Who are the coolest Bulldog athletes of all time?

Dan Magill, the quintessential Georgia Bulldog. (University of Georgia)

Dan Magill, the quintessential Georgia Bulldog. (University of Georgia)

GQ magazine has released its list of the 25 Coolest Athletes of All Time, honoring icons who in addition to their sporting achievements also possessed a certain grace, style or swagger that made them fan favorites.

The list, included in the February issue of GQ, which has nine different covers, includes such names as Muhammad Ali, “Pistol” Pete Maravich, Joe Namath, Arnold Palmer, Pele and Ted Turner (as a yachtsman).

This got me to thinking about who would qualify for a list of the coolest Georgia Bulldogs of all time. Here are 15 names I came up with, listed alphabetically:

Champ Bailey. A virtual iron man for the Dogs, playing on offense, defense and special teams and winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s top defensive player after his junior year at UGA. He’s gone on to be a top NFL defensive player for Washington and Denver.

Teresa Edwards. In addition to starring for the Lady Dogs, she played basketball for the U.S. in an unprecedented four Olympics.

Bill Goldberg. Followed his football days at UGA and in the NFL by becoming practically a household name in pro wrestling.

Terry Hoage. A two-time consensus All-America defensive back who Vince Dooley said was the best defensive player he’d ever coached, but he also graduated from UGA with a 3.86 GPA in genetics. After a pro football career, now has his own vineyard.

John Isner. UGA’s all-time leader in singles and doubles victories, this tennis star earned All-American honors each of his four years and led Georgia to the 2007 NCAA championship. And after outlasting Nicolas Mahut last summer at Wimbledon in the longest ever professional tennis match, he sat down for media interviews wearing a vintage UGA T-shirt. Very cool.

Courtney Kupets. Winner of two Olympic medals and just about every individual collegiate gymnastics honor around during the Gym Dogs’ run of consecutive NCAA titles. Ended up being named the nation’s top female college athlete.

Dan Magill. Established UGA as a tennis powerhouse and made Athens the center of the collegiate tennis universe. And he’s still playing tennis. But the longtime coach also is pretty much the living embodiment of Bulldog spirit and is celebrating his 90th birthday this week. Check out Loran Smith’s tribute to one of UGA’s best.

Johnny Rauch. Starred as a quarterback for UGA and then went on to coach the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl. He’s credited by Bill Walsh with having invented the West Coast offense.

Jake Scott. The UGA All-American defensive back went on to be a four-time All-Pro for the Miami Dolphins during their heyday. Also known as one of the wildest Dogs players ever and the guy who rode a motorcycle over Stegeman Coliseum.

Matt Stinchcomb. Named to UGA’s Circle of Honor, the brainy former offensive lineman is one of the school’s best representatives as founder of the annual Countdown to Kickoff charity event, along with brother Jon and former UGA quarterback David Greene.

Richard Tardits. The French rugby player knew practically nothing about football when he joined the Dogs and ended up setting a school record for QB sacks, eventually broken by David Pollack.

Charley Trippi. Starred in both football and baseball at UGA and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Athens resident is known as a classy gentleman.

Herschel Walker. Hey, when you’re known nationally just by your first name, you’ve got to be cool!

Hines Ward. A Mr. Everything on offense for the Dogs and one of the gutsiest players I’ve ever seen. He’s gone on to a long NFL career, was voted Super Bowl MVP and is back in the Super Bowl again.

Dominique Wilkins. Known in the NBA for his spectacular slam dunks, he’s the only basketball Bulldog to have his jersey retired.

Who else belongs on a list of the coolest Bulldogs ever?

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

268 comments Add your comment

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

January 25th, 2011
11:40 am

Not Fran Tarkenton

Alabama Jack

January 25th, 2011
11:41 am

Jasper Sanks – fumble on, brother.

UGA Alumnus

January 25th, 2011
11:42 am

UGA Alumnus

January 25th, 2011
11:43 am

the Hoop Dawgs are playing the reptiles from the south this evening in Athens. It’s on espn and espn3(online).

Go Dawgs!

Bill

January 25th, 2011
11:44 am

David Pollack

lastrad

January 25th, 2011
11:49 am

Coach Bill Hartman, best trivia answer when asked to name the all the All-Americans on the 1980 National Champinship team

DCJohn

January 25th, 2011
11:54 am

No love for Buckshot Jones? The name alone should do it to it.

hind tit

January 25th, 2011
11:57 am

The wood chopper, Ronnie Jenkins

georgia87

January 25th, 2011
11:58 am

Erk Russell – Steve McQueen in coaching shorts.

