Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia Bulldogs

Infobox college athletics
name = Georgia Bulldogs

university = The University of Georgia
conference = Southeastern Conference
division = Division I
director = Damon Evans
city = Athens
state = Georgia (U.S. state)
stateabb = GA
teams = 19
stadium = Sanford Stadium
arena = Stegeman Coliseum
mascot = Uga VIII
Hairy Dawg
nickname = Bulldogs, 'Dawgs
fightsong = Glory, Glory
color1 = Red
color2 = Black
hex1 = FF0000
hex2 = 000000
pageurl = http://www.georgiadogs.com/
pagename = GeorgiaDogs.com
The Georgia Bulldogs are the athletic teams of The University of Georgia. The Bulldogs compete in the Southeastern Conference. All Georgia athletic teams are known as the Bulldogs, and Uga the Bulldog, of whom Uga VIII is the latest in a much-beloved lineage, is the official school mascot. They also have a costumed mascot, Hairy Dawg.

Bulldog legends Vince Dooley, Dan Magill, Wally Butts, Howell Hollis, Forrest "Spec" Towns, Herman Stegeman, Herschel Walker, and Fran Tarkenton, along with current coaches Mark Richt, Andy Landers, Suzanne Yoculan, Manuel Diaz, and Jack Bauerle, are all considered to be among the best in their respective sport. They are currently ranked #10 in the 2008-2009 NCAA Football Polls.

Overview

The University sponsors nineteen sports - baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, women's equestrian, football, men's and women's golf, women's gymnastics, women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track, and women's volleyball. Those 19 teams have won a combined 31 team national championships and 127 Southeastern Conference championships as of the conclusion of the 2006-07 academic year.

The first mention of "Bulldogs" in association with Georgia athletics occurred on November 28, 1901, at the Georgia-Auburn football game played in Atlanta. The Georgia fans "had a badge saying 'Eat `em Georgia' and a picture of a bulldog tearing a piece of cloth";cite book | last = Stegeman | first = John F. | title = The Ghosts of Herty Field: Early Days on a Southern Gridiron | origyear = 1966 | publisher = University of Georgia Press | location = Athens, Georgia | id = LCCN|66|0|27606 | pages = p.59 ] however, it was not until 1920 that the nickname "Bulldog" was used to describe the athletic teams at the University of Georgia. Traditionally, the choice of a Bulldog as the UGA mascot was attributed to the alma mater of its founders and first president, who graduated from Yale University. [http://www.secsportsfan.com/georgia-bulldogs-football-history.html] On November 3, 1920, Morgan Blake, a sportswriter for the Atlanta Journal wrote a story about school nicknames for football teams and proposed:

"The Georgia Bulldogs would sound good because there is a certain dignity about a bulldog, as well as ferocity."cite web|url=http://www.georgiadogs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=46724&SPID=3571&DB_OEM_ID=8800&ATCLID=526232|title=Georgia Traditions from Georgiadogs.com|accessdate=2007-03-29]
Shortly thereafter, another news story appeared in the Atlanta Constitution in which the name "Bulldogs" was used several times to describe the Georgia football team and the nickname has been used ever since then.

The athletic department suffered through several controversies in the early 2000s, including a major scandal within the men's basketball program. In 2003, a power struggle between University President Michael Adams and athletic director and beloved Bulldog legend Vince Dooley stole headlines across the country when Adams refused to renew Dooley's contract, effectively firing him. The battle became one painted as academics versus athletics, though this idea was rejected when the University's Franklin College of Arts and Sciences faculty issued a vote of "no confidence" on Adams' leadership in 2004.

The firestorm has calmed slightly since then, however, largely due to the success of Dooley's successor, Damon Evans. In 2006, the Bulldogs recorded the highest profit margin of any athletic program in the country (according to the EADA report [cite web|url=http://ope.ed.gov/athletics/|title=Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool Website|accessdate=2007-03-29] ), pulling in USD$23.9 million, and also recorded another highly-successful year on the field.

Football

Moving from North Campus toward South Campus—the more recently constructed campus where science and mathematics departments are located—one passes the Tate Student Center and, most notably, the 92,746 seat Sanford Stadium: home of the Georgia football team. The white Bulldog is UGA’s mascot and is properly known as "Uga VII" [cite web|url=http://www.bulldawgs.com/history/mascot.asp|title=Bulldawgs.com Mascot section|accessdate=2007-03-29] (UGA's mascot is another Yale-influenced aspect of the University). The Bulldogs play in the tradition-rich Southeastern Conference.

