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Bob and Jalena (ABJ ’96) Bradley’s support for UGA is unshakable

Bob and Jalena Bradley’s support for UGA runs strong and deep. Even when COVID-19 turned the world on its head, that support never wavered. In fact, it increased.

For Jalena (ABJ ’96), a Georgia native and graduate of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, pride for UGA comes naturally. Her husband, Bob, had to grow into Georgia fandom: he grew up in Florida and attended Quincy University in Illinois, where he was a student-athlete on the baseball team.

Upon returning to Florida following graduation, Bob met Jalena, who had relocated there following her time at UGA. Bob began to discover the extent of Jalena’s fandom when, as he was trying to plan a date for the two of them at Epcot Park in Orlando, Jalena responded, “It’s Saturday. We’re watching the Dawgs!”

Now married with two daughters, Taylor and Abby, many Saturdays have passed for the Bradleys, all spent the same way: if the Dawgs are playing, they’re watching, without fail. Bob has even dubbed himself “the biggest die-hard non-UGA-graduate fan you’ll ever meet.”

That support extends beyond game day. In 2018, the Bradleys pledged $1 million to the Georgia Excellence Fund, which supports UGA Athletics Association facilities projects. That considerable investment in the improvement of student-athletes’ educational experiences was followed up by another gift in July 2020.

When many were re-evaluating so much in their lives—to say nothing of their charitable giving—the Bradleys’ support was unshaken.

“We just want to help UGA gain momentum during this very challenging time,” said Bob. “When we talked about giving back to the University, we felt compelled to give a gift that helps the rest of UGA’s supporters to jump in and help out, too. We want UGA to be able to continue in the direction that they are headed, and not have to stop anything or slow the momentum down.”

The Bradley’s passionate support comes from experiences that have impacted their personal lives. Now retired from his work in the human capital and staffing business, Bob claims that much of his professional success stems from lessons he learned while he was an athlete himself.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for athletics,” said Bob. “I can’t be more thankful for the experiences and opportunities baseball gave me.”

Bob and Jalena are also first-generation college graduates. As they express feelings of gratitude for their current position, they look back on their humble beginnings and consider how they can affect positive change in the lives of others.

“I came from a low-income family, and if I didn’t get a baseball scholarship – I wouldn’t have been able to go to college,” Bob said. “Being able to give back to a school that we are so passionate about, and being able to give back to something like sports that gave us so much is really important.”

The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 5, 2020: Kentucky

Following yet another crushing Alabama loss, Jerry explores a new approach to deal with his disappointment: blind fury! In this episode, he examines the Wildcats of Kentucky and the surprising history UGA could make on Saturday.

The silver lining of taking UGA’s annual Black alumni family reunion from Myers Quad to your mailbox is that you can join in the fun no matter where you live! Purchase an official Black Alumni Homecoming Tailgate box to join in the fun from home–and to snag your exclusive Black Alumni T-shirt. Visit alumni.uga.edu/football to order yours today.

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.

The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 4, 2020: Alabama

Game of the week! The century! … wait, Saban got what? Recorded prior to Saban’s COVID diagnosis, this episode examines the recent history between Alabama and UGA. Also, Jerry resists a panic attack when considering an Alabama pass in mid-flight.

Show off your best UGA mask by visiting alumni.uga.edu/masks and submitting a photo of you in your finest Bulldog protective gear! You might end up on the Alumni Association’s social media or in an issue of the University of 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.

From the Classic City to country music: Ray Fulcher on his latest release, Love Ya Son, Go Dawgs

“Football at UGA is more than just a game or an event; it’s a lifestyle, it’s family, it’s engrained into our everyday life. This song hopefully captures that.”  – Ray Fulcher (BSED ’08, MED ’10)

When country music singer/songwriter Ray Fulcher (BSED ’08, MED ’10) was majoring in education at UGA, he went to a concert that changed his life. Eric Church performing on the Georgia Theatre stage inspired Ray to pick up a guitar—and he hasn’t looked back. He’s now written four No.1 hits performed by Luke Combs and has released a new song with a nod to his alma mater.

