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.
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.”
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
Note: This blog will cover topics and issues that have proven to be most important to our readers. For the AJC’s complete high school coverage, go here to read articles on all sports.