Dan Magill made sure UGA was ‘majority party of the Empire State of South’

I’m heading down to Augusta this evening to attend the Bulldog Club meeting there at Julian Smith Casino. Driving by car from Athens, I’ll be taking roughly the same route Dan Magill took to do the same thing 60 years ago.

The incomparable Dan Magill founded Bulldog Clubs in all 159 Georgia counties from 1951-53. (UGA photo)

The incomparable Dan Magill founded Bulldog Clubs in all 159 Georgia counties from 1951-53. (UGA photo)

Lest we forget, Magill was the founder of the Georgia Bulldog Clubs of America. He made it his personal goal to start a Bulldog Club in all 159 counties in Georgia back in 1951. And he did it.

“Took me three summers to do it,” Magill, who turned 90 back in January, told me this week. “I didn’t have time to work on it any other time because I was Sports Information Director for all the sports in those days. George Woodruff and Judge Frank Foley, two of our most generous donors, they bought me a red and black station wagon to drive and I drove to every single county in the state.”

Of course, there was no interstate system in those days and the going could be pretty rough in the dog days of a Georgia summer.

“Most of the roads were Georgia red clay,” Magill said. “I didn’t have air conditioning but I’d just put the windows down. It was a lot of fun. Sometimes I’d hit two or three towns in a day, one at breakfast, another at lunch. I’d save the big towns for the evenings.”

Augusta, Magill recalled, was one of the big towns. “Oh, yeah, big Bulldog following down there.”

“I’d appoint a leader in every town,” he said. “Usually there would be an athlete that I knew. But sometimes I didn’t know anybody. If I didn’t, I’d ask the alumni society for some names. Every county had at least one alumnus. I got to know a lot of alumni that way.”

It was a spartan group early on. They’d usually hold annual meetings in the summer. Coach Magill would make it to as many as he could and he’d bring coaches along to some of the bigger stops.

He said club dues then were “something like $5 to $10 dollars” and members could buy official Georgia red sports that they’d wear to meetings. Magill still owns a few with stripes on the sleeve that displayed his lofty rank of executive secretary.

Today, many of the smaller clubs have been absorbed by the large ones in Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Atlanta and there are Bulldog Clubs in major cities in every state in the Union.

The basic format Magill created is generally the same, which is for the Bulldog Nation to gather together in fellowship, to fuss and extol over their beloved alma mater’s prospects for the coming season and to listen to their Saturday heroes speak.

Magill doesn’t get out to many of the meetings any more, but they remain a point of pride for him.

I asked him why he felt compelled to found them in the first place.

“Back in those days [Georgia] Tech got most of the publicity in the Atlanta newspapers,” Magill said. “But we had more alumni living in Atlanta and everywhere else. I told them, ‘we’re the Majority Party of the Empire State of South.’ And we’re still the Majority Party.”

Thanks in no small part to Dan Magill.

P.S. I’ll be talking to head coach Mark Richt and assistant basketball coach Philip Pearson in Augusta this evening. So let me know if there are some questions in particular you’d like me to ask. I’ll do my best to get them in.

61 comments Add your comment

Finley Dawg

April 27th, 2011
2:17 pm

Am I supposed to put “first” here?

Mdawg

April 27th, 2011
2:20 pm

Nice job Finley – Coach Magill is a DAMN GOOD DAWG!

just a fan

April 27th, 2011
2:22 pm

Dawgfan

April 27th, 2011
2:23 pm

CMR made the comment that we needed to be in ‘mid-year’ shape when we played the first two games. I would like to know what plans are in place to see that that happens.

Spike

April 27th, 2011
2:27 pm

I’ve met him several times, both as a student and an alum. He was always a perfect gentleman.

Fridawg

April 27th, 2011
2:39 pm

Ask CMR what he thinks of the new OL coach’s progress with the line. What tangible improvements should we see?

