Devon Gales

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Injured former Southern WR Devon Gales lands job as Georgia HS coach

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Devon Gales is back in football. The Southern wide receiver, who was paralyzed during a 2015 game at Georgia, will join the staff as an assistant coach at Jefferson High School in Georgia, according WDUN-AM.

Gales has remained in Georgia since the injury, transferring from an Athens hospital to an Atlanta rehabilitation facility soon after the collision that left him unable to move his extremities. He was released from the hospital five months later, and Georgia fans helped fund a handicapped-accessible home for him and his family in Jefferson, Ga., a town 20 miles north of Athens, where the family has lived since July.

Gales spoke to the Jefferson High School senior class, which led Jefferson superintendent Dr. John Jackson to invite Gales to join the staff.

“It was brought to our attention upon meeting this wonderful family that Devon missed the game and practices and being part of a football team in the game he still loved so much,” Jefferson coach Gene Cathcart told WDUN. “Dr. John Jackson had the idea of getting him involved in our program in some way and how our young men would benefit from his living example, character, strength in facing adversity and perseverance.”

 

Former Georgia linebacker helping family of injured Southern WR Devon Gales move into donated new home

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You may recall the sad saga of Southern wide receiver Devon Gales. Gales fractured his C6 vertebrae in a game at Georgia way back in 2015, and has remained in Georgia ever since, rehabbing himself to the point where he has regained the ability to walk.

Now close to three years since the injury, Gales remains in Georgia, in the Atlanta area, and is wheelchair bound. Close to 18 months ago, Georgia launched a fundraising drive to build the Gales family a new house.

Somewhere along the way, the project stalled. All the while, the Gales family tried to make the best of it. Gales settled into the Shepherd Center in metro Atlanta, and his mother Tish and two siblings moved to Georgia to be with him, while Gales’s father, remained in his job with UPS in Baton Rouge, La., waiting for the family to secure a home in Georgia before he transferred.

Former state senator Jim Butterworth heard about the lack of progress on the Gales family home and put in a call to former Georgia linebacker Whit Marshall, whose family business was behind a development in the Atlanta suburb of Jefferson. The Gales family had their pick of available lots, and the homebuilder, Pavan Homes, would donate a specially-designed, wheelchair-accessible home.

“I kept asking the same thing: So, it’s donated?” Gales’s mother told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Y’all are just going to let me choose? I’m like ‘Oh, my God.’”

It will still be months before the home is built and ready for the family to move in, but the ball is finally moving.

“This is the breakthrough I’ve been waiting on,” Tish said.