The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 4, 2022: Kent State

Props to Sean Lewis for winning at a program where that’s rare. But Nick Saban is Kent State’s fault, so we’re obligated to vaporize them.

There’s a UGA student out there right now who could benefit from your experience. By becoming a mentor, you can help the next generation of Bulldogs, forge a new connection with your alma mater and do it all on your schedule from wherever you are. Become a mentor today at mentor.uga.edu.

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

Road Dawgs: Tips to make the most of your gameday travel

An away game against South Carolina means one thing: Dawgs from all over will be on the road this weekend to watch this classic SEC match-up in Columbia. But it won’t be the only time Bulldog fans hit the road this season—whether you’re traveling to Columbia, Jacksonville, Starkville, Lexington, or heading home to Athens, check out these tips to make the most of your next college football road trip.

Set the tone

Every great movie is supported by an award-winning soundtrack. The same goes for a great road trip. Jerry Tanner understands that it’s vital to have a playlist tailored for the occasion and that’s why he curated Songs for Dawgs. It’s sure to set the tone for the journey.

(And, if you’re feeling nostalgic, consider throwing it back to this playlist we created for the 2022 National Championship game. Why stray from what works?)

Stay well fed

Perhaps one of the most essential factors in road trip success are snacks. Whether you stock up a cooler or stop along the way, these additions will add to the fun. Be sure to check out these tailgate recipes from UGA alumni:

And, it’s always a good idea to scope out local restaurants wherever you’re headed. If you’re coming to Athens, check out a few local restaurants featured on our TikTok to stay well fed during your stay and the ride home.

Never Bark Alone

No doubt celebrating a Georgia win is even better with fellow Dawgs! Invite your most spirited friends and family to ensure a weekend for the books. And if you can’t travel to a game, be sure to find an official game-watching party near you. Those watch parties are the best way to get the ultimate game day experience and meet fellow Bulldogs in your area.

Bulldogs, we can’t wait to see you in red and black this season—no matter where you’re headed. Safe travels and GO DAWGS!

Looking to show your Bulldog pride on your road trip vehicle? Check out our UGA state decals. 

Visit our UGA Alumni Football HQ for events, free downloads and more all season! 

The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 3, 2022: South Carolina

The Dawgs are headed to Columbia to face the Gamecocks and Shane Beamer. I wonder how he’ll try to go viral after this year’s loss.

Get connected with game-watching parties, stay plugged into university news, read profiles of amazing alumni, find links to exclusive UGA merch and so much more at alumni.uga.edu/football.

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

Catching up with the 2022 University of Georgia Bulldogs

This is the second of our 2022 football season preview blogs! The first looks at Georgia’s opponents throughout the regular season and how they stack up against the Dawgs.

It’s been a little over six months since we’ve seen our Bulldogs in a real game (196 days, but who’s counting?) and about three months since G-Day, so as we start gearing up for the season, you might need a little refresher on the Dawgs coaches and roster. Never fear: we’ve got a rundown of all the comings and goings for the men wearing the jerseys and the men wearing the Dri-Fit polos.

The Coaches

Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart holds the National Championship trophy during the National Championship Celebration in Sanford Stadium.

Kirby Smart with the College Football Playoff National Championship trophy (Photo credit: Chamberlain Smith)

Kirby Smart enters his seventh season as the Dawgs’ head coach with a shiny new championship ring but a number of new faces—though some may be familiar—on his coaching staff.