Ray admits choosing a new—and less certain—career path was probably the “dumbest” thing he could do. He also knows that’s what makes it so worthwhile. His advice for students considering a major life change?

“Don’t be afraid to go after it. Know that it won’t be easy and forget the word ‘quit.’”

Ray co-wrote the chart-topping When it Rains, It Pours in 2017. His first call when he found out it hit No. 1 was to his parents. The Double Dawg values his family, who supported his pursuit of a career in music, and his alma mater; both loves are evident in his latest release, Love Ya Son, Go Dawgs. The song highlights the bond between father and son, and while Ray hopes Georgia fans can relate, he believes the song is universal.

When asked if he would take requests from fans to tweak the lyrics to feature other teams, Ray is quick to say, “They can sing whatever version they want, but I don’t think I could ever sing anything but ‘Dawgs.’”

Check out Ray’s new song above and enjoy a few of his favorite college memories from his time in Athens.

Rapid-Fire with Ray Fulcher

  • Top Sanford Stadium moment: 2007 Auburn blackout game
  • Most prized UGA possession: 2005 SEC championship ring (I was a student assistant then a graduate assistant for the football team from 2004-2010) *see photo below!
  • Favorite song in college: Rhett Akins “That Ain’t my Truck”
  • Favorite UGA/Athens musician: Bill Anderson (ABJ ’59)
  • Gameday hype song: The Battle Hymn!
  • Uga X or Hairy Dawg: Uga!
  • Score prediction for UGA vs. Bama: Dawgs on top 37-35

Ray shared a few photos from his time at UGA and on the road performing:

The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 3, 2020: Tennessee

Following the Auburn beatdown, Jerry looks at Tennessee—but not too hard, don’t want to burn out the retinas—and writes a love letter… or three.

Do you want to make fun of Florida? Deride the Tide? Tease Tennessee? Or maybe you just want to show your Bulldog Pride. Register for the UGA Gameday Sign Competition at alumni.uga.edu/football, then tag a photo of your sign with #UGAGamedaySigns and you could win a 40th anniversary UGA jersey!

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.

Dawgs claim victory – twice!

It’s always great to be a Georgia Bulldog … but more so when we beat Auburn twice in one week! The days leading up to the Georgia vs. Auburn football game marked the first-ever Beat Week Challenge between the two schools and when the clock ticked down to zero, it was the canines crushing our feline friends to the West.

GEORGIA: 3,252 gifts

AUBURN: 2,978 gifts

 

Generous gifts from thousands of alumni and supporters propelled UGA to victory, in addition to the more than 500 donations from students (we see you, Student Alumni Council spearheading that effort!). Gifts came from nearly all 50 states and in counties across Georgia. Check out the other stats.

Thank you, Bulldogs, for showing your spirit and your pride during this special week. Both the Bulldogs and the Tigers can be proud of their school’s showing. We’re both winners, in the end, as these contributions will make a difference for our universities, our students, and our world.

While the official contest has ended, we recognize that giving feels good–as does beating Auburn–so feel free to run up the score anyway! We know UGA has the most loyal alumni, students and fans, and we’ve shown it again this week. Go Dawgs!

 

The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 2, 2020: Auburn

UGA and that school down I-85 are about to play for the one hundred twenty fifth time. Jerry ponders a hypothetical UGA-Auburn trophy and reveals some confidential info about UGA’s quarterback battle.

Lots happening this week! Help UGA beat Auburn twice this week by joining Beat Week at AUvUGA.com. And sit in with UGA football legend David Greene by registering for Hunker Down & Huddle Up 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.

The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 1, 2020: Arkansas

Against all odds, week 1 has arrived! As the Dawgs gear up for the Hawgs, Jerry examines the state of the Razorbacks and swoons over UGA’s new throwback jerseys.

Watch as UGA makes its first step into space when the UGA Small Satellite Research Laboratory’s Spectral Ocean Color Satellite takes a ride to the International Space Station! Learn more and register at alumni.uga.edu/dawgsinspace.

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.

