Red and Black
The Georgia Bulldogs football team represents the University of Georgia in the sport of American football. The Bulldogs compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They play their homes games at Sanford Stadium on the university's Athens, Georgia, campus, and are currently coached by Mark Richt. Since their inaugural season in 1892, the Bulldogs have won five (claimed) NCAA football national championships and 14 conference championships. The program has also produced two Heisman Trophy winners, two No. 1 NFL draft picks, and many winners of other national awards.
Georgia's football program began in 1892, when Dr. Charles Herty, a chemistry professor and former player at Johns Hopkins, assembled a team and arranged a game against Mercer University on January 30, 1892. This was the first intercollegiate football game played in the deep south. Playing on what would later be called Herty Field, Georgia beat Mercer 50–0. Georgia's second game was on February 20, 1892, against Auburn University, inaugurating what would come to be known as the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry.
From 1892–1909, the Georgia changed head coaches frequently, with 14 different coaches in a 17 year period. Their combined records were 47–52–10 (.477 winning percentage). During this period, Georgia's greatest success came during Glenn "Pop" Warner's tenure from 1895-1896 In 1896, Warner's Georgia team recorded the program's first conference championship, winning the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship with a 3-0 conference record. Georgia's overall season record was 4–0, which marked the team's first undefeated season, as well. It is thought that the first forward pass in football occurred in 1895 in a game between Georgia and North Carolina when, out of desperation, the ball was thrown by the North Carolina quarterback instead of punted and a North Carolina player caught the ball.
In 1897, the program was nearly terminated when a Georgia fullback named Richard Vonalbade Gammon died as a result of injuries sustained in a game against the University of Virginia. The Georgia state legislature quickly passed a bill abolishing collegiate football in the state, but the bill was vetoed by then-Governor William Yates Atkinson, based upon an appeal from Gammon's mother, Rosalind Gammon.
Beginning in 1910, Georgia started experiencing stability in its head coaches. In 1911, Georgia moved its playing field from Herty Field to Sanford Field, where wooden stands were built. From 1910–63, Georgia had 7 head coaches and a record of 307–180–33 (a .622 winning percentage). Although Harry Mehre and Wally Butts are the two best-known coaches from this era, it was George "Kid" Woodruff who led the Bulldogs to their first claim to national championship. In 1927, Georgia finished the season 9–1 and could stake a claim to the national championship by finishing #1 in at least one national poll. Herman Stegeman coached the Bulldogs to an 8–0 record in 1920, when the team was named co-champion of the SIAA.
Harry Mehre coached the Bulldogs from 1928–37, but perhaps his most memorable game was in 1929. October 12, 1929 was the inaugural game in the newly completed Sanford Stadium and Mehre's Bulldogs responded with an upset victory over the powerhouse of the day, Yale University, winning 15–0. In that game, Vernon "Catfish" Smith scored all 15 points for Georgia. As head coach, Mehre compiled a 59–34–6 record (.626 winning percentage), but was never able to win a conference championship.
Wally Butts coached the Bulldogs from 1939–60 and continued as athletic director until 1963. Butts came to UGA as an assistant to Joel Hunt in 1938, but Hunt left UGA after a 5–4–1 season to take over at Wyoming; Butts succeeded him. During his tenure as head coach, Georgia had a claim to the national championship in 1942 being selected by 6 polls recognized by the NCAA Division 1-A college football national championship (Ohio St. was also selected by 6 polls, including the AP, and Wisconsin was selected by one poll), and in 1946 after finishing first in at least one national poll and/or rating system. Butts coached 1942 Heisman Trophy winner Frank Sinkwich and Maxwell Award winner Charley Trippi. His teams also won four SEC championships – 1942, 1946, 1948 and 1959. As head coach, Butts posted a 140–86–9 record (.615 winning percentage), including six bowl games. His bowl record was 5–2–1. Butts was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
Johnny Griffith, a former player and assistant coach to Butts, succeeded him in 1961. He resigned in December 1963 after going 10–16–2, including a combined 1–8 against Georgia Tech, Florida, and Auburn.