  • Dan Lanning, who helped build the Dawgs’ fearsome defenses from 2018 – 2021 as outside linebackers coach and defensive coordinator, accepted the head coaching position at the University of Oregon. Glenn Schumann, inside linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator, will be joined by co-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp (AB ’94). Last year, Muschamp assisted with Georgia’s defense and special teams, and he brings extensive experience as both a defensive coordinator and head coach.
  • Cortez Hankton, wide receivers coach from 2018 – 2021, accepted an offer to be LSU’s wide receivers coach. Former Georgia wide receiver and 2016 interim head coach Bryan McClendon (BSED ’05) joins the Bulldogs in Hankton’s place as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. McClendon held assistant coaching positions at Oregon and South Carolina before returning to his alma mater.
  • Defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae, who came to Athens from West Virginia in 2021, left to take the same position at the University of Miami. Fran Brown, secondary coach at Rutgers from 2020 – 2021 and a renowned recruiter, is the Dawgs new defensive backs coach.
  • Chidera Uzo-Diribe is Georgia’s new outside linebackers coach, filling the linebackers coaching slot vacated by Lanning. Uzo-Diribe previously held positions at the University of Kansas, Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University.
  • Matt Luke, offensive line coach for Georgia from 2020 – 2021, stepped down from coaching after the national championship win. In his place, Stacy Searels returns to Athens after 12 years away for his second stint as UGA’s offensive line coach. His 30-year coaching career includes stops at numerous Power 5 schools.
Georgia run game coordinator and running backs coach Dell McGee before the Duke’s Mayo Classic against Clemson at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC., on Saturday Sept. 4, 2021.

Dell McGee talks with players before the Clemson game. (Photo credit: Tony Walsh)

Todd Monken, Dell McGee, Todd Hartley and Tray Scott return in 2022 to round out Smart’s on-field staff. As offensive coordinator, running backs coach, tight ends coach and defensive line coach, respectively, the success UGA enjoyed at each of those positions last year figures to continue into this one.

The Players

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) during the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship against Alabama at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, Ind., on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.

Stetson Bennett looks downfield during the CFP National Championship. (Photo credit: Tony Walsh)

There’s no way around it: Many of 2021’s standouts—Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, Travon Walker and others—are gone, and replacing them will be difficult. The Dawgs return just 10 starters from last year, tied for fewest among SEC teams. Still, years of stockpiling blue-chip talent mean that we should have excellent replacements waiting for their turn to shine: players like Jalen Carter, Jason Dumas-Johnson and Broderick Jones have shown they are ready to step into some very big shoes.

All that said, the starters that are returning are nothing to scoff at.

  • The thoroughly vindicated Stetson Bennett returns for his SIXTH season at UGA.
  • The phenomenal Brock Bowers will continue to haunt defensive coordinators.
  • Postseason heroes Adonai Mitchell, Kelee Ringo, Nolan Smith and the aforementioned Carter will continue to make a significant impact.
  • Running backs Kenny McIntosh, Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards will carry on Georgia’s “RBU” legacy.
  • And players like Arik Gilbert, Tykee Smith and Tate Ratledge will look to sustain the massive talent they have flashed in the past.
Georgia outside linebacker Nolan Smith (4) of the Bulldog football team playing against the Crimson Tide from the University of Alabama, in the 2021 College Football Playoff Championship game, played at Lucas Oil Stadium, in Indianapolis, IN.

Nolan Smith sacks Bryce Young to close out the CFP National Championship (Photo credit: Perry McIntyre)

There is also the possibility that, like Bowers in 2021, a freshman could emerge and become a playmaker. UGA signed another top class this year, and it’s full of breakout candidates.

  • Defensive lineman Mykel Williams, ranked as the nation’s fourth best prospect, was named the best player in January’s All-American Bowl among the best players in the country. He has the potential to be an immediate contributor, but the same could be said for Bear Alexander, Marvin Jones Jr. or, really, any of the six talented defensive linemen the Dawgs signed.
  • A pair of five-star cornerbacks, Jaheim Singletary and Daylen Everette, could push sophomore Kamari Lassiter for the starting cornerback position opposite Ringo.
  • Oscar Delp, a four-star tight end prospect, enrolled in January and, three months later, posted a seven-reception, 91-yard stat line in the G-Day game. It’s hard to say that a freshman tight end might even have the chance to breakout with Bowers, Darnell Washington and Gilbert above him, but based on his G-Day performance, comments from Smart and whispers around the program, if he’s given the chance, he could shine.
  • And quarterback Gunner Stockton, who broke Trevor Lawrence’s Georgia high school record for passing touchdowns in a career, will be nipping at Bennett’s heels for the starting job—along with redshirt sophomore Carson Beck and redshirt freshman Brock Vandagriff, blue-chip prospects themselves.