Dawg Days Gone By: the top 10 UGA football games of the pre-Smart era

We’re living through a particularly exciting age of University of Georgia football at the moment—from recruiting coups to Rose Bowl victories to rivalry game winning streaks—and most of the moments that define Kirby Smart’s tenure as the Bulldogs’ head coach are still fresh in our collective memory. But UGA’s football history is rife with dramatic victories, come-from-behind wins, and heroic performances, so as we gear up for another season Between The Hedges, let’s take a look back at some of these historic moments that have come to define the Georgia football program.

UGA vs. GA Tech  – 1978

UGA came into this game ranked no. 11, but unranked, 7-3 Georgia Tech came into Athens with their hair on fire. The Yellow Jackets charged to a 20-0 lead, and late in the first half, Coach Vince Dooley decided to hand the reins of the offense over to freshman QB Buck Belue. The switch energized the Dawgs’ attack and they fought back to take a 21-20 lead before Georgia Tech scored to make it 28-21 after a two-point conversion. Led by Belue, the Bulldogs marched down field and scored late in the fourth quarter. And then, 28-27, with the opportunity to kick a point-after attempt to tie the game, Dooley opted for the two-point conversion. The freshman QB came through again and the Dawgs prevailed.

 

UGA vs. Tennessee – 1980

You have to be wearing a very specific shade of orange to feel at home in Neyland Stadium. It’s a hostile environment that shakes the most seasoned of players, so one might not expect great things from a freshman running back listed third on the depth chart, particularly when this was that running back’s first game of college ball, and especially not when he had to face down Freshman All-American safety Bill Bates. Where all those conditions collided is where Georgia football’s most enduring legend began.

 

UGA vs. Florida – 1980

With Herschel’s legend growing by the week and the 1980 squad proving to be true contenders, the 8-0 Bulldogs, ranked no. 2 in the country, traveled to Jacksonville for their annual match against the Gators, who were 6-1 and ranked no. 20 after suffering a beatdown at home against an LSU team that finished 7-4. Florida caught Georgia by surprise and held a 21-20 lead late into the fourth quarter. With 90 seconds left in the game, the Dawgs snapped the ball on third-and-long in the shadow of their own goalpost. Buck Belue scrambled to his right and pointed, Lindsay Scott ran to the gap in the Gator coverage, and Larry Munson made one of the most famous radio calls in the history of college football.

 

UGA vs. Notre Dame – 1981

After racking up 11 wins, the no. 1 ranked Bulldogs received an invitation to play no. 7 Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. Many expected that Georgia would have to open up a passing attack against the Fighting Irish, who would zero-in on Herschel and, being able to focus entirely on stopping one angle of attack—Georgia’s best angle of attack—functionally eliminate the Bulldog’s offense. What they found was that even with a separated shoulder, suffered in the game’s first quarter, Herschel could still amass over 150 yards on the ground and even while only completing one pass, the Dawgs could win. When the clock struck zero, Georgia had earned their 12th win of the season and their first consensus national title.

 

UGA vs. Auburn – 1996

In the midst of the disappointing 1996 season, the 3-5 Bulldogs traveled to Auburn in mid-November for their annual tilt. The month before, they’d lost to the no. 7 Volunteers at home, and the week before, they’d gotten thrashed by Steve Spurrier’s Florida team, the squad that would ultimately give the Gators their first national championship. Needless to say, the situation seemed grim as the Dawgs prepared for another rival, the 20th ranked Auburn Tigers.

But Jim Donnan’s Bulldogs—including future UGA coach Mike Bobo, future Pittsburgh Steeler great Hines Ward and future NFL Hall of Famer Champ Bailey—found themselves in a pitched battle with Tommy Bowden’s Tigers. The contest occurred in the first season that Division I college football had implemented overtime rules, and the SEC’s first-ever overtime game put the concept to the test: It would take four overtimes to decide a winner. And even if all of that doesn’t sound familiar, odds are you’ve seen at least a part of this game: This was the origin of that famous photo of Uga, reared back on hind legs, snapping at an Auburn player. That player avoided a bulldog bite, but the Tigers did not.