The Bulldogs' most historic rivalry is with the Auburn Tigers , referred to as "The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry" and dating back to 1892. The other rivalries are between the Bulldogs and the Atlantic Coast Conference's Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets ("Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate") and the Florida Gators (The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party). In addition, UGA enjoyed a strong rivalry with the nearby Clemson Tigers for many years in football, especially in the 1980s. The Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers annual showdown on the second Saturday of October has become a rivalry as a result of the 1992 division of the Southeastern Conference into Eastern and Western divisions. Before 1992, the two teams had only met 21 times since 1899. Beginning in 1992, the two teams have played annually as members of the same division.cite web| url=http://www.georgiadogs.com/attachments1/1415.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=8800 |title=Georgia vs. All Competition |accessdate=2008-01-19 |work=georgiadogs.com |format=pdf |publisher= University of Georgia Athletic Association]

The football team has celebrated recent success, compared to some relatively lean years in the 1990s. Between 1989 and 2000, the Bulldogs earned a record of 86-53-1 under head coaches Ray Goff (often derisively referred to as Ray 'Goof', a nickname given by former Florida Gators and current South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier) and Jim Donnan. Since 2001, Mark Richt has led the Bulldogs to 2 SEC Championships in 3 appearances, as well as an overall record of 74-19 (5-2 in Bowl Games).

The Bulldogs have brought home two national championships in their storied history: a shared title in 1942 and a consensus national championship in 1980 (several polls recognized the Bulldogs as national champions in 1927, 1946, and 1968, as well). In addition to their 2 national championships, the Bulldogs have won 12 Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships, the most recent coming in 2005, boast two Heisman Trophy winners (Frank Sinkwich, 1942, and Herschel Walker, 1982), and hold the distinction of having three graduates become Super Bowl MVPs (Jake Scott, 1972, Terrell Davis, 1998, and Hines Ward, 2005).

Notable former players include RB Herschel Walker, QB Eric Zeier, QB Fran Tarkenton, RB Frank Sinkwich, RB Charley Trippi, RB Rodney Hampton, FB Mack Strong, RB Garrison Hearst, DE Bill Stanfill, DB Terry Hoage, CB Champ Bailey, RB Terrell Davis, RB Olandis Gary, WR Hines Ward, DE Richard Seymour, LB Boss Bailey, DE/LB David Pollack, QB David Greene, K Kevin Butler, CB Sean Jones, SS/LB Thomas Davis, WR Reggie Brown, and FS Greg Blue, Jon Bentley.

The Georgia-Florida game is held annually in late October/early November in Jacksonville, Florida, a site intended to be neutral. However, it is worth noting that the neutrality of the game's location is a point of contention for many Georgia fans; many of whom argue that Jacksonville's location relative to the two universities favors Florida. The city lies 342 miles from Athens, Georgia, home of the Bulldogs, but only 73 miles from Gainesville, Florida, home of the Gators. University athletic directors recently extended the agreement to continue playing in Jacksonville till 2010. The game is considered a must-do for many UGA students and alumni. Georgia holds the all-time advantage in the series, posting a win-loss record of 47-37-2 (46-37-2 according to the University of Florida, which does not include the 1904 game in Macon, Georgia before officially sanctioning its football program.) The University of Florida began closing the gap, going 15-1 between 1990 and 2003. Georgia has begun to even up the series since, winning in 2004 and 2007 while the Gators took the game in 2005 and 2006.

Tennis

Men's Tennis

Under the direction of college sports legend Dan Magill from 1954 to 1988 and his successor (and current head coach) Manuel Diaz, the Georgia Men's Tennis program ranks among the nation's best. The team has won a total of eight tennis national championships in 1985, '87, '99, 2001, '06 (indoor), 07 (indoor and NCAA Division I), and 2008. The Bulldogs' six NCAA team championships rank second all-time behind Stanford, who has won the team title 15 times. The 2007 indoor championship made Georgia only the sixth team in history to successfully defend the ITA Indoor title. [cite web |url=http://www.ncaasports.com/tennis/mens/story/10015223 |title=UGA repeats as indoor champs |date=February 22, 2007 |publisher= NCAA|accessdate=2008-01-12]

The squad has won 24 Southeastern Conference championships, including four since 2001.

