May 14, 2001
Never let is be said the Dobson family does not support Clemson.
Mrs. Emily Dobson of Greer, SC, widow of Lawrence Dobson (’34) created an IPTAY Endowment several years ago in honor of the Athletic Department’s grounds and landscaping crew.
Earlier this year, Bob and Lynn Dobson of Seneca, SC endowed the position of head volleyball coach in honor of Jolene Hoover. Bob is a son of Mrs. Emily Dobson.
Last week, Anne and Clyde Dobson of Greer created an IPTAY Endowment in honor of Tiger baseball.
In April 1994, the IPTAY Endowment program was begun at the 85th birthday celebration of former Clemson coach Frank Howard. Friends and former players established the first Endowment by endowing the head coaching position in honor of Coach Howard.
The Dobson family is the first among Endowment contributors to have three members of a family establish Endowments.
Clyde Dobson came to Clemson in 1938 after finishing the 11th grade at Davenport High School in Greer. He followed in the footsteps of his twin brothers, Lawrence and Leonard Dobson (’34), and another brother. The twins were noted for their practical jokes, including swapping identities while at Clemson.
Dobson had three roommates, which created some cramped living quarters. “We didn’t worry about it too much,” said Dobson last week at a dinner at the IPTAY offices recognizing the Dobson Endowment.
Dobson decided to join the baseball team at Clemson. “They didn’t put much emphasis on baseball back then,” said Dobson. “But they gave us a uniform. Randy Hinson was our coach. We played USC, Goergia and people like that.”
Among Dobson’s teammates were George and Francis Coackley, Dude Buchanan, Joe Blalock, Winston Holliday and Frank Horton.
Buchanan set the school record for batting average in a single season with a .485 mark (33 for 68).
Ironically, Howard served a one-year stint as Clemson’s baseball coach. In 1943 the Tigers, under Howard, compiled a 12-3 record. His career record is still the best of any coach in Tiger history. There have been only five different baseball head coaches since Howard’s brief stint.
Dobson graduated at age 20 from Clemson and entered military services. After five years in the U.S. Army, Dobson returned to Greer to join the family farm. “We were used to work,” said Dobson. “We had a peach farm, a cattle business and two gins. Our daddy worked us pretty good.”
Dobson’s playing days lasted until he was in his sixties. “I got tangled up with a slow pitch church league. I was the pitcher, so I was the one who rainbowed it in.”
The family peach farm, which was on the property where BMW is now located, has been sold and Dobson is retired. “I’ve not exactly quit. I’ve got one Georgia Bell peach tree out there.”
Former Clemson President Walter Cox said the Dobson family is a Clemson treasure. “It’s special to be with people who feel the way the Dobsons do about Clemson. Their blood runs orange. We thank them for their generosity.”
IPTAY Executive Director George Bennett echoed Cox’s remarks. “We talk a lot about family at Clemson. And people like the Dobsons are what Clemson is all about.”
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