 

UGA vs. Tennessee – 2001

As exciting as that ’96 Auburn game was, Georgia wandered in mediocrity for decades after Herschel Walker left, ceding SEC East dominance to Florida and Tennessee. But when UGA hired Florida State offensive coordinator Mark Richt to be their new head coach for the 2001 season, things looked up. Expectations are always high for a Georgia coach, and after starting the season 2-1, fans were still largely positive on Richt even after a loss to no. 21 South Carolina. And with a trip to Neyland Stadium looming, no one would begrudge this first-time head coach and his unranked Bulldogs a loss to Philip Fulmer’s no. 6 Tennessee Volunteers. Instead, Richt gave Bulldog Nation a signature win and a legendary Larry Munson moment.

 

UGA vs. Auburn – 2002

In Mark Richt’s second year, he built on his initial success in Athens by piling up wins—including ranked victories over no. 22 Alabama and no. 10 Tennessee—on his way to the rivalry game against Auburn. Georgia walked into Jordan-Hare Stadium with a 9-1 record, a loss to Florida their only blemish, but it was a blemish that—should the no. 7 Dawgs lose again and the Gators continue to win—would cost them the SEC East title and a shot at an SEC Championship. Auburn had a narrower path to Atlanta, but with a win over Georgia and a loss by Arkansas, the no. 24 Tigers could compete for the championship.

With all this on the line, the contest was hard-fought, to say the least. But with 1:25 left in the game, things looked bleak for the Dawgs: after reeling off 14 points in the second half to close the gap to 21-17, the trailing Bulldogs’ offense stalled out in Auburn’s red zone. On fourth down with 15 yards to go, David Greene hurled a rainbow-arc pass to the back of Auburn’s end zone to find a leaping Michael Johnson and punched Georgia’s ticket to the championship—a game they would win decisively, giving Georgia their first SEC title in 20 years.

 

UGA vs. Florida – 2007

In 2007, Georgia entered the back half of their season feeling cautiously optimistic. They were 5-2—with two losses against South Carolina and Tennessee and a dramatic overtime win against Alabama—and neck-and-neck with UT and Florida for the SEC East title. But heading into Jacksonville, Dawg fans weren’t hopeful. Urban Meyer’s Florida won the national championship in 2006; Tim Tebow, the Gators’ sophomore QB phenom, had captured the nation’s attention; and the Dawgs had lost all but two of the previous 17 games. Georgia would need some magic to win, and they found it in sophomore QB Matt Stafford, freshman running back Knowshon Moreno and one of the most famous end zone celebrations in college football history.

 

UGA vs. Auburn – 2007

After their win over Florida, the 2007 Bulldogs vaulted up the rankings, reaching no. 10. After a win over Troy at home, the Dawgs would welcome no. 18 Auburn into Sanford Stadium. The race for a spot in the SEC title game—in both divisions—remained tight, so this game had plenty on the line. Early in the week leading up to the game, rumors began to circulate about a possible uniform change for the Bulldogs, and as game day came closer, those whispers grew louder. Fans urged one another to wear black to the game, and when the gates opened, legions of black-clad Bulldogs filled the stands. Pregame warmups seemed to quash the rumors: The players appeared on field in their traditional home reds. But when the team burst through the super G banner, they were wearing black. The stadium rocked in response, and that energy carried the Bulldogs to a 45-20 victory.

 

UGA vs. Alabama – 2012

Mark Richt’s 2012 Georgia Bulldogs entered the season highly ranked and proved their mettle on the way to an 11-1 season, the lone loss coming against then-sixth ranked South Carolina. Alabama, in their sixth season under Nick Saban, followed a similar trajectory, with their only stumble coming against a 15th ranked Texas A&M team. By the time the two met in Atlanta for the SEC Championship, the Bulldogs had reached no. 3 in the rankings, and the Tide had the no. 2 spot. The winner of the contest was bound for the national championship. The stakes were high, but the quality of play was higher.

The titanic fight saw six lead changes, a successful fake punt, an Alabama fumble on Georgia’s one-yard line, an endzone interception and a field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown. Finally, with UGA down 32-28 and just over a minute left in the game, Aaron Murray drove the Dawgs to Alabama’s eight-yard line. The final play is burned into the memory of Bulldog fans who saw it and is far better seen than read. It’s a result that didn’t go the Dawgs’ way, but it was an appropriately dramatic finish for one of the most exciting football games Georgia’s ever played.