The NCAA Men's Tennis Championship has been held in Athens 24 times in the past 35 years, including consecutively from 1977-1989 and in 2007. All but one (2008) of UGA's NCAA team championships have been won in Athens. [cite web |url=http://www.ncaasports.com/tennis/mens/recaps/0522_uga_illini_recap/2007 |title=Georgia 4, Illinois 0s |date=May 22, 2007 |publisher= NCAA|accessdate=2008-01-12]

Women's Tennis

UGA alum Jeff Wallace has coached the Georgia Women's Tennis program since 1985, and is currently the winningest active NCAA women's tennis coach. His teams have won two NCAA team championships (1994 and 2000), three ITA Indoor Championships (1994, 1995 and 2002) and seven SEC titles.

The NCAA Women's Tennis Championship has been held in Athens 3 times.

Women's Gymnastics

No Bulldog team has dominated its sport as much in the past 20 years as the Georgia Gym Dogs, under the direction of Suzanne Yoculan.

Since 1986, the Gym Dogs have brought home 9 gymnastics national championships (1987, '89, 1993, '98, '99, 2005, '06, '07, '08)cite web |url=http://www.georgiadogs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=44931&SPID=4004&DB_OEM_ID=8800&ATCLID=878225|title=Gym Dogs Win Third Straight NCAA Championship |accessdate=2007-04-28 |work=GeorgiaDogs.com |publisher=University of Georgia Athletics Association] and 16 Southeastern Conference titles.

The Gym Dogs consistently draw upwards of 10,000 fans to their meets, ranking them second only to football in average attendance among Georgia sports.

On October 18, 2007, Yoculan announced that she will retire as head coach after the 2009 season.cite web|url=http://media.www.redandblack.com/media/storage/paper871/news/2007/10/18/Sports/Yoculan.To.Retire.After.2009.Season-3039574.shtml|title=Yoculan to Retire After 2009 Season |accessdate=2007-10-21 | |publisher=University of Georgia Athletics Association] Longtime assistant Jay Clark will succeed Yoculan as head coach.

Golf

Men's Golf

From 1946-70, Howell Hollis built the Georgia men's golf team into a conference power, claiming 13 SEC titles and laying the groundwork for the team's future successes.

Current coach Chris Haack has led the team to two golf national titles (1999, 2005) and keeps them in contention for the crown each year.

Overall, the men's golf team leads all Georgia sports with 26 conference championships, including four since 2000.

Women's Golf

First organized by women's athletics pioneer Liz Murphey, the Georgia women's golf team is a fixture among the nation's top finishers. Todd McCorkle coached the Georgia women's golf team from 2001 to 2007, when he abruptly resigned before the NCAA Women's Golf Championship under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations. [cite web |url=http://onlineathens.com/stories/051507/golf_20070515042.shtml |title=Alleged sexual comments led to McCorkle's resignation] His inaugural UGA team won the national championship. UGA's sixth place tie at the 2006 national event marks the seventh top-10 final ranking in the last nine years. The progam has won ten SEC titles. Former players include Vicki Goetze, now on the LPGA Tour.

Basketball

Women's Basketball

Coach Andy Landers, a pioneer in the sport, has coached the Lady Bulldogs since 1979, leading them to seven regular-season SEC titles, four SEC tournament championships, twenty 21-win seasons (an average of 24.4 wins per season), 23 NCAA tournaments, and five Final Fours. Landers currently stands as the winningest women's college basketball coach not to have won the national championship. The Lady Dogs' all-time AP ranking stands at 4th as of 2005.

