Interview by Gainesville High School intern Grady Vardeman
Meet Ryan Casper! Ryan is a Gainesville native and was a member the 1997 Gainesville High baseball state championship team. Ryan is now on the baseball and football coaching staff at Gainesville High and the construction teacher, as well. He is married to Catherine and they have three daughters.
You may be familiar with Ryan’s voice, as he calls the Red Elephant football games at City Park– or through his alter ego Woody Groover, the self proclaimed “Governor of Gainesville.”
We want to thank Ryan for spending time with us and sharing his love of Hall County!
Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: “I’ve always had a past in construction, I did it professionally for a while. I also did the music for almost 15 years. Going to Nashville, recording a CD, and going on tour we’re all really fun, it just got tough to manage it all with a wife and kids.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “Philly cheese steak pizza from Atlas pizza would be a crutch.”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Hall County?
A: “I was born and raised here, graduated from Gainesville in ’97. Got a big shiny red ring for winning the baseball state championship in ’97, as well.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would it be? And why?
A: “I’m kind of a homebody, I would like to go out west. Especially for the hunting and fishing out there.”
Q: What is your favorite movie or the 1st movie you remember seeing in the theatre?
A: “My favorite movie is probably ‘Tombstone.’ It’s one of the best western movies you’ll watch. Also, you can’t forget ‘Talladega Nights,’ that’s a classic.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Be aware of surroundings, especially in this day of age.”
Q: What is your favorite music or three bands you would like to see? (Dead or Alive)
A: “The original Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jimi Hendrix, and Chris Gaines.”
Q: With your construction background is there anything you built that you are especially proud of?
A: “My brother and I got together and built our parents a log cabin as a way to say thank you and give back to them for everything they did for us growing up.”
Q: What current or local/former makes you think most nostalgic about Hall County?
A: “I’d have to go with Longstreet or The Collegiate, just the traditions that surround them are. I’d say it’s hard to go to either of those and not see at least one person you know.”
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Hall County?
A: “To be such a small big town that Gainesville is there is a large amount of extremely talented people. That goes into the arts, music, construction it’s just amazing to see we have such a great community.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in three or 10 years?
A: “Still in Gainesville teaching construction and coaching baseball.”
Q: What three words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “Peace, refuge, and family.”
Q: If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: ‘I like to cook so I wouldn’t want a cook, but I hate driving so having my driver that would be very nice.”