WATCH: Fred Gay Honored With Special Tribute By the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame
By Space Coast Daily // May 21, 2022
Eastern Florida State honored Gay, named their golf facility in Cocoa 'The Fred Gay Golf Academy'
WATCH: Fred Gay, former owner of Quality Pontiac/Buick/GMC, was one of the most respected, accomplished and influential business leaders and philanthropists in the Brevard Conty community for more than 45 years. Among his most impactful legacies was his support of the Eastern Florida State College athletic programs, and in 2008, EFSC paid homage to him by renaming their golf facility in Cocoa, “The Fred Gay Golf Academy.”
Among Fred Gay’s most impactful legacies was his support of the Eastern Florida State College athletic programs, and in 2008, EFSC paid homage to him by renaming their golf facility in Cocoa, “The Fred Gay Golf Academy.”
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Fred Gay, former owner of Quality Pontiac/Buick/GMC, was one of the most respected, accomplished and influential business leaders and philanthropists in the Brevard Conty community for more than 45 years.
In addition to being one of Brevard’s most successful automobile dealers, Gay spearheaded many successful business ventures, charity events and worthwhile endeavors during his career, including as a co-founder of Community Bank of the South and investor in the Space Coast Press newspaper, which was sold to Gannet in 1999.
At the age of 18, he entered the Florida National Guard and went on active duty during the Berlin crisis. He returned home as a second Lieutenant and continued to serve in the National Guard until he left the service as Company Commander in 1968.
Fred’s longtime dedication and support for our military played a large part in his support and founding of the Civilian Military Community Foundation, and his leadership in their biggest yearly fundraiser, The Fred Gay Civ-Mil Golf Classic.
He always loved a game of chance, and at first believed the game of golf was a four hour waste of time – that is until he learned that wagers were accepted.
Gay quickly became a golf fanatic and Rockledge Country Club became his home away from home, and the club members were grateful for his leadership and involvement.
Among his most impactful legacies was his support of the Eastern Florida State College athletic programs, and in 2008, EFSC paid homage to him by renaming their golf facility in Cocoa, “The Fred Gay Golf Academy.”
His professional career started while a student at Cocoa High School when he worked in the parts department for Bob Ennis Olds/Cadillac on Merritt Island. He then worked as a salesman, sales manager and finally a general manager.
After ten years as general manager at the Bob Ennis dealership, Gay be came a partner at Marconi Pontiac, and in 1987, became the owner of Quality Pontiac/GMC.
Gay’s joy in life was helping friends and anyone else in need. His always sage advice and counsel were sought by many and his concern for their welfare was always genuine.
He was born in Sylvester, Georgia and his family moved to Brevard County in 1954. Gay passed away at home on September 14, 2011 at age 70.
CLICK HERE TO SEE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
INDUCTEES SELECTED IN FOUR CATEGORIES
Dozens of nominees were considered for the 2020 and 2021 classes in several categories including professional sports, college sports, high school sports and amateur sports.
Nominees are chosen in four categories including professional sports, college sports, high school sports and amateur sports. Special honorary recognition is also bestowed upon individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to sports on the Space Coast.
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2021:
■ PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY INDUCTEE: Amber Torrealba, Skimboarding; Randy Pobst, Auto racing
■ COLLEGE CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Lynisha Nelson, Basketball; Bryan Cook, Baseball; Steve Freeman, Soccer
■ PREP CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Julie Wollrath, Cross Country; Kaira Simmons, Track & Field; Cameron Harris, Jr., Football
■ AMATEUR/RECREATION CATEGORY INDUCTEE: Alli Penovich, Free Diving
■ COACHING CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Lee Mace, Football; Jim Oler, Basketball
■ SPORTS OFFICIAL INDUCTEE: Klaus Stafe
■ SPORTS JOURNALISM INDUCTEE: Capt. Eric Ciocher
■ SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEE: Charles Clemente
■ LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT INDUCTEE: Larry Garrison
■ SPORTS AMBASSADOR AWARD INDUCTEE: Rusty Buchanan
■ CHALLENGER AWARD INDUCTEE: Jordan Episcopo
■ TEAM OF THE YEAR: Astronaut High School Bowling
■ LEGACY CHAMPIONS: Merritt Island Baseball, 1999-2000
■ SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Fred Gay
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS TO THE INDUCTION CEREMONY
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE 2021 INDUCTEES PROFILES
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2020
• PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Jamel Dean, Football; Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Wrestling; Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Football; Mark Lake, Skateboarding; Juwaan Taylor, Football
• COLLEGE CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Derek Hamm, Football; Paulette King, Basketball; Dylan Lewis, Soccer; Melanie Murphy, Softball
• PREP CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Lexy Denaburg, Volleyball; Apryl Bigham Nickson, Swimming; Andi Sellers, Soccer
• AMATEUR/RECREATION CATEGORY INDUCTEE: Peter Blount, Track & Field; Karina Villegas, Sled Hockey; Caylor Williams, Wrestling
• COACHING CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Sean Ballard, Wrestling; Doug Butler, Cross Country and Track; Aubin Goporo, Basketball; Gerald Hodgin, Football; Bill Sinclair, Softball; Don Smith, Basketball
• SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEE: Loren McClanahan
• LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT INDUCTEE: Clint Hurdle
• SPORTS OFFICIAL INDUCTEES: Ted Ruta
• SPORTS JOURNALISM INDUCTEES: Steve Vaughn
• SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEE: Judge A.B. Majeed
• SPORTS AMBASSADOR AWARD INDUCTEE: Congressman Bill Posey
• CHALLENGER AWARDS INDUCTEES: Brevard Special Olympics
• TEAM OF THE YEAR: Satellite High Cross Country
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE 2020 INDUCTEES PROFILES
Space Coast Daily created the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and has so far inducted more than 200 of Brevard County’s most outstanding athletes, coaches and sports personalities.
Serving on the committee are Space Coast Daily President & Publisher Tom Palermo, Partner Giles Malone, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo, Managing Editor Zach Clark, the Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson and Orville Susong, Sports Editor Juan Rodriguez, Social Media Director Matt O’Hern, Assistant Editor Jordan Rocco, Digital Producers Ron Lighthall, Gavin Keith and Michael Malone, Production Director Brian Dillon, Sports Broadcaster Daryl Durand and Amateur Athletic Union President Rusty Buchanan.
The main athletic building on the Melbourne Campus hosts the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, as portraits of the Hall of Famers are displayed on the wall in the building’s main hallway that runs parallel to the gym and outside the athletic department offices.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Tim Wakefield talks about his induction into the first class of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame. Space Coast Daily created the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and has so far inducted more than 200 of Brevard County’s most outstanding athletes, coaches and sports personalities.