Fond Memory: Interviewing Charlie Pell

Donald McMullen
B.S. Journalism 1979

I have a few favorite memories of my years (1977-79) in the College of Journalism, but I’ll never forget taking a photography class my senior year and having to develop film and produce photos in an old locker room that served as the dark room.  I’m sure the present-day students don’t realize the old College of Journalism was in the side of football stadium, with the ceilings of the hallways outside of classrooms lined with pipes and such.

And another lasting memory for me was in my last quarter, the Summer of 1979, when I was the sports editor of the Independent Florida Alligator. Charley Pell had been hired as the new football coach for the Gators, and I set up an interview to write a profile. Needless to say, he was an imposing figure coming from Clemson. Sitting face to face with Pell in his office and discussing how he was going to make UF a power in the Southeastern Conference (UF had never won an SEC title at that point) was a bit intimidating. But he did begin the evolution of UF into an SEC power (after an 0-10-1 start), and 37 years later I’m still editing and designing sports sections.


Posted: September 13, 2018