Which UGA athletic heroes are worthy of statues?

Vince Dooley and the statue honoring the 1980 national championship. (University of Georgia)

Vince Dooley and the statue honoring the 1980 national championship. (University of Georgia)

Looks like we’ve entered a new Bronze Age in the SEC.

You probably saw the recent news that the University of Alabama is quickly putting up a statue of Nick Saban to mark the Tide’s most recent national championship. It’ll join statues of the other UA coaches who’ve won national titles in the “Walk of Champions” area outside Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.

Then came word that the University of Florida is looking at erecting bronze, life-size statues of the Gators’ Heisman Trophy winners, Tim Tebow, Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel.

That got me to thinking which Bulldog heroes ought to be enshrined if UGA were to go beyond the statue honoring former coach Vince Dooley and his 1980 national championship team that was unveiled in 2008 on the South Campus athletic complex named after Dooley.

Now let me say up front that I recognize there are those who question whether a university campus perhaps ought to erect monuments to great scholars or distinguished alumni rather than athletes, and I’d be all for honoring those folks as well if someone’s willing to put up the money like the athletic association did with the Dooley statue. I certainly don’t think tax dollars ought to be shelled out for statues when there aren’t enough faculty members.

And, indeed, private funds will pay for a statue of UGA’s founder and first president, Abraham Baldwin, that will be erected on North Campus, just as the Sonny Seiler family donated a small bronze statue of Uga VI to the veterinary medicine school. (The other bronze statue of a Georgia Bulldog that sits outside Memorial Hall is actually of Mike, one of the pre-Seiler UGA mascots.)

Anyway, for the purpose of this discussion, let’s stick to athletic heroes and assume that the funding comes either from private donations or that nice fat athletic association surplus. UGA currently doesn’t have an equivalent of Bama’s “Walk of Champions,” but perhaps something along those lines could be worked into the new Reed Alley plaza being built at Sanford Stadium. And if not full statues, maybe bronze busts would be more suitable and take up less space.

Or maybe statues/busts of football heroes could anchor the four corners of the stadium. Heisman winners Herschel Walker and Frank Sinkwich would be natural subjects, along with “Flatfoot” Frankie’s teammate, Maxwell Award winner Charley Trippi. Who for the fourth corner? Longtime coach Wally Butts, who won Georgia’s other consensus national title? Or fan favorite Erk Russell, perhaps?

And over at Stegeman Coliseum, which also is undergoing a facelift and expansion of its concourse, some of the Dawg heroes associated with that venue might be honored, like human highlight film Dominique Wilkins or five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards or Courtney Kupets, the NCAA’s all-time most decorated gymnast.

Which UGA athletic heroes do you think should be honored with a statue or bust? And is a “Walk of Champions” type of area something that needs to be added to the campus in Athens?

Become a fan of the Junkyard Blawg on Facebook.
Follow my updates on Twitter.

230 comments Add your comment

Karma Cohen

February 8th, 2010
2:42 pm

All the groups you mentioned are big Santa fans.

Scott 'Flash" Norton

February 8th, 2010
2:49 pm

Anytime I am constipated, I come to Bill King’s blog. Works like a charm!

longDawg

February 8th, 2010
2:52 pm

Hey we forgot Lewis Grizzard

Charles Herty

February 8th, 2010
2:58 pm

Charles Herty – the founder of Georgi Football.

Dawghater

February 8th, 2010
3:25 pm

A statue of Bill King with the engraving below what reads “A Typical UGA Fan” and the sponsor of the statue could be Budweiser and Clayton Homes!

jawga boy

February 8th, 2010
4:47 pm

Ya’ll are missing some of the best…… here’s my take:

FRAN TARKENTON
BILL STANFILL
JAKE SCOTT
DAVID GREENE (/???) SECOND WINNINGEST QB IN HISTORY
HERSCHEL OF COURSE
HINES WARD
SINKWICH
TRIPPI
ERK
….. All but Greenie had stellar NFL careers.

War Damn Eagle

February 8th, 2010
4:57 pm

How about Jan Kemp?

Knowshon Man

February 8th, 2010
5:01 pm

While I am not advocating that he necessarily deserves one, I do think a statue of Knowshon Moreno huddling the Central Michigan player would be incredible.

col fot

February 8th, 2010
9:11 pm

what’s the meaning fo using the word worthy? Worthy!! They are all worthy dude..look in the mirror!!

CAC

February 8th, 2010
10:26 pm

If they do one of Jake Scott, they should put it on Stegman Colesium where he is riding a motorcycle over it. The Legend of Jake should be remembered!!!

Legend of Len Barker

February 8th, 2010
10:41 pm

Buck Swindle.

