Former Clemson football captain, 85, reflects on title win - FOX Carolina 21

Former Clemson football captain, 85, reflects on title win

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Bill "Tip Top" Gressette at HealThySelf Gym at Bon Secours St. Francis (FOX Carolina) Bill "Tip Top" Gressette at HealThySelf Gym at Bon Secours St. Francis (FOX Carolina)
Gressette (No. 44, second from left, bottom row) was team captain for the Clemson Tigers in the early 1950s (Courtesy: CU Twitter) Gressette (No. 44, second from left, bottom row) was team captain for the Clemson Tigers in the early 1950s (Courtesy: CU Twitter)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

One of Clemson's oldest surviving players said the Tigers' win against Alabama Monday was "historic" and one of the best football games he's ever watched. 

The win also parallels a major victory in the former Tiger's life as well. 

Bill "Tip Top" Gressette, 85, is healthy and happy, thanks to a new lease on life given him by Bon Secours St. Francis Health. The spry gentleman had a major health scare recently, but found exercising at the HealThySelf Gym on the hospital's Millennium campus was the miracle he needed. He had a pulmonary issue that sent him into cardiac arrest and near death. 

Now, Gressette, a former captain for the Clemson Tigers football team, is healthy and works out six times a week. 

Why do people call him "Tip Top?"

"Well, because I generally feel tip top!," said Gressette with a smile. 

One could compare the former Tiger's fourth quarter comeback to that of Clemson's football team Monday night against Alabama, in which they won a national title for the first time in 35 years. 

Gressette played on the offensive line for Clemson from 1950-1953. He was named team captain. 

"My role as a captain was to set an example for everybody else on the team," said Gressette. He played under Coach Frank Howard. "Great man, and a guy that took care of his players. I never failed to give Coach Howard 100 percent, whether it was on the playing field or the practice field."

Gressette said he follows that rule throughout his life, giving his all to everything he does, especially his workouts. 

On Monday night's game, Gressette said he stayed up all night to watch it - but was in the gym at 6 a.m. without fail. 

"You challenge yourself," said Gressette. "Some people don't want to pay the price. You can't make All-American in the dressing room you know, you have to get out on the field."

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