Thursday, May 31, 2012

All American Craig Hertwig Dies


hertwig_hsCraig "Sky" Hertwig, a three-year letter winner and 1974 first-team All-American offensive tackle for the Dawgs, died on Wednesday night at St. Mary's Hospital in Athens. Hertwig was 60.

"Certainly we're all saddened by the sudden loss of Craig, who was a great football player, a great fan and a great supporter of all the athletic programs at Georgia," said former Georgia coach and AD Vince Dooley. "Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends."

