Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Dan Magill: The Bill Brasky of
The University Of Georgia

Dan Magill. Bulldog Legend.

The best part of my trip last night to watch the NCAA Tennis finals was that I ran into and got a chance to chat with the legendary Coach Dan Magill. He is probably the most remarkable person in UGA Athletics history. I had spoken with him several times while a student at UGA during the NCAA tennis championships, which used to be in Athens every year. It was really cool to see Coach Magill again and chat him up for a few minutes.

If you do nothing else today, read that Wikipedia article linked above as well as this article about his amazing life and/or this one from the UGA site.

Coach Magill's 1985 National Champs

His accomplishments in life are absolutely mind boggling, and unlike Bill Brasky or Chuck Norris, they are all true. Here are but some of them:

*Currently FIFTY people in the UGA athletic department perform the job duties that he once did all by himself

*Table tennis state champion at age 10; defeated the adult state champion as a 12 year old

*Travelled to China to train Chinese table tennis players

*1941 University of Georgia Tennis Tournament Champion

*4 years in the Marines, 1942-1945

*UGA Assistant Athletic Director, 1950-1995

*UGA Sports Information Director, 1950-1976.

*The press box in Sanford Stadium is named after him, and his seat assignment in the press box reads, "Dan Magill - Legend."

*UGA Men's Tennis Coach, 1954-1988

*Winningest coach in Men's Tennis history: 706-183 (.794%). Also 2 national championships and 21 SEC Championships

Coach Magill's 1987 National Champs

*Responsible for the creation of the Georgia Bulldog Clubs

*Travelled to all 159 Georgia counties in 1953 to establish Georgia Bulldog Clubs

*Built UGA's tennis complex, the nation's finest and now named after him

*Responsible for establishing the Collegiate Tennis Hall Of Fame at UGA's Tennis complex, also named after him

*Author of two books, "Bull-Doggerel" and "Match Pointers"

*Member of first class inducted into University of Georgia's "Circle of Honor", 1996

Most men are happy to be breathing at age 85.
Coach Magill is literally a human dynamo.

As impressive at all that is, check out what he is currently up to at age 85:

* Chairman, Curator and tour guide, Collegiate Tennis Hall Of Fame

* #1 ranked USTA Men's 80 Singles player in the Southeast

*Still writes a weekly sports column for the Athens Banner Herald (click here - registration free but required)

*Currently working on two books, one about the history of collegiate tennis and another about his 4 years in the Marines during WWII.

*Accomplished gardener, his yard has been featured in the Banner-Herald and in the International Home and Garden Show, and he has received a commendation from the Garden Club of America

Damn Good Dawg.

Coach Magill is literally a living legend, and is known for his encyclopedic fountain of knowledge in all things UGA Athletics and collegiate tennis. He is also extremely kind and gracious. If you are ever in want of something to do in Athens you should take a tour from Coach Magill of the Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame, and ask him lots of questions about anything pertaining to UGA and/or UGA athletics in the past 65 years - I am sure he will tell you some amazing stories.

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