Vince Dooley held the head coach position longer than any other Bulldogs coach, leading the Bulldogs from 1964–88. During his tenure as head coach, Georgia won its second consensus national championship in 1980, winning the Grantland Rice Award. Dooley's 1968 team finished first in at least one national poll, giving Georgia a claim to the national championship in that year. The 1967 Cotton Bowl win over SMU made Georgia only the 3rd school in college football history to have won all 4 of the historical major bowls, Rose, Cotton, Sugar, Orange. His teams gave Georgia six SEC Championships and he coached 1982 Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award winner Herschel Walker, 1968 Outland Trophy winner Bill Stanfill and 40 All-Americans. Dooley won the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award in 2001. He compiled a 201–77–10 record (.715 winning percentage), which included twenty bowl appearances. His bowl record was 8–10–2. From 1976–82, his teams were in contention for the national title 4 times (1976, 1980, 1981, and 1982). His 6 SEC titles ties him for second place all time amongst SEC coaches for SEC titles. Dooley's offenses were known primarily for running the football. He converted UGA's single-wing offense to a wishbone-type scheme in the early 1970s, and later ran a professional I-type offense with the development of Herschel Walker. For awhile during the 1980s UGA was known as "Tailback U." Dooley was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997 In 1981, Professor Jan Kemp complained that Georgia officials had intervened allowing nine college football players to pass a remedial English course, allowing them to play against Pittsburgh in the Sugar Bowl. The board of regents of the University System of Georgia issued a report in April 1986 implicating Dr. Fred C. Davison and the Georgia athletic department, headed by Dooley, who was also the football coach, in a pattern of academic abuse in the admission and advancement of student-athletes over the previous four years.
Ray Goff took over as head coach in 1989 and coached the Bulldogs until 1995, posting a 46–34–1 record (.574 winning percentage). His teams were 0–5 against Tennessee, 1–6 against Florida, 2–4–1 against Auburn, 5–2 against Georgia Tech and won no conference titles. During his time at Georgia, Goff was often derisively referred to as Ray "Goof", a nickname given to him by former Florida and current South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. Goff had a 2–2 bowl record.
Jim Donnan took over as head coach in 1996 and coached the Bulldogs until 2000, posting a 40–19–0 record (.678 winning percentage). Donnan's teams produced no conference titles and were 1–4 against Tennessee, 2–3 against Auburn, 1–4 against Florida and 2–3 against Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs lost to all four of these rivals in 1999 and only posted a win against Tennessee in 2000. Donnan had a 4–0 bowl record.
The current head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs is Mark Richt, who joined the Bulldogs in 2001 after serving as the offensive coordinator of the Florida State Seminoles under Bobby Bowden. Since Richt's tenure began, Georgia has won two SEC championships – 2002 and 2005 – and 6 of their 7 SEC East Division Championships – 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011, and 2012. (Out of those years Georgia represented the East in the SEC Championship Game in all but 2007.) Including bowl games, Richt's record, as of January 2, 2013, is 118–40–0. His bowl record through 2012 is 8–4. Richt has been a fixture in the recruiting world ending up with top 5 classes the past 3 years. On October 8, 2011 Richt won his 100th career game as UGA's coach against Tennessee at Neyland Stadium 20–12.
Under Richt, Georgia is 8-4 against Tennessee, 4-8 against Florida, 8-4 against Auburn, and 11-1 against Georgia Tech, including games from 2001–12. In 2011, under Richt, Georgia defeated Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech in the same season for the first time since 1981.
Georgia was a founding member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, one of the first collegiate athletic conferences formed in the United States. Georgia participated in the SIAA from its establishment in 1895 until 1921. Durings its tenure in the SIAA, Georgia was conference co-champion in two years, 1896 and 1920. In 1921, the Bulldogs, along with 12 other teams, left the SIAA and formed the Southern Conference. During its time in the Southern Conference, the team never won a conference championship. In 1932, the Georgia Bulldogs left the Southern Conference to form and join the SEC, where Georgia has won the third most SEC football championships, with 12, behind Alabama (22) and Tennessee (13).
It was not until 1920 that the nickname "Bulldogs" was used in reference to the football team. Prior to that time, Georgia teams were usually known as the "Red and Black." On November 3, 1920, Morgan Blake of the Atlanta Journal wrote a story about school nicknames and proposed:
The Georgia Bulldogs would sound good because there is a certain dignity about a bulldog, as well as ferocity.
After a 0-0 tie with Virginia in Charlottesville on Nov. 6, 1920, Atlanta Constitution writer Cliff Wheatley used the name "Bulldogs" in his story five times. The name has been used ever since.
Georgia's standard home uniform has not significantly changed since 1980, and consists of a red helmet with the trademarked oval "G", red jerseys, and silver pants.
Wally Butts first introduced the "silver britches," as they are colloquially known, in 1939. When Vince Dooley became Georgia's head coach, he changed the team's home uniform to include white pants. The uniform was changed back to silver pants prior to the 1980 season, and has remained silver ever since.
