A near-tragedy for long-time Clemson and USC football staffer Clyde Wrenn has led to a gathering of former Gamecocks and Tigers players, kicking off the week of the annual rivalry game.
Wrenn, who worked nearly 30 years as a recruiter and operations manager for four Clemson coaches and three USC coaches, will host "A Night with the Stars," Nov. 23 at Seawell's Restaurant.
Helping to host is former Gamecocks player and Denver Broncos coach Dan Reeves.
Appearing at the gathering, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with dinner and drinks, will be former Clemson coach Danny Ford and ex-Tigers Ed McDaniel, Steve Fuller, Chris Gardocki and Jeff Davis. George Rogers, USC's 1980 Heisman Trophy winner, will be joined by ex-Gamecocks Jeff Grantz, Harold Green, Ryan Brewer and Corey Miller.
Tickets are $100, with proceeds going to the trauma unit at Palmetto Health Richland Memorial. Wrenn said that's the least he could do after doctors and nurses there saved his son's life.
Wrenn's youngest son, Cal, 37, was injured May 17, 2008, in an incident that Wrenn declined to discuss. The younger Wrenn had been taken to the hospital with a severe brain injury when his father arrived at 5:30 a.m.
"I later realized Cal could not have been in better hands," Wrenn said.
His son, who lives in Charleston, has since recovered from his injuries, though he still is subject to seizures and takes medication for those. Wrenn said the fund-raiser is his way of thanking the medical staff.
"When Cal was unconscious, they were saying they usually never see patients again (after they recover)," he said. "I want to honor those folks."
Wrenn said Ford and the former players will sign autographs, then take part in a wide-ranging question-and-answer session.
"They're going to sit around and tell football stories," Wrenn said. "It should be a fun night."
Deadline for reservations is Nov. 20. Call Wrenn at (803) 463-5667 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bob Gillespie