he worked for 10 years as a graduate student, teacher, and academic advisor/counselor for student-athletes. He also met his future wife at OSU. The couple was married for 29 years and they have one son, Theo II.
He then spent two years at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas as an academic advisor in the athletic department and after that served seven years as Assistant/ Associate Athletic Director for Academic Affairs at the University of Colorado Boulder.
His next challenge came at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs where he developed a NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics program from scratch.
A member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Gregory now works at El Pomar Foundation in Colorado where he currently oversees community outreach programs as a senior vice president. The Foundation’s current outreach efforts are focused on at-risk youth, ethnic minority community leadership development, and amateur sports.
He states that two of the important achievements during his career was being named the Chairman of the United States Air Force Academy Athletic Corporation Board of Directors and getting an honorary doctorate degree from Johnson & Wales University.
As chair of the USAFA Athletic Corp., Gregory is charged with assisting in the development, funding, operations and management of a NCAA Division I athletic program.
He received his honorary degree of Business Administration in Sports, Entertainment and Event Management from Johnson & Wales in 2011.
Gregory earned his master’s degree in Physical Education and is a Doctoral Candidate in Sport Studies at The Ohio State.
Gregory is active with civic/volunteer leadership roles with professional associations and numerous community-based organizations, including: United States Air Force Academy Athletic Corporation Board of Director- Chairman; Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado, Inc.; Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors/Past Chairman; Pike Peak International Hill Climb Board of Directors; Colorado Springs World Arena Board of Directors, PGA Colorado Section Board of Directors, Colorado PGA REACH Board of Trustees and Center for Nonprofit Excellence Board of Directors –non-voting member.
Gregory has served as 2011 U.S. Women’s Open Spectators Services Division Chairman; 2008 US Senior Open Spectator Services Division Vice Chairman; Colorado Division of Housing-State Housing Board (2008-13); Conference of Southwest Foundations Membership Committee/ Board of Directors (2009-11) and Johnson & Wales University President’s Roundtable.