Loran, Whatayagot?

January 25th, 2011
11:59 am

Don’t forget Billy Payne who went on to lure and run the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, against tremendous opposition, and overcoming the amateurish Atlanta city government.

kevin

January 25th, 2011
12:00 pm

David Pollack has to be on the list. And, if you conisder non-players, Larry Munson is #1.

Joey

January 25th, 2011
12:00 pm

Fran Tarkenton has to be on the list, Bill, whether or not he likes what is going on with our current coaching staff.

Won an SEC Championship for UGA.

NFL MVP and Hall of Famer.

BG

January 25th, 2011
12:01 pm

GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 25th, 2011
12:01 pm

Hiawatha Berry I mean with a name like that how cool is cool?

Loran, Whatayagot?

January 25th, 2011
12:02 pm

Kim Basinger, if you disregard her left wing political leanings.

DawginLex

January 25th, 2011
12:03 pm

Fran Tarkenton has burned his bridge by the way he handled himself recently.

Not cool.

Not at all.

It is fine to be upset. We all are.

What is not cool is throwing the head coach under the bus on a radio show and NOT BEING MAN ENOUGH TO MEET WITH MARK RICHT IN PERSON.

Tarkenton burned his bridge. He can live with the consequences.

Ben

January 25th, 2011
12:04 pm

2 that immediately jump to my mind are DJ Shockley and Sundiata Gaines.

DJ played behind David Greene for 4 years and could’ve transfered but stayed the course and was rewarded with an SEC title his senior year.

Sundiata played during the WORST of the Felton years and was rewarded with an SEC tourney title his senior year.

Both were great talents that could’ve been bitter but showed loyalty and dedication to their programs.

That, to me, is the epitome of cool.

Loran, Whatayagot?

January 25th, 2011
12:04 pm

The most uncool athlete was Pulpwood Smith who was a stellar running back as a freshman, then got kicked off the team, after pulling a pistol on somebody (I forgot who).

Name that Dawg

January 25th, 2011
12:06 pm

Give the baseball team some love:

Gordon Beckham – The kid has the HR record for UGA, and topped it off with a bomb on his last collegiate at-bat. Plus he has a multitude of other records in only 3 years on the field.

Go Dawgs!

January 25th, 2011
12:06 pm

You can’t go wrong listing guys like Hines and Isner. I love guys like that who have gone on to be stars in their post-UGA career and still show off their Georgia pride whenever they can. When Hines was on with Mike and Mike in the morning last year before a Monday Night Football game, he wore a UGA jacket on the telecast. I also saw him wearing some UGA gear on a few local stories in Pittsburgh. Isner has been wearing UGA gear pretty much every time I’ve seen him interviewed off of the court. Champ wears a lot of UGA gear. I just think it’s good for the school. And, it’s great to know that those guys still remember us.

bdawg

January 25th, 2011
12:07 pm

george

January 25th, 2011
12:08 pm

Wow..thanks for this memory lane..and yes you must add Fran Tarkenton, Bill Hartman and Billy Payne..Proud to be a Bulldawg! Go Dawgs!

SoCal Dawg

January 25th, 2011
12:08 pm

@UGA Alumnus I know. And what is sad is this is what the blog we get, “Who are the coolest Bulldog athletes of all time?”

Loran, Whatayagot?

January 25th, 2011
12:08 pm

I withdraw Kim Basinger, who was not an athlete, but could lean as far left as any of the gymnastics team.

Go Dawgs!

January 25th, 2011
12:08 pm

And, Joey, I disagree strongly on Fran. The man was a great athlete at UGA and in the NFL, but he’s not cool. At all. Have you ever seen some of his infomercials? Or seen him interviewed in the last twenty years? He’s cheesy. And he seems like the kind of guy who would yell at the damn kids to get off of his lawn if the cameras weren’t around.

Old Dawg in Texas

January 25th, 2011
12:08 pm

Spud Chandler, threw a touchdown pass to beat Yale and pitched for the Yankees for 10+ years. Also Spec Towns, who ran in the 1936 Olympics.

ugadawg2005

January 25th, 2011
12:09 pm

No love for Tony Cole?

Joey

January 25th, 2011
12:09 pm

No. We “all” aren’t upset with Fran, right George?

Go Dawgs tonight!

DawginLex

January 25th, 2011
12:11 pm

Loran, whatayagot?

9 and 1/2 weeks was the greatest 2 hours of my life the first time I saw it. Remember the hat?

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 25th, 2011
12:12 pm

Mo Lewis? He was a longtime NFL vetern along with Mack Strong. Both deserve recognition.

