Donald Fergusson happily accepted an invitation to perform the coin toss at the football reunion on Saturday, November 1st at his alma mater, Washington and Lee. A smiling Fergusson, resident of Lakewood Retirement Community, didn’t mind the recognition of his 1951 Gator Bowl Team and Southern Conference Champions. With only a thousand students at the time, W & L had a 40 man, one bus football team and the biggest player weighed only 212 pounds.
Just getting to the Gator Bowl was no small achievement. There were only five or six significant bowl games at the time and the “Generals” had arrived. Although W & L lost the game to undefeated Wyoming, the team was inducted in 2000 to the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Fergusson remained a visible athletic figure in the area long after his high school and college playing days. He was a basketball and football official well into the 1980s and only stopped playing tennis a few years ago.
If a movie was produced of the 1951 Gator Bowl, Co-Captain Don Fergusson would probably be a stand- in for his part. The movie would not have the happiest of endings but it would have all the dramatic elements of surprise, courage, determination, camaraderie, and success. Let’s ask Don…..who won the toss?