While we wait for kickoff in Atlanta, why not grab some championship memorabilia and support UGA students while you’re at it? Grab one of (or all of!) the three collectible national championship editions of the spring 2022 Georgia Magazine.

Previewing the 2022 UGA football schedule

This is the first of our football season previews for 2022! In our second preview, we look at the new coaches you’ll see on the sidelines, the players stepping up to replace our drafted and graduated Dawgs and the new recruits we’ve signed.

The majority of Bulldog Nation is probably still riding high from Jan. 10, but with Sept. 3 right around the corner, let’s take a look at the opponents our defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs will face in the 2022 season!

UNIVERSITY OF OREGON

Saturday, Sep. 3, 2022 | 3:30 PM | ABC
Mercedes Benz Stadium – Atlanta, GA

University of Oregon

Midway through last season, this looked like a highlight match-up between a Georgia team at the top of the college football world and an Oregon team that knocked off Ohio State. Then, the rest of the season happened: Georgia took the crown, but Oregon endured two woodshed-beatings against Utah, then lost their head coach to Miami. It’s a tough spot for new Ducks coach Dan Lanning to make his return to Georgia, but UGA will be dealing with some transition of its own in new coaches and new starters. Still, this second-ever meeting between the two squads is more likely to be a long day for the Ducks than for the Dawgs.

SAMFORD UNIVERSITY

Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022 | 4 PM | SEC Network
Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA

Samford University

Georgia’s home opener should be an opportunity to see a lot of UGA’s roster. Samford, which plays in the Football Championship Subdivision’s Southern Conference, has played UGA once: a 42-14 victory for Georgia in 2017. Two interesting facts about this game: it is the first of two games UGA will play in 2022 against teams with Bulldogs as their mascots; and Samford head coach Chris Hatcher was the head coach of the Valdosta State University Blazers while Kirby Smart was an assistant coach there in 2000 and 2001.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA

Saturday, Sep. 17, 2022 | 12 PM | ESPN
Williams-Brice Stadium – Columbia, SC

Although the final score of last year’s UGA-USC contest shows a 27-point margin of victory for Georgia, many a Bulldog fan will remember South Carolina receiver Josh Vann tallying over 100 receiving yards and the Gamecocks’ lone touchdown. Second-year head coach Shane Beamer got his team to a surprising 7-6 record in 2021—not incredible, but it did include respectable wins over Florida, Auburn and North Carolina. Building on that momentum, the Gamecocks landed major transfer wins in quarterback Spencer Rattler and tight end Austin Stogner. If Rattler returns to form, if the Bulldogs let some early-season sloppiness creep in and if the Columbia crowd shows up, USC may make things uncomfortable for the Dawgs.

KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Saturday, Sep. 24, 2022 | 12 PM | SEC Network
Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA

Kent State University

These two teams have played each other just once, when Jim Donnan led the Dawgs to a 56-3 win over the Golden Flashes in 1998. It’s been 11 years since Georgia lost to a Group of 5 school—a school in the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West or Sun Belt conferences—and that loss was to a formidable Boise State team. Kent State’s head coach, Sean Lewis, is responsible for creating some impressive offenses in his time with the program, but a generational Boise State team the 2022 Flashes are not.