Paul H

January 25th, 2011
12:14 pm

Buck Belue
David Pollack
Thomas Brown
Matt Stinchbomb
Kelin Johnson

Cuz

January 25th, 2011
12:15 pm

Coach Mike Castronis.

DawginLex

January 25th, 2011
12:15 pm

Verron Haynes too.

And yes Joey, most Dawgs are upset with Fran.

When you pull of the equivalent of a drive by shooting regarding your alma mater’s football program under the disguise of “I care”, it blows grits.

Have the guts to go talk to Coach Richt, then go on the radio show and say ” I have spoken to Mark and voiced my concerns”. It makes you a man and not a mouse as he appears now.

Parkland Dawg

January 25th, 2011
12:15 pm

Vern Fleming and Terry Fair….lead UGA to their only Final Four appearance in 1983.

Neldorado

January 25th, 2011
12:19 pm

KNOWSHON – HELLO!?! The coolest Bulldog ever……

Jake

January 25th, 2011
12:21 pm

No love for Knowshon? I know a lotta fans don’t like the whole dancing thing on the sidelines but the first blackout was great.

Neldorado

January 25th, 2011
12:22 pm

DawginLex, absolutely Verron Haynes. I’ll never forget those games he rushed for over 200 yards a couple different times. He also went to my High School – North Springs. Go Dawgs!

Top Dawg

January 25th, 2011
12:22 pm

How about Richard Tardits?

D A DoubleU G

January 25th, 2011
12:22 pm

I love that every interview you see Heinz Ward do (off the field), he is wearing wither an UGA hat or shirt. Ring up the cool points from me.

Also loved that after John Isner had his record marathon math at Wimbledon, he rocked the UGA t-shirt when Hannah Storm interviewed him.

59bulldawg

January 25th, 2011
12:23 pm

Definitely Hines Ward! Great choice! But don’t forget Eddie “The Meat Cleaver” Weaver and his lil brother Mike “Jumbo” Weaver, Gliding Glynn Harrison, Andy Johnson, Nate Taylor, or Freddie “Spiderman” Gilbert. We have a lot from which to choose!

TROJAN

January 25th, 2011
12:23 pm

Anyone but Fran. My vote is Herchel!

Top Dawg

January 25th, 2011
12:23 pm

Jeff Sanchez?

Joey

January 25th, 2011
12:25 pm

By that token, an American shouldn’t criticize an administration because we are all Americans?

I haven’t heard anyone in the UGA Athletic dept being upset with Fran. I expect they are happy to continue to cash Fran’s large contributions.

And how exactly did you conduct your poll that shows “most Dawgs are upset with Fran?”

My equally scientific poll says more Dawgs are more upset with Richt and Co’s losing and player arrests than with Fran Tarkenton.

Jay Stone

January 25th, 2011
12:26 pm

Given the magazine’s criteria, I’m not sure all the ones you have listed here necessarily qualify. Greatest athletes in school history — they’d certainly be in the discussion, but the way I read it we’re looking for universal man/woman type folks. I’d definitely keep Hoage, Goldbert, Dan Magill and Jake Scott. Herschel is a no-brainer, with Olympic bobsledding, MMA, published author. The guy has done everything. I’d think Billy Payne has to be on there, and Alec Kessler would merit consideration too.

Athens= God's Country

January 25th, 2011
12:26 pm

“Sky” he opened Nowhere Bar

Neldorado

January 25th, 2011
12:31 pm

I hear ya Jake, I know some UGA fans like that too, but I loved how much energy and passion and excitement he brought to the team. Only if we had a back like Knowshon now, please come to UGA Isiah, please!

Spanky

January 25th, 2011
12:33 pm

Bill, I would definitely enter Buck Belue into that club! His passion for Georgia football is evident in his radio broadcasts! Go Dawgs!

Cuz

January 25th, 2011
12:34 pm

Freddie Gilbert and Eddie “Meat Cleaver” Weaver dressed as Jake and Elwood Blues.

“We are on a mission from Erk.”

DawginLex

January 25th, 2011
12:35 pm

Joey,

I said most people are upset with Richt but IMO, there is a way to go about it that speaks about your character and about being man enough to own up to what you are saying without it appearing to be a drive by shooting.

Agree to disagree.

Martin the Calvinist

January 25th, 2011
12:36 pm

I agree with the given list of Herschel, Champ Bailey, Charlie Trippi, (way before my time) Hines Ward, but I want to throw in Thomas Brown, 5′8″ 200 lbs set many UGA weight lifting records….probably pound for pound strongest UGA athlete of all time.