Bobo, Bobo, a pirate's life for me

April 27th, 2011
2:50 pm

Chip,

Ask CMR if he is taking/thinking about taking over any play calling duties. If not, HOW will he become more involved in the overall offensive game plan?

If you remember correctly CMR stated that a lot of his “desk work” or something of that nature, was taking too much time out of his “learning the strategy of the game”. Now that this has been taken away from him, how will he become more involved in the offense?

Have fun tonight

DG

April 27th, 2011
2:58 pm

Please ask the basketball coach about the status in the point guard position. Dustin Ware will be a senior and I haven’t seen anything about point guards on the horizon. Plenty of bigs, 2s and swing men, so we are concerned about a floor general or two, which is such an important role. Thanks.

Truly study the game of football, the trends, and what's going on.

April 27th, 2011
3:06 pm

Just Beat Boise State in Atlanta.

jdawg

April 27th, 2011
3:07 pm

enjoy your blog chip. ask Philip how many are they plan on signing this spring? Do you know who the dogs are after?
thanks

It Ain't Rocket Science

April 27th, 2011
3:09 pm

Now that is what I call dedication. He surely succeeded in his mission I would think. The bulldogs are well known in the country and respected by most, except for fellow SEC members that come onto these blogs and would find something to complain about UGA, no matter what.
Tell, the coach, true Dawg fans have his back. True fans support thier coach and the team through thick and thin.

Captain

April 27th, 2011
3:13 pm

Dan Magill is a GREAT Bulldog, a great tennis Coach and was a tireless promoter of all that is Georgia. It is amazing what he did with the Tennis program, amazing. To hear him speak, his rich Southern accent as he enunciates words is wonderful, his speech patterns and dialect are a thing of beauty. It was a blessed and special day when one had the opportunity to listen to both Dan and the late Bill Hartman address a group, those two knew stories and told them with such vigor. To this day he’s always called his alma mater and mine GEORGIA, with us it has always been and always will be GEORGIA, not UGA, and we shall always believe the best day is a day we beat Tech at anything. Long live Dan Magill.

Ken Dekle

April 27th, 2011
3:20 pm

I knew Dan Magill back in the 50’s and was one the people who lived in the small towns he was speaking about. We would hold Bulldog club meeting ever year usually at a pond house out in the country and we would always have a fish fry. Dan would bring a coach along (coach Wally Butts) most of the time, and he would give a report on the Bulldogs,You could give a donation for as little as ten dollars and that would get you a parking place on the track behind the book store.

D A DoubleU G

April 27th, 2011
3:22 pm

Chip,

Cannot tell you enough how glad I am that you are the new owner of this blog.

I would like to ask Coach Richt If there is, or has been an inkling of thought about implementing a few plays in the spread offense form, to take advantage of Christian LeMay’s abilities to scramble. During G-Day, I noticed a few plays where LeMay would take the ball in a shotgun, and fake a handoff and run right up the gut, and it worked with success. I could actually see having an offensive playbook similar to the David Green / DJ Shockley days, where DJ would come in and run some scramble plays which I do not feel Greene was capable.

Now, I am 100% aware Richt will not give a straight forward answer to this, so a more appropriate question would be if he sees LeMay taking any portion of the snaps before end of game garbage time?

Thanks Chip!

(and the more I think about it, asking Mark Richt questions, especially in preseason, is like interviewing a politician…. completely unwilling to give a straight forward answer, and dancing around the question using philosophical answers…… it’s actually one of the things that drives me most insane about him…. but worth a shot no less!)

GO DAWGS!!

Legend of Len Barker

April 27th, 2011
3:23 pm

I would have loved to been with Magill traveling those back roads.

It’s shocking that someone would go as far as to travel to all these far-flung areas. Then again, in 1951, most of them had a downtown where he could have had a decent lunch. Possibly even Statenville. I’m wagering the Crawford County trip was to Roberta, though, and not Knoxville.

1eyedJack

April 27th, 2011
3:23 pm

I just hope I live that long.