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022 | 7:30 PM | SEC Network
Faurot Field – Columbia, MO

Missouri Tigers

With Georgia coming off of a national championship win and the Tigers coming off two consecutive non-winning seasons, there aren’t many reasons to think Eli Drinkwitz can end UGA’s eight-game winning streak over Mizzou. But the Missouri faithful will hope that back-to-back solid recruiting classes (per 247 Sports, the 27th ranked signing class in 2021 and the 15th ranked class in 2022—likely the best in the program’s history) can start to realize their promise. Keep an eye for Luther Burden, who was among the nation’s best high school receivers and returners last year and could become Missouri’s primary weapon.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022 | TBA | TBA
Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA

Auburn Tigers

In the last 18 months, Auburn went from cautious optimism (hiring Bryan Harsin) to disappointment (a close loss to Penn State) to despair (consecutive losses to Texas A&M, Mississippi State and South Carolina) to near-ecstasy (the majority of the Alabama game) to despondency (the end of the Alabama game) to confusion (Harsin was almost ousted after the season). To call this program tumultuous would be an understatement, but they still have running back Tank Bigsby, they still have a respectable defense and they still very nearly beat last year’s SEC champions. However, given the chaos within the program, a new defensive coordinator for the Tigers and uncertainty around the quarterback position—longtime starter Bo Nix transferred to Oregon—a sixth consecutive Georgia win seems likely in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 | TBA | TBA
Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA

Vanderbilt Commodores

The victim of the Dawgs’ most dominant 2021 victory (which set the record for the largest margin of victory in the history of the UGA-Vandy series) comes into this season having taken a few positive steps in the offseason—most notably a recruiting class ranked 32nd nationally—but Clark Lea’s rebuild of the Commodores will continue to take some time. This probably won’t be as brutal as last year’s game, but you can still expect to see the Bulldogs’ backups take the field well before the fourth quarter. Fun fact: two of the ‘Dores freshmen come from Germany, and one is from the United Kingdom.

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022 | TBA | TBA
TIAA Bank Field – Jacksonville, FL

Florida Gators

The Gators are now led by former University of Louisiana coach Billy Napier. Much of Napier’s focus thus far has been on the kind of administrative and organizational work that can build a strong program but doesn’t necessarily translate to immediate wins. Florida’s new coach is a proven winner—he turned the Ragin’ Cajuns into a top 25 program with a 40-12 record over four years—but will UF’s powers-that-be allow him the time to right the ship? They will need some patience this year, with tough games against Utah, Georgia and Texas A&M. Quarterback Anthony Richardson is back and the defense returns eight starters, but they—and the team as a whole—need to show they can perform consistently before they pose a threat to the Dawgs.

UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE

Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | TBA | TBA
Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA

Tennessee Volunteers

Quarterback Hendon Hooker returns to Knoxville for his senior season after throwing just shy of 3,000 yards and notching 31 passing touchdowns, earning the best single-season passer rating in Tennessee’s history (reminder: Peyton Manning played there). Cedric Tillman also returns for his senior year, and the two could well eclipse Tillman’s totals from last year: 64 receptions, 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns. UT’s experienced offense could take advantage of youth in Georgia’s defense, but can they do it for a full 60 minutes AND hold off Georgia’s offense with a Volunteers defense that is full of question marks? Signs point to a Bulldogs win, which would establish the longest UGA winning streak in this rivalry, but it may not be as easy as last year.

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 | TBA | TBA
Davis Wade Stadium – Starkville, MS

Mississippi State University

Three years in, Mike Leach’s pass-happy system is well established and, to a certain extent, proven in the SEC. That caveat is required because for every five-touchdown showing for a Leach quarterback, there is a game where the Air Raid never really takes flight. The bad Bulldogs do return SIXTEEN starters across offense and defense, so experience is not a question. Also, the MSU defense is better than you might think: they were in the top 30 in total defense last year. But an Air Raid offense’s biggest weakness is disciplined defense: something our guys know a lot about. Expect UGA’s defense to keep the game in front of them, and expect UGA’s offense to chew up the clock while steadily hammering away at the Starkville canines.

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022 | TBA | TBA
Kroger Field – Lexington, KY

Kentucky Wildcats

Only three Kentucky coaches have ever achieved multiple seasons of nine wins or more since the 40s: one was Bear Bryant, and the other is the Wildcats’ current coach. But despite this historical distinction, Mark Stoops has never claimed victory against Georgia. The ‘Cats hopes of breaking that streak rest on the shoulders of quarterback Will Levis, who could have entered the NFL Draft last year, but elected to spend one more year developing in Lexington. If Levis performs up to expectation, if Kentucky finds a replacement for star receiver Wan’Dale Robinson and the defense maintains the Wildcats’ stingy tradition, they could be trouble. But is UK better than it’s been in 12 years, and are the Dawgs weaker than they’ve been in 12 years? Unlikely.

GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 | TBA | TBA
Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA

Let’s start with the obvious: fourth-year head coach Geoff Collins is out of goodwill in Atlanta. After taking on the unenviable task of transitioning Tech out of the Paul Johnson era, Collins tried to re-energize the program and its fanbase with infectious energy, social media campaigns, a rebrand and more. They’ve won nine games since then. A slow start is forgivable, but the Jackets have shown vanishingly little to make their fans believe. They’ve won just seven ACC games, they’ve scored seven points in two games against Georgia (while Georgia scored 97) and the best player they’ve had in recent memory—running back Jahmyr Gibbs—transferred to Alabama in the offseason. A loss to the Bulldogs is all but guaranteed, and if Collins hopes to keep his position, he’ll need to mount one helluva comeback this year.

While we wait for kickoff in Atlanta, why not grab some championship memorabilia and support UGA students while you’re at it? Grab one of (or all of!) the three collectible national championship editions of the spring 2022 Georgia Magazine.

The Jerry Tanner Show – 2022 Season Preview

Welcome to The Year of House Money. After 2021, we could take this year off, but hey, why not beat the brakes off everybody again?

While we wait for kickoff in Atlanta, why not grab some championship memorabilia and support UGA students while you’re at it? Grab one of (or all of!) the three collectible national championship editions of the spring 2022 Georgia Magazine.

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

G-Day 2022: The Dawgs’ title defense begins here

For the first time since their national championship celebration, the Georgia Bulldogs will return to a packed Sanford Stadium for the 2022 G-Day game on Saturday, April 16!

The annual spring scrimmage caps the Dawgs’ spring practices, which begin March 15. Check here in the weeks to come for more information on how to secure your spot at the debut of the 2022 Georgia Bulldogs squad.

Kirby Smart’s seventh UGA team enters 2022 having finally conquered the program’s demons, and the shine of the Dawgs’ first national championship trophy in 41 years is unlikely to fade any time soon.

Kirby Smart speaks to a reporter prior to the 2022 CFP National Championship

The Bulldogs are expected to compete for another championship in 2022. The schedule opens with a highly anticipated contest against the Oregon Ducks—now led by former UGA defensive coordinator Dan Lanning—in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Home games against Tennessee and Auburn, away games against South Carolina and Kentucky and the annual clash with the Gators in Jacksonville all add up to an exciting slate for the Dawgs.

The Bulldogs will be without a number of 2021’s standout players—get ready to hear a whole lot of Georgia names called during the 2022 NFL Draft—but they retain experience and leadership at several key positions.

Stetson Bennett scrambles during a play during the 2022 CFP National Championship

Stetson Bennett, MVP of the 2022 CFP National Championship Game, returns at quarterback, and linebacker Nolan Smith, the two-time 2021 SEC co-Defensive Player of the Week whose sack of Bryce Young was the final play of the national championship game, will help lead the defense.

Additionally, defensive tackle Jalen Carter will assume the mantle held last year by Jordan Davis, Brock Bowers will continue to victimize every player who attempts to guard him, Kendall Milton and Kenny McIntosh will carry on UGA’s tradition of talented running back tandems and Kelee Ringo, Chris Smith and Tykee Smith all return to lock down opponents’ passing games.

Nolan Smith sacks Alabama's Bryce Young during the 2022 CFP National Championship

The Georgia sideline will feature some new faces in 2022.

  • Bryan McClendon, who played wide receiver for the Bulldogs from 2002-2005 and served as a graduate assistant or coach with the team from 2007-2015, returns to Athens as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. McClendon has also been offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach for South Carolina (2016-2019) and passing game coordinator, wide receivers coach and interim head coach for Oregon (2020-2021).