GaDawg

February 8th, 2010
10:44 pm

Damn good Dawg
February 6th, 2010
2:13 pm
I agree with you, and I honestly do not know why there has not been a statue of Coach Russell erected before now. His name and contributions to UGA football were as well known as Coach Dooley’s. I can not think of any other assistant head coach who ever contributed more to the athletic success of any university.
It has been a few years since I was at the Butts Mehre Complex, and I don’t remember if there were busts of those two coaches located there or not. If not, there should be!
1. ERK RUSSELL
2. SUZANNE YOUCLAN
3. BULLDOG PRIDE STATUE as proposed by David Granger incorporating an area where the names of UGA Heisman Trophy winners can be inscribed.

Diamond Dog

February 8th, 2010
10:49 pm

I say make one of Mark Richt… AKA Coach February. That’s right, nobody does better than the dawgs during recruiting season!

Remember: CMR=Coach February

RED DOG 77

February 8th, 2010
11:29 pm

Bill….I would feel much more at ease reading you if you kept the subject strictly on football. You know Xs and Os, rather than the erection of a statue.

Jose Canseco

February 9th, 2010
7:16 am

Which Hershel was the fighter and which one played football?

Terrance Morre

February 9th, 2010
7:28 am

Bill

Do ewoks sleep in trees or on the ground?

TM

dogcrap

February 9th, 2010
8:35 am

This column is incredibly stupid. Can you not find anything a little more relevant to write about?? bush league work dude

Vince Dooley

February 9th, 2010
10:12 am

Did someone say…erection ??

Barb Dooley

February 9th, 2010
10:13 am

No.

Now go back to your gardening.

The Grinch

February 9th, 2010
10:35 am

Reggie Ball!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAAHA!!

Ferndolin

February 9th, 2010
10:46 am

For football Larry Munson, Squab (remember Squab?), and of course Herschel, Charlie Trippi, Franky Sinkwitch, and maybe even Fran Tarkenton.
For basketball Domonique, Bob Lienhard, the little guy, Litterial Green, who could jump out of the colliseum and dunk over anybody, Walter Daniels, who single-handedly beat LSU and Pistol Pete, Vern Fleming, a key member of GAs only trip to the final four, Willie Andersen for his wonderful athleticism, and finally Alec Kessler for punching a Florida Gator during a game in the Colliseum and who was drafted to play tight end by the Eagles. That’s my list. Who can beat that?

dan

February 9th, 2010
10:52 am

I think statues are stupid. Have any of you actually met Vince Dooley? I’ll take nothing from his accomplishments but the guy is really kind of an ass, and many of his former players will say the same thing. Dooley was a fgood coach but to erect a statue of him is a bit much. The only coaches that deserve statues are Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno and Eddie Robinson. That’s it!

Furman Bisher's ghost

February 9th, 2010
10:53 am

How about

Jim Harrick
Jim Harrick Jr.
Tony Cole

billytdoogan

February 9th, 2010
12:00 pm

i vote for no statues other than the ones we have of uga

Bill King

February 9th, 2010
4:15 pm

To Red Dog 77:

This has never been a football-only blog.

Ferndolin

February 10th, 2010
3:40 pm

Actually, I believe that was David Dunn who sucker-punched the gator. My appolgizes to Alec Kessler and his family. That would have been in the mid-80s.

TheItalianDawg

February 12th, 2010
10:09 am

Herschel Walker, Frank Sinkwich, Charley Trippi, Wally Butts, Erk Russell, Dominique Wilkins, Teresa Edwards and Courtney Kupets are all deserving. I would say Herschel is the most deserving in football, Wilkins in BB and definitely Kupets should have one, not only she is a great athlete but her contribution and productivity were exceptional and there is no statue of any female at UGA .

4WhatIt'sWorth

February 12th, 2010
10:10 am

I would put one of Herchel’s personalities at each of the four corners of the stadium. Then I would search for one of his personalities that had some eligibility left and recruit that one hard for next year! The man is 47 years old, but obvoiusly has a lot left. After he uses up all of his eligibility, I would get rid of Pres. Adams and give Herschel his job!
GO YOUR HERSCHEL WALKER … KEEP RUNNING & DRIVING WITH THOSE BIG THIGHS!

bubba4dawgs

February 14th, 2010
10:24 am

PULLLEEEEEZE, not Wally! He left one of the worst scandals in the history of Dawg football. Most are to young to know or remember his connection with the Bear. Plenty of “Greats” at Georgia who do deserve a statue. Hershell has to be at the top of the list!!

WayxDog

February 18th, 2010
12:40 pm

Jasper Sanks