Adam

April 27th, 2011
3:36 pm

Chip,
ask coach pearson if we are going to sign any
more players this spring, we have additional
scholarships available now.

D A DoubleU G

April 27th, 2011
3:40 pm

This blog does remind me of such a simpler time and day. One in which I am unfortunately WAY too young to have ever known. But it is stories like these that load me up with pride for the state of, and University of Georgia.

This song also came to mind wile reading this story……. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJWEvP9gtww

Dawg Gone

April 27th, 2011
3:55 pm

Gods speed Coach Magill , your the model of a DGD ! Go Georgia!

It Ain't Rocket Science

April 27th, 2011
3:56 pm

Chip,
your taking over this blog insures that we will actually see some positive articles about UGA as well, as critical ones when needed. Think you could arrange to take over the Junkyard Blawg as well. I think it is time for one each, unnamed journalist in that one to take his retirement. I am 62, and I knew when I was no longer at the top of my game when it came to the science I worked in. I imagine it happens to a journalist as well.

DawgLink

April 27th, 2011
4:23 pm

Not trying to deny a DGD Magill, but I sure miss the Top 10 at 10. Your replacement sucks.

Tom

April 27th, 2011
4:25 pm

How much closer will Whiny Dan let the UGA-UF series record get before he makes the decision to “not count” a couple of the Gator wins…..just like he did when Tech was about to tie the series record in the 50’s?

“The Drought” lives, Danielle, and always will. It’s your “Rosebud”.

Saban

April 27th, 2011
4:25 pm

Boise State 50 Dawgs 8

Saban

April 27th, 2011
4:27 pm

Dawgs No. 1 at Clarke County Correctional.

BG

April 27th, 2011
4:33 pm

Great story! GO DAWGS!!

BG

April 27th, 2011
4:33 pm

Suck it Saban!!!!!!!

It Ain't Rocket Science

April 27th, 2011
4:40 pm

Can we have a minimum age requirement for participating in these blogs. Surely, somebody like “SABAN”, on this blog has got to be 13 or under. His/it’s/her comments are not even high school level and reflect his/it’s/her lack of intelligence and maturity. If that was the best I could do, I think I would stick to video games, where it doesn’t matter how immature or brainless you are.

fpice

April 27th, 2011
4:44 pm

Great man! An even greater Bulldog! If CMR was half the man Dan Magill is we would not be a laughingstock program, we would be champions!

St. Simons Island

April 27th, 2011
4:55 pm

Dues were $10 when the Golden Isles Bulldawg Club was first organized.

DAWG ONE

April 27th, 2011
4:58 pm

If there has ever been or ever will be a Mr. Bulldog, Dan Magill will be without question, him! There was a blog the other day about the bronze statues at Bama and FL. If we ever get into statues, Dan Magill deserves the first one. No more loyal Bulldog will ever exist. Athens born and bred, and Athens it will always be for Dan. A true Southern gentleman through and through.
Great article.

BigNCDawg

April 27th, 2011
5:12 pm

Having grown up in Athens during the 40’s and 50’s I looked up to Coach McGill as the number 1 DAWG. He will ever and always be the number one DAWG in my estimation. Great man and great Coach and great DAWG.

tide roll

April 27th, 2011
5:20 pm

I’m still a toothless, rasist, redneck bama fan.
ROLL TIDE!

CHARLOTTE DAWG

April 27th, 2011
5:22 pm

God Bless this man! I wonder how he reacted when he found out the Georgia Senate “honored” Scam Newton in the state house and one of “our” state representatives yelled “War Eagle.”?

He was probably as disgusted as I was. How was that even allowed. In other states, they’d shoot you for that and I can only wish we were as ruthless.

Poopdawg

April 27th, 2011
5:31 pm

The AJC should do a more in depth interview with Dan Magill, oh the stories he could tell. Maybe weekly? Thank you Mr. Magill.

Poopdawg

April 27th, 2011
5:36 pm

Amen Charlotte DAWG. I’m still nauseated over our GA Legislature.