  • UGA’s new outside linebackers coach is Chidera Uzo-Diribe, who played for the University of Colorado from 2011-2015. Uzo-Diribe was a general assistant at Colorado from 2016-2018, coached outside linebackers for the Kansas Jayhawks in 2019 and 2020, and most recently served as defensive line coach for Southern Methodist University in 2021.

 

We may be months away from the 2022 season, but you can start gearing up today, figuratively and literally!

  • UGA alumni can stay plugged in on the latest Bulldog news—from on and off the field—by updating their info at alumni.uga.edu/update.
  • Want to show off your Bulldog spirit and your hometown pride all at once? Head over to the UGA Bookstore and find your state decal. Bonus: every purchase includes a $5 donation to the Georgia Fund, which supports scholarships and the areas of greatest need at UGA.
  • Tennessee and Florida Dawgs: with your help, Bulldogs across the Volunteer and Sunshine States can purchase specialty license plates that rep the G! Check out the Tennessee and Florida license plate campaigns to find out how you can make UGA car tags a reality.

A UGA parent paints the town red (and black)

When the Georgia Bulldogs secured their first national title in 41 years, the outpouring of emotion from University of Georgia alumni and fans was so intense, so widespread, it could’ve painted the sky red and black.

And in New York City, thanks to a UGA student’s parent, it did.

Shortly after the 2022 CFP National Championship finished, the iconic Empire State Building traded its usual illumination for red and black hues, and the world took notice.

https://twitter.com/CFBPlayoff/status/1480930289467670544

But it wasn’t just the Empire State Building. The Helmsley Building at 230 Park Avenue also lit up the night red and black—not just on Monday night, but Sunday and Tuesday, too.

230 Park Avenue in New York City on Tuesday, Jan. 12

Timelapse of 230 Park Avenue the night of Jan. 11

Timelapse of 230 Park Avenue the night of Jan. 11

It all began with Bill Elder, managing director and executive vice president at RXR Realty. Elder, whose youngest daughter, Eliza, is a third-year studying real estate at UGA, had already started planning the lighting of 230 Park Avenue, a building in RXR’s portfolio, when he realized he had an opportunity to go even bigger.

“I had a call scheduled with Tony Malkin [chairman, president and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., which owns the Empire State Building], so I thought I’d see if he would do a favor for me,” said Bill. “So, I reached out to him on the Saturday before the game, and I said, ‘My daughter goes to Georgia, and we’re lighting 230 in red and black in honor of the game—do you think you could light up the Empire State Building? And he said ‘Absolutely, done.'”

The following Monday night, Bill was—like the rest of us—consumed by the drama of the national championship’s final minutes and the elation of the celebration that followed, so he didn’t know that Tony Malkin came through on his promise a little bit early: “The World’s Most Famous Building” wore red and black from the moment the Dawgs claimed victory until 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Bill’s role in amplifying the joy of Bulldog Nation is spectacular enough on its own, but it becomes even more so in light of the journey he and his wife Katie took to become UGA fans. Just a few short years ago, the Elders had just a passing familiarity with the university, but once their youngest daughter, Eliza, began to take an interest in attending, things started to change.

“I’ll admit, my first reaction was ‘not a great idea, too big, she’ll get lost,’ but then I went down there, took a tour, and within about 20 or 30 minutes of being on campus, I got immediately comfortable with the place and thought UGA was a great decision,” said Bill.

Katie and Bill Elder at Sanford Stadium

Katie and Bill Elder at Sanford Stadium

Once Eliza became a student, Bill and Katie were approached by members of the Parents Leadership Council (PLC), a group of highly engaged parents who support student-focused organizations and efforts on campus.

“I didn’t realize how much need there was among UGA students,” said Bill. “So, when I heard about the outreach and the kind of need fulfillment that the PLC was doing for these great kids, I was in. How could you not want to help somebody who might be the first person in their whole family to go to college? How could you not want to give students a better chance?”