The Lady Dogs have also produced two U.S. Olympians who have combined to earn six Gold Medals (Teresa Edwards and Katrina McClain Johnson), 16 former players who have continued to the WNBA (second-most nationally), and six WNBA first-round draft picks in the past five years (second-most nationally). There were eight Lady Bulldogs on WNBA rosters in 2006: Kara Braxton, Detroit Shock; Kedra Holland-Corn, Detroit Shock; Deanna Nolan, Detroit Shock; Kelly Miller, Phoenix Mercury; Coco Miller, Washington Mystics; Christi Thomas, Los Angeles Sparks; Sherill Baker, New York Liberty; and Keisha Brown, New York Liberty. [cite web|url=http://www.georgiadogs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=8800&KEY=&ATCLID=501748&SPID=3594&SPSID=46742|title=Georgiadogs.com listing of WNBA players|accessdate=2007-03-29]

Men's Basketball

While often overshadowed by the accomplishments of the Lady Dogs, Georgia's men's basketball program has enjoyed several impressive seasons, including a run to the 2008 SEC Championship and berth in the NCAA tournament under current head coach Dennis Felton.

While Dominique Wilkins is considered the greatest player in school history [cite web|url=http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-1973|title=UGA Men's Basketball|work=New Georgia Encyclopedia|accessdate=2008-01-12] , the team's most successful season came one year after his graduation. The Bulldogs made their first NCAA appearance in 1983 - which would have been Wilkins' senior year had he not opted for the NBA. That team advanced to the Final Four before falling to eventual national champion NC State.

Since making its first postseason tournament in 1980, Georgia has received 21 postseason invitations under coaches Hugh Durham, Tubby Smith, Ron Jirsa, Jim Harrick, and Dennis Felton, including 10 trips to the NCAA tournament.

Women's Swimming and Diving

In his 27th year with the Georgia Swimming and Diving program, Coach Jack Bauerle has placed the women's program among the nation's elite. In the past eight years, the team has taken four national championships (1999, 2000, '01, '05) and posted four national runner-up finishes (2002, '03, '04, '06). The Lady Bulldogs have also brought home six SEC team championships (1997, '98, '99, 2000, '01, '06) in the past ten years. Bauerle has coached 11 female Olympians and 88 SEC individual champions. Graduates of the Georgia Swimming and Diving program include three individual recipients of the NCAA Woman of the Year Award: Lisa Coole in 1997, Kristy Kowal in 2000 and Kim Black in 2001.

Baseball

The Georgia Baseball team has seen most of its success in recent years, including winning the 1990 College World Series, as well as making the trip to Omaha in 1987, 1990, 2001, 2004, 2006, and 2008. The "Diamond Dawgs", as they are called, are coached by David Perno.

In its history, the team has claimed five Southeastern Conference tournament titles, in 1933, 1954, 1955, 2001, and 2004, and five regular season conference titles, in 1933, 1953, 1954, 2004, and 2008.

The program dates back to 1886 and, according to former Sports Information Director Dan Magill, was once the most popular sport on campus. However, from the mid-1950s to the late-1980s, and then through most of the 1990s, there were only scattered bright spots as the team managed only a modicum of success.

Since 2001, however, the program has enjoyed quite a resurgence, winning three championships in the perennial stalwart Southeastern Conference and participating in the College World Series four times in those seven seasons.

The Georgia-Georgia Tech baseball rivalry is one of the South's most fierce, and the teams' annual Spring Baseball Classic at Turner Field draws some of the largest crowds in college baseball (the 2004 game was seen by 28,836 spectators, the second-largest crowd in college baseball history).

The team has seen several of its former players move on to successful professional careers, most notably former New York Yankees pitcher Spud Chandler. Also, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Cris Carpenter (not to be confused with Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter), pitcher Derek Lilliquist, Seattle Mariners pitcher Dave Fleming, and Georgia high school football coaching legend Billy Henderson played for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs play in the 3,291-seat Foley Field stadium.

Equestrian

UGA's newest varsity team first competed in the 2002-2003 season. Head coach Meghan Boenigguided the team to a national championship in the Varsity Equestrian National Championships (VENC) that year as well as a repeat national championship the following year (2003-2004). After a series of runner-up finishes, the team reclaimed the top spot in 2007-2008.

Other sports

Other notable sports teams include the perennial power men's swimming team. [cite web|url=http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-2790 |title=UGA Swim and Dive Teams|work=New Georgia Encyclopedia|accessdate=2008-01-12] Notable track and field athletes include Olympic gold medalists Forrest Towns and Gwen Torrence as well as bronze medalist Debbie Ferguson.

References

External links

* [http://www.georgiadogs.com/ Official University of Georgia Athletics site]
* [http://www.dawgs.com/ Georgia Bulldog Fan Forum and Official Team Merchandise]


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