Regina Days-Bryan was born in Tarrytown, Georgia, on her grandparents' farm, with not a traffic light anywhere nearby, and raised in Mount Vernon, Georgia (one traffic light!) in Montgomery County -- population 1900 in 2020 with only 554 families. A middle child with two brothers, she grew up with a large family of grandparents, lots of uncles, aunts, and cousins with a ‘Common Thread’ to keep BUSY.
“It took awhile for me to open up and show people who I truly am. Growing up, I was comfortable around my family and a few friends. Knowing me now, you would never believe how SHY I was and how inadequate I felt. I was determined to face my discomfort and become a people person”, said Regina.
In grade school and high school, she was exceptionally active. She was majorette in 6th grade, and she played concert and marching band clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, and cymbals. She also took piano lessons from 5th-10th grade and participated in oratorical/public speaking contests. (She didn't want to do it, but was strongly encouraged!)
In addition to her artistic pursuits, she became active in sports -- tennis, track and field, softball, basketball and football. Being the shortest family member at 5 '10", much family time was spent playing their favorite sport -- BASKETBALL! Regina also loved football, though, and won third place in Punt, Pass, and Kick in the 7th grade. She was very proud of being the only female competing.
A Basketball Scholarship and a call from Australia
Her sports prowess led her to her next stop: Georgia Southern University on a Basketball Scholarship. In addition to basketball, she also played volleyball for a season. She NEVER stopped trying something else or something new.
I must share an amusing story that Regina laughingly admitted. Early in her senior year of 1988, while playing basketball for Georgia Southern, Regina received a phone call from a Basketball Coach in Australia asking her to come to play Basketball in Melbourne, Australia. She thought it was a joke and answered NO, hung up, and went back to sleep.
The next day, her coach approached her and said a Coach from Australia had an interest in her and would be calling her. She admitted that he already had. Her own Coach told her it wasn't a joke! Fortunately, the following day, she received another call, and this time, she said YES!!
“I only had to get my passport,” she said smiling.
Then she went home and told her parents! Pretty BRAVE! Her parents agreed it would be a GREAT opportunity, and she went off to Australia and played Professional Basketball in Melbourne, Australia for the Dandenong Rangers (8 seasons) and the Knox Raiders (1 season). The rest is history.
After many trips from Statesboro to Melbourne and back, she received her degree from Georgia Southern -- a Bachelor of Social Science and Education -- and was inducted into the Georgia Southern Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993.
Regina said, “When I played Basketball, I wasn't always the most talented player. I made up for lack of talent with hard work. Don't let lack of talent stop you from going after your dream. Hard work will take you further than you know.”
The modern day Renaissance Woman
There is an old baseball expression, sitting on third base and not running home... WELL, this is definitely NOT Regina Days-Bryan. She combined the magic of her personality skills, degree, and her hunger to learn and carved herself a career that is endless. She is definitely a Renaissance Woman!
The definition of a ‘Renaissance Woman’ is a person that is well educated, sophisticated, and who has talent in many different fields. The Modern Renaissance Woman is a DREAMER and a DOER, and this describes Regina perfectly.
Regina Days-Bryan is defined by her ‘larger than life’ personality. She is motivated, enthusiastic, high energy, has a ‘Finger in Every Pie’ and is EXCELLENT with Children and Senior Adults. Her goal in her seniors years is to be HAPPY and MOTIVATE others. There is no ‘Glass Ceiling' or quiet retirement for her!!
“I like to watch and learn about people I meet,” Regina said. ”Every now and then, I may get the uncomfortable feeling, but I would hear the words of my Mother: ‘YOU CAN DO IT.’ Many may see me as COMPETITIVE, but I see myself as DETERMINED.”
An impressive past with an active future -- no stopping her now!
Regina married Bill Bryan in 1998. They share 7 children, 16 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren through marriage. Her occupational history is varied:
- Youth Development Officer in Australia (1992-1994)
- Teacher at Statesboro High School/Assistant Basketball & Track Coach
- Opened a clothing store with a friend (1999-2000)
- GSU Assistant Basketball Coach (1997- 2012)
- Assistant High School Coach Bulloch Academy (2012- 2013)
- Secretary, Langston Chapel Elementary (2013- 2023)
- Line Dance Teacher For Senior Adults (3 nights a week)
Her hobbies include singing in the church choir, playing and directing handbells, dancing, and puzzles. Regina described herself as a "tomboy and girlie” combination with an eclectic style.
“I'm NOT stopping now,” she laughed.
She summed up her last 20+ years, saying, “When children learn about the things I've accomplished, I want them to know, if I can do it, so can they. I like motivating others to be their BEST. If they FAIL, at least they have tried. Failure is not a bad thing; we just need to learn from it and improve each time and eventually we will get where we need to be.”
Regina Days-Bryan has shocked many with her talents and influenced even more.
Her FINAL advice for not only seniors but everyone reading: Enjoy life, do something different, and love what you do. Be a role model, be kind, push yourself, and never quit.
She will leave you with this: “Whether you are shooting hoops, rebounding, or coaching, every day is a NEW challenge.The ball is in YOUR court!”