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Tim Worley Recognizes 'Unsung Heroes'

Scott Keepfer
May 20,2015

The video is easy to find on the Internet, and not flattering in any way, which is exactly why Tim Worley advertises its existence.

The video, dated April 13, 2008, shows Worley – the former University of Georgia and pro football star – being shot with a Taser and arrested by police in Smyrna, Georgia, following a daylong binge of drug and alcohol consumption.

"Promise me y'all will look at it," Worley told an attentive audience at the 2015 ACE Awards celebration Tuesday night at Greenville's Redemption World Outreach Center.

The incident was a watershed moment in Worley's life. He has since cleaned up his act and travels the country as a motivational speaker and life skills consultant.

Worley also serves as a chaplain at a rescue mission in Huntsville, Alabama, and host of his own radio show, "Beyond the Locker Room with Tim Worley: Where Sports Meets Life."

When sharing his story of recovery and fulfillment, Worley points to "unsung heroes" in his life, which was appropriate for Tuesday night's gathering, which honored 68 local high school students deemed "unsung heroes" by counselors at their respective Greenville County schools.

"The unsung heroes in my life were my mother and other people you don't hear about much," Worley said. "They kept pulling on my potential, they saw the things that God put in me."

Worley was a high school football and track standout at Lumberton High School in North Carolina before playing at Georgia and becoming the seventh overall selection of the 1989 NFL Draft.

He played six seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears, but derailed his career with drug and alcohol abuse.

"I went from the penthouse to the outhouse with some of the decisions and choices I made," Worley said.

He wants others to avoid those pitfalls.

"I got favoritism, I got things I didn't really earn," Worley said.

Worley received "A" grades in school when he actually earned "Ds," he said, which only encouraged him to remain comfortably wrapped in his security blanket of the playing field.

"I took on an athletic identity," Worley said. "But when the cheering stopped, that was my only identity. I felt like I couldn't do anything else."

That, Worley eventually discovered, was a misconception that only he could correct. His arrest and subsequent 23 days in jail seven years ago helped open his eyes, providing the impetus for a rebirth that has altered his life's course.

Suddenly, he felt capable of much more, he said, and that "more" included being a good husband, having a positive impact on the lives of others, and spreading an inspirational message based on first-hand knowledge.





Honoring the Unsung Heroes of Greenville County Schools

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2014 ACE Awards.
What My ACE Award Means to Me

“I was honored that I was even nominated for this award! I was pleasantly surprised to find out that someone actually noticed my hard work and dedication. Winning this award meant so much to me. It gave me hope, confidence, and a sense of accomplishment just when I was worried my effort wasn’t going to be good enough. My good friend Jennifer Slattery (former ACE Award winner) nominated me, and I could not have felt more special and blessed to have been able to share this experience with her.””

- Olive Berley, Woodmont High School
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