Ron Burgundy

April 27th, 2011
5:49 pm

The Majority of people are idiots. The Majority party of Georgia are idiots. Dan Magill was at least smart enough to know an easy sell to idiots.

Einsteindawg

April 27th, 2011
5:51 pm

Not only is he a fine gentleman, but he’s also the defining element of a Ga Bulldawg! Good for you Dan, and we hope you live another 90 years!

Dawg Gone

April 27th, 2011
6:32 pm

Ron Burgundy..you win today’s troll prize…stop by Target and purchase a brain….or not after all you got this far without one.

UGASlobberknocker/ Questions for Coach Richt

April 27th, 2011
6:37 pm

Please ask Coach Richt if his new weight training program includes some of the innovative things seen at the Sports Aacademy in Duluth and also seen at virtually every other college on halftime of every ESPN Thursday night game last year. (Craig James and Jesse Palmer would work out with the team) :Burst” and “Thrust” were the key words used. In o/w have we moved to the 21st century in how we handle the weight training and the tools we are using,? or is it just more of the same but with more accountability.? I felt we got pushed around in the past two yrs or soIU

Also I heard that while the NCAA allows one training table meal per day for the team (outside of the dining hall), that UGA does not provide it, making the players eat in the dining hall every meal. Is that true and if so, will it change?

JDawg1785

April 27th, 2011
7:00 pm

Thanks for all you’ve done and continue to do for UGA, Coach!

Boob!

April 27th, 2011
7:55 pm

Lets make the Dumb and Illiterate the majority in the South, and perpetuate the lowest Yankee stereotype of Dixie.

Truther, you are, really, an idiot

April 27th, 2011
7:58 pm

Seriously, you truly are a jacka$$

Big L

April 27th, 2011
8:22 pm

Who’s he gonna sign in as when the NFL takes Ol Saban from Bammer? Cause Saban is just knee deep in loyalty everywhere he goes , ya know.

Dirty Dawg

April 27th, 2011
8:30 pm

Truther, just be glad I don’t have enough money to bribe somebody at the AJC for your name and location.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

April 27th, 2011
8:31 pm

any news on damage to Alabama’s stadium & dorms during this horrendous weather storm? saw footage from the news- I’m a Dawg fan but always concerned for other’s safety.

blazerdawg

April 27th, 2011
8:44 pm

Coach McGill is a the greatest Bulldog of all and a wonderful neighbor!

D A DoubleU G

April 27th, 2011
8:51 pm

Chip,

One thing I admired about you running the recruiting blog was your quickness to ban antagonist and classless behavior.

I think trash talk is what makes college football such a year round, obsession of a sport. But there is a fine line in talking trash and just being a complete jack___.

I would love to see you continue that on this blog.

Thanks,
Go Dawgs!

BobDawg

April 27th, 2011
8:53 pm

I played tennis for Coach Magill in the 70’s and it was a blast. SEC Champs year in and year out. Great Crowds and Athens is still the Mecca for College Tennis. Too bad the USC coach had to have his way or we would have been the permanent home for the NCAA’s. Magill was quite a Ping Pong player as well as a great tennis player. Former Marine and a Great Dawg… Maybe we bronze a statue of him someday…… Glad he is still in great health… After we had a challenge match, the winner would always get a “free coke”… He loved his cokes and drank ‘em like H2O….. I won’t bore U bloggers anymore…..

UGASlobberknocker/

April 27th, 2011
8:54 pm

@Truther..you are one sad pathetic pc of crap. I wish I knew where you lived, I would come put you in the hospital.

What a pathetic human being you are. I feel sorry for your poor family who has to live with a lowlife such as yourself.

Have you considered psychiatric help fo your obvious low esteem and degraded self worth?. Granted it is legitimate but maybe some shock treatment or a lobotomy would help.I would be happy to hook up my jumper cable to your brain and see if it worked.

Truther's mama

April 27th, 2011
8:55 pm

Even I know Truther is a scumbag.