Bill and Katie have been members of the PLC ever since. Beginning this August, they will serve as chairs of the PLC’s Grants Committee, which administers grants that provide funding to a variety of organizations across UGA’s campus. Last year, the PLC Grants Program awarded 69 grants totaling over $625,000, and the program has awarded more than $3.8 million over its lifetime to groups like Designated Dawgs, the Outreach and Financial Assistance Fund at the UGA Speech and Hearing Clinic, the Student Government Association’s Clothing Closet and the University Health Center’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services Program.

So, when some of Manhattan’s most iconic structures took on the colors of the national champion Georgia Bulldogs, it was an expression of the unbounded joy of alumni and fans who had waited nearly a half-century for a championship, but it was also a culmination of the Elders’ journey.

They are not a family with generations of Bulldogs, they didn’t grow up dreaming of Broad Street or Milledge Avenue, but they believe in the university and its mission just as strongly as a third-generation Dawg from Marietta.

“We went from knowing very little to humbly hoping that we can make a difference at the university,” said Bill. “UGA has embraced us, and we embrace them. We’re really happy to be a part of it, and we’re really proud to be a part of it.”

The Jerry Tanner Show – Jerry Watches the National Championship

Relive the before, during and after of the greatest football game ever played with your good friend Jerry, who—like you—spent his entire paycheck on championship merch.

Athens will be rocking on Saturday, Jan. 15, as Bulldog Nation celebrates the 2021 NATIONAL CHAMPION Georgia Bulldogs! Find out more about the parade and celebration on alumni.uga.edu/football.

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

Three days in the frozen tundra (AKA what to do in Indianapolis)

As the clock ran down in the Orange Bowl and the Bulldogs heading to the Natty became a reality, thousands across the country began booking plane tickets and rental cars, purchasing game tickets, finding accommodations, and answering the question: “What does a Southerner wear to a January football game in the Midwest, when the temperatures are in the teens?” *don’t worry, I’m clueless as well.

As we are just a few days away from the big game, traveling fans may find themselves wondering how to spend a day (or three) in Indy. As a UGA staff member making the trek to assist with communications and hosting alumni on site, I found myself wondering what Indianapolis holds for fans during the frigid days and hours before the big game.

So, I gathered a few ideas from those in the know, Dawg fans. If you visit any of them, take a pic and tag us in social using #AlwaysADawg.

INDIANAPOLIS ALUMNI CHAPTER

Indianapolis Alumni Chapter President Liz Smith (AB ’82) suggested a few places to eat:

ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution knows that Indianapolis is “more than fast cars.” Here are a few highlights from its story:

VISIT INDY

The official welcome wagon for the city of Indianapolis, VisitIndy.com features hordes of ideas to curate a fun weekend in this Midwest town. Here are a few highlights I spotted on both their “things to do” list and their “where to eat” list:

HOMEFIELD APPARAL

Indianapolis-based Homefield Apparal offers licensed college apparel (including UGA). Their team posted a series of Tweets highlighting things to do and see in town. A few highlights for each of their categories are below; the full list is far more extensive:

INDIANAPOLIS HOST COMMITTEE

The group responsible for hosting the CFP National Championship has curated resources for travelers visiting the city for the big game.

DOWNTOWN INDY

This nonprofit organization focuses on developing and promoting downtown Indianapolis. Here’s its events calendar and lists of what to explore while in the area.

A FEW ADDITIONS

  • The Indiana Pacers host the Utah Jazz on Saturday night at 7 p.m. if you’re looking to makae it a two-sport kind of weekend.
  • Did you know there is a Georgia Street in Indy? The three, pedestrian-friendly blocks of this street connects the Indiana Convention Center with Bankers Life Fieldhouse and features food and beverage stations, concert stages, street performers and more.
  • Don’t forget there are several official events hosted by the CFP National Championship and you can find those on our football landing page.

I hope these resources help you enjoy a fun weekend in Indianapolis (capped off with a win for the Dawgs on Monday). Whether or not you’re heading to the game, be sure to tag @UGAAlumni on social so we can share photos and videos from Bulldogs around the world. Sic ‘em!