It’s been more than 15 years since Hanahan native Glenn Lane competed in a professional wrestling ring.
But on Nov. 20 at Goose Creek High School, he’s going to lace up the boots one more time. And for a very good cause.
Lane is one of the event organizers for “November to Remember: Kaos for the Coach,” a benefit show for longtime area football coach Phillip Morgan, who was paralyzed after suffering a massive stroke last year.
Lane wasn’t aware of Morgan’s predicament until reading a newspaper story two months ago. Although he didn’t know him personally, Lane felt driven to do something for the coach.
He remembers being influenced by coaches, teachers and mentors during his youth, and wanted to give something back. He says he was particularly moved when he read that one of Morgan’s former coaches, longtime St. John’s High School coach Bob Biggerstaff, visited Morgan on a weekly basis.
“I didn’t know him personally, but I knew of him,” Lane says of Morgan. “Being in and around athletics for many years, I knew some people he had coached and worked with. I just know what high school coaches have done, and how they helped people. He has helped so many kids over the years.”
Morgan, 62, coached for more than 35 years at area high schools such as Stall, St. John’s and Macedonia, and his illustrious list of products include former Heisman candidate Joe Hamilton, NFL veteran Pierson Prioleau and No. 1 draft pick Courtney Brown. During that time, he touched many lives, on and off the field, serving as a role model to hundreds of student athletes.
Lane says he just knew he wanted to do something special for the coach.
“My line of work has taken me around the world and allowed me to see many different cultures,” says Lane, a government contractor. “I’ve seen people in need all over the world. It’s funny that I should come back to this country, pick up the paper and read about a 75-year-old coach who is helping his former player and assistant.”
Morgan’s medical expenses, needless to say, have been staggering.
“I just had to take the initiative. If I can help other cultures all over the world, I don’t see why I can’t help back home. And maybe somebody will take the lead from me and pay it forward. It might motivate someone to do something else. It can be done.”
Indeed, a number of groups have come together for the worthy cause, including Old School Championship Wrestling. The local organization is putting on a show that evening at the Goose Creek High School gym, and among those present will be the guest of honor, Coach Morgan, along with his old coach.
“Phillip is the most honest person and the most clean-living person I know,” Biggerstaff said recently. “He’s the original designated driver. Everybody’s got a best friend, and he’s mine.”
To make the event even more special, Lane will return to the ring, taking part in a tag-team match that will serve as the show’s main event. Lane will team with former Raven’s Flock member Lodi against John Skyler and ex-WCW and WWE star The Barbarian.
“My boots don’t have cobwebs on them, but they might have a little dust on them,” he laughs.
Lane is looking forward to stepping back into the squared circle. It’s a profession he fell in love with as a youngster.
He wrestled professionally for a six-year period during the ‘80s and later worked as a trainer. He traveled the Mid-Atlantic roads with such performers as Jimmy Valiant and Mike Rotundo, and locked horns with such heels as Gene Anderson, Jake Roberts, Ivan Koloff and Bob Orton Jr. His last bout was in the early ‘90s.
“I’m lacing them up one more time for a good cause.”
Lane first got hooked on the sport while attending local shows at County Hall during the ‘70s. “I fell in love with it back in the old days watching guys like Ric Flair and Wahoo McDaniel and all the legends,” he says.
Lane became even more enamored with the sport after getting into the gym business and personally meeting many of the wrestlers who frequented Remo’s Gym in Hanahan. The facility was operated by Byron Reames, father of Citadel standout and former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Britt Reames.
“I got to meet a lot of the wrestlers and got to know some of them,” say Lane. “A lot of wrestlers came through the gym ... Blackjack Mulligan, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, The Rock’s dad (Rocky Johnson). I had just graduated from Hanahan High School, and Byron had been one of my coaches.”
Lane got hooked up with an independent promotion in 1980. “You can either do it or you can’t do it,” he says. “I was a pretty good athlete anyway, so it just sort of fell in line. It was back in the old school wrestling days, and I got the opportunity to work with Jim Crockett and the NWA. And the rest is history.”
The Nov. 20 show, says Lane, will be a family friendly one.
“There’s very few places now where you can take your wife, kids, grandparents and grandkids for two or three hours, have a good time, have some laughs, enjoy some entertainment, and all for a good cause.”
The community event has been a labor of love for Lane.
“There’s a lot of bad news all around the world. There’s enough bad news to go around. Why not create some good news for a change?”
Donations, which will be taken the night of the event, are $25 ringside and $10 general admission. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Coach Morgan.
For more information, visit oscwonline.com or call 743-4800.
-- Coach Bob Biggerstaff and OSCW owner Joe Blumenfeld will appear on “The Dog Pound” with Everett German and Bobby Hartin on Comcast Channel 2 at 7 p.m. Monday.
-- Mark Canterbury, best known for his stint in WWE as Henry O. Godwinn, remains hospitalized in West Virginia following a serious car accident last week.
Canterbury, 47, suffered two punctured lungs, a dozen broken ribs and a broken leg. His appendix was removed during surgery Wednesday night when doctors discovered a tumor. His spleen also was removed.
Canterbury, who also appeared in WCW during the ‘90s as Shanghai Pierce, formed a tag-team act with Dennis Knight in WWE as The Godwinns. The two, who portrayed pig farmers, later re-emerged as a team called Southern Justice. Canterbury, however, suffered a herniated disc that required spinal fusion surgery and limited his ring activity following the operation.
-- Killer Karl Kox (Herb Gerwig), one of pro wrestling’s top heels during the ‘60s and ‘70s, died of a heart attack Thursday at the age of 80.
He had suffered a massive heart attack and stroke last month and had been in poor health ever since.
-- The world is a lot less hip today with the recent passing of Jack McCray.
Jack was an ultra-talented writer, musician, jazz expert, historian, producer and everything else he ever tried his hand at — a virtual “Jack of all trades” as I used to kid him.
But Jack McCray was much more than that. He was the coolest guy I ever met, and that covers a lot of ground.
A close colleague for nearly 20 years who never was more than a desk away, Jack was a steady source of inspiration and encouragement; his ever-present, infectious smile and happy, upbeat demeanor were enough to brighten anyone’s day at the office.
Rich in talent and spirit, my friend was a kind and gentle soul who touched the lives of so many in the Lowcountry. Watching him lovingly care for his elderly parents in the latter stages of their lives was a true testament to the man he was.
There’s a special place reserved for guys like Jack.
“The horn section upstairs is most certainly blowing,” said a friend.
Amen to that.