Georgia's earliest helmet was grey leather, to which a red block "G" logo was added in 1961. The shirts were usually red, sometimes with various striping patterns. Their uniforms in the pre-World War II era varied at times, sometimes significantly. Photographic evidence suggests that black shirts, vests, and stripes of various patterns were worn at times over the years.
Vince Dooley was the first to incorporate a red helmet into the uniform in 1964, adopting the oval "G," a white stripe, and white facemasks. Anne Donaldson, who graduated from Georgia with a BFA degree and was married to Georgia assistant coach John Donaldson, was asked by Coach Dooley to come up with a new helmet design to replace the previous silver helmet. Coach Dooley liked the forward oriented stylized "G" Mrs. Donaldson produced, and it was adopted by him. Since the Georgia "G" was similar to the Green Bay Packers' "G" used by it since 1961, Coach Dooley cleared its use with the Packer organization. Nonetheless, Georgia has a registered trademark for its "G" and the Packers' current, redesigned, "G" logo is modeled after the University of Georgia's redesign of Green Bay's original "G" logo. The helmet change was part of a drastic uniform redesign by Dooley, who also replaced the traditional silver pants with white pants that included a black-red-black stripe. The jerseys remained similar to the pre-1964 design, however, with a red jersey and white numbers.
Prior to the 1980 season, the "silver britches" were re-added to Georgia's uniform with a red-white-black stripe down the side. Since the 1980 season, Georgia has utilized the same basic uniform concept. The sleeve stripes, trim colors, and font on Georgia's home and away jerseys have varied many times, but the home jerseys have remained generally red with white numbers, and away jerseys have remained generally white with black numbers.
The most recent trim redesign occurred in 2005, when sleeve stripe patterns were dropped in favor of solid black jersey cuffs on the home jersey and solid red cuffs on the away jersey. Matte gray pants have also been used at times instead of "true" silver since 2004, mainly because the matte gray pants are of a lighter material.
One of the things that makes Georgia's uniform unique is its relative longevity, and the fact that it has very rarely changed over the years. There have been occasions, however, when alternate uniforms have been worn.
The Bulldogs have three main football rivals: Auburn, Florida, and Georgia Tech. All three rivalries were first contested over 100 years ago, though the series records are disputed in two cases. Georgia does not include two games from 1943 and 1944 against Georgia Tech (both UGA losses) in its reckoning of the series record, because some of Georgia's players were in World War II. Georgia also includes a game against one of the four predecessor institutions of the modern University of Florida in 1904 (a Georgia win) that national sportswriters and Florida's athletic association do not include.
Georgia has long-standing football rivalries with other universities as well, with over 50 games against five additional teams. Since the formation of the SEC Eastern Division in 1992, Georgia has had an emerging rivalry with the Tennessee Volunteers. The Georgia–South Carolina football rivalry has been a game of increasing importance; South Carolina won the SEC Eastern Division championship in 2010, Georgia in 2011 and 2012.
As of the end of the 2011 season, the Georgia Bulldogs had played 119 seasons with an all-time record of 747–400–54 (a .622 winning percentage). A complete decade by decade list of game results can be found at Georgia Bulldogs football (all games). Note: Georgia was also the only Division I FBS program to win at least 8 games every season from 1997–2009.
The Bulldogs have played in 48 bowl games and have a record of 27–18–3. On the all-time lists, the Bulldogs have the fifth most bowl appearances and tied for third for bowl game victories.
Years in which the Bulldogs finished with a number-one ranking in at least 3 of the final national polls recognized by the College Football Hall of Fame and included in the official NCAA Football Record Book:
Georgia has won a total of 14 conference championships, including 12 SEC Championships.
Georgia has won 7 SEC Eastern Division championships, and has made 5 appearances in the SEC Championship Game, most recently in 2012. The Dawgs are 2–3 in those games. Twice, in 1992 and 2007, Georgia was the Eastern Division co-champion, but lost a tiebreaker to appear in the championship game.
Following the 1995 season, the NCAA changed the rules to allow for overtime on games tied at the end of four quarters. Until that time, the Bulldogs had tied 34 times. Since then, Georgia has participated in eight overtime games and has won four of those games.
The Bulldogs have had 68 players selected as All-Americans. Of those 67 players, 24 were consensus All-Americans, as so-designated by NCAA rules. While several players were selected in more than one year, only Frank Sinkwich, Herschel Walker, and David Pollack were selected as consensus All-Americans more than once.
The Georgia Bulldogs football players that have been selected as All-Americans are:
Sixteen former Georgia players and coaches have been inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame. In addition, one former player, Pat Dye, has been inducted into the Hall as a coach for Auburn. The 16 individuals from Georgia inducted into the Hall are:
The Bulldogs have had 25 head coaches: