Former UGA football star and assistant coach fighting brutal illness since retiring as Dougherty County AD

Former UGA football player and assistant coach Frank Orgel, who served as athletics director of Dougherty County Schools from 1996-2001, is still fighting a courageous battle against a motor neuron disease similar to ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Bo Jackson: Orgel was

Bo Jackson: Orgel was "the best coach to come through Auburn" (Nike photo)

Orgel’s health situation was updated over the weekend in the Albany Herald by columnist Loran Smith, the longtime UGA sidelines reporter.

Orgel has been flying to Mexico for stem cell treatments. Longtime buddies such as former Auburn coach Pat Dye, who was Orgel’s roomate during their playing days at UGA, have helped with fundraisers for the medical costs, according to Smith. Orgel and Dye were star performers on UGA’s 1959 SEC Championship team. Later, Orgel played two years at defensive end for the then-AFL’s Buffalo Bills.

Orgel shares with Smith some of his famous football stories, including his relationship with Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson when Orgel was an Auburn assistant.

Bo Jackson, who has recently been to see him, autographed a photo to Frank, noting that he was “the best coach to come through Auburn.” An observation about the autograph from Bo, and we were off and running.
An Auburn assistant assigned to “scout” Bo when he was being recruited asked Frank to go with him to watch Bo play.
“His coach had him starting at defensive end,” Frank said, shaking his head as he recalled the experience. “Bo touched the ball six times that night and scored five times. That has to be the worst coaching decision of all time.”

Bo Jackson, who has recently been to see him, autographed a photo to Frank, noting that he was “the best coach to come through Auburn.” An observation about the autograph from Bo, and we were off and running.

An Auburn assistant assigned to “scout” Bo when he was being recruited asked Frank to go with him to watch Bo play. “His coach had him starting at defensive end,” Frank said, shaking his head as he recalled the experience. “Bo touched the ball six times that night and scored five times. That has to be the worst coaching decision of all time.”

Orgel was a football star at Albany High, and played briefly at Wyoming before transferring to UGA.

He was head coach at Warner Robins High School from 1970-72, posting an overall record of 27-4-2, before moving to the college ranks as an longtime assistant. His last college job was directing Georgia’s inside linebackers from 1989-95. He was hired by Dougherty County the following year and worked until his retirement in 2001.

Contributions to the Frank Orgel Fund can be sent to:

Frank Orgel Fund (Attn: David Guillebeaux), Albany Bank & Trust Co. 2815 Meredith Dr., P.O. Drawer 71269, Albany, GA 31708

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16 comments Add your comment

Todd Holcomb

April 26th, 2010
4:48 pm

Best wishes to Coach Orgel. … High school football fans should be aware that Warner Robins football was mediocre to terrible before Orgel became head coach. Robert Davis inherited the job from Orgel in 1973, and it became Georgia’ most successful big-school program behind Valdosta (and maybe Clarke Central) for 2-3 decades. Orgel was critical in getting that started.

Marty Murray

April 26th, 2010
7:39 pm

Frank should also look into holistic and mind body methods of solving als.

People such as Evy McDonald, Steve Shackel and I have solved als using these methods and information on how it has been done can be found on the web.

thomas

April 26th, 2010
8:39 pm

Mr. Carvell – thanks for sharing this courageous story! http://www.wedgeorgia.com

dawg

April 26th, 2010
8:48 pm

Best of luck Coach..May you enjoy a long life…

GT Fan

April 26th, 2010
9:46 pm

Our prayers are with you Coach Orgel. Keep up the fight, never give up just like you coached. God Bless.

hind tit

April 26th, 2010
10:00 pm

god’s speed frank. everybody remember frank and his family when you pray.

[...] The rest is here: Former UGA football star and assistant coach fighting brutal … [...]

'77 Pirate...

April 27th, 2010
6:54 am

…worked with Coach Orgel and Pat Dye at ECU in 1975 and 1976 as a grad assistant. Coach Orgel was a great guy then and now, very easy going and an easy target for Coach Dye’s fanaticism on game day on the sidelines. Blessings to coach and his family – those were great times in Greenville, NC, especially at coach’s favorite hot dog stand – DW’s (Darwin Waters)…

WRHS Demon

April 27th, 2010
11:05 am

Todd, check your facts. Coach Joe Sumrall turned the WRHS program around. Orgel inherited it from him.

Dr. Phil

April 27th, 2010
12:38 pm

Coach Butts was one of the original taskmasters in college football, but those who played for him learned discipline and remained devoted. Butts produced many great pro players and coaches, and Orgel was certainly one of them. Best wishes for recovery and future health.

Antanasia Senard Campbell

April 27th, 2010
9:18 pm

If it wasn’t for Frank Orgel as Dougherty County School Athletic Director from 1996 to 2001 having the state tournament hosted here in Albany from 1996 to 2001 at the Albany Civic Center and the Civic Center hasn’t been used since I thank him for that and may god bless you with a speedy recovery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Josh Lowe

April 28th, 2010
9:44 pm

As a kid, Coach Orgel was always the UGA coach that seemed to be a sincerly nice guy to the many campers that would attend the UGA camp…one of which was me. God Bless you in your fight for your health coach!

Dave R

April 28th, 2010
10:47 pm

I played football and wrestled at Warner Robins 1969-1971 and Frank was the defensive coordinator under Summerall as well as the wrestling coach . He was passionate about both and pushed all of us beyond what we thought we could achieve. He was instrumental in laying the groundwork for what would become the winningest football program in GA during the 70’s. Best Wishes Frank.

Lori Shipman

April 29th, 2010
1:33 am

Marty Your methods are disgusting.

Dave BrownUGA Teammate 60'-61

April 29th, 2010
8:34 pm

Frank, We’re praying for you to have peace, comfort, and complete healing and recovery. I have Great memories of our days at UGA.
God Bless You and Yours,
Dave

bubble

January 31st, 2012
12:34 pm

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