UGA head football coach and wife commit $1 million to university

University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart and his wife, Mary Beth, will donate $1 million to their alma mater to support the UGA Athletic Association’s new social justice program, create scholarships for senior student-athletes whose final seasons were impacted by COVID-19, and contribute to the expansion of the UGA football program.

“Mary Beth and I are where we are because of the University of Georgia, so we feel a duty to give back to the university that opened so many doors for us, brought us together and brought us home,” said Kirby Smart. “The current moment presents unique challenges for all of us, whether that’s dealing with the ramifications of this pandemic or acknowledging and addressing racial inequality. We hope this gift can fuel positive change in both areas.”

The Smarts joined Detroit Lions quarterback and former UGA standout Matthew Stafford and his wife, Kelly, to endow UGA Athletics’ new social justice program. The goal of the program is to continue developing an environment to effect meaningful change in the areas of diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice for all of the Association’s members, including student-athletes, coaches and staff.

“Coach Smart and Mary Beth, from their student-athlete days to today, have been exemplary Georgia Bulldogs, and this gift is yet another demonstration of their strong commitment to UGA,” said J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “Their commitments will enhance the athletic and life-skills training our football student-athletes receive, maintain our high standards for diversity and inclusion, and ensure that senior student-athletes derailed by COVID-19 face no financial barriers to return and finish their Bulldog athletic careers.”

Many student-athletes saw their seasons canceled or postponed this year as part of public health precautions to protect against COVID-19. As a result, the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility and lifted team financial aid limits so that senior student-athletes could return and complete their final seasons of eligibility at UGA. But with a pandemic-related financial shortfall impacting the Athletic Association’s budgets, UGA Athletics faced a challenge: finding new funding avenues to support those returning student-athletes.

This is where the Smarts stepped in, dedicating a portion of their gift to defraying the costs associated with returning seniors whose spring and fall activities were impacted by COVID-19.

“It is tremendously heartening to see former UGA student-athletes like Coach Smart and Mary Beth supporting today’s student-athletes,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “UGA prides itself on providing our students a world-class educational experience, and that experience extends beyond the classroom. The Smart family’s gift will help to address several important extracurricular concerns that are vital to the success of our student-athletes.”

The final portion of the Smarts’ gift will support the Butts-Mehre Expansion Project, which will expand and renovate all aspects of football operations at UGA. The project will, among other improvements, expand the weight room and add a locker room, meeting rooms, coaches’ offices and a sports medicine facility to Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall.

The Smarts are no strangers to charitable giving, having created the Kirby Smart Family Foundation in 2016. The foundation, whose mission is “to be champions in our community by supporting and giving back to needy children and families facing adversity,” has given over $1 million to more than 50 charities across Georgia.

Events

Georgia Bulldogs vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

This event will be updated as more information becomes available.

Game time: TBD

Get an early look at this game by reading our 2020 football schedule preview.

Georgia Bulldogs vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

This event will be updated as more information becomes available.

Game time: TBD

Get an early look at this game by reading our 2020 football schedule preview.

Georgia Bulldogs vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Homecoming!

This event will be updated as more information becomes available.

Game time: TBD

Get an early look at this game by reading our 2020 football schedule preview.

Georgia Bulldogs vs. Missouri Tigers

This event will be updated as more information becomes available.

Game Time: TBD

Get an early look at this game by reading our 2020 football schedule preview.

Hunker Down & Huddle Up with Aaron Murray and Malcolm Mitchell

This year, the Alumni Association is bringing Bulldog Nation into the huddle to relive pivotal moments in UGA football history with the people who made them happen. Hunker Down & Huddle Up is a semi-regular virtual event where you can hear from Bulldog legends themselves. They’ll talk about their time at UGA, answer questions from fellow Bulldogs and weigh in on the 2020 season.

Register today for our next Hunker Down & Huddle Up event, featuring former UGA quarterback Aaron Murray and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, kicking off at 7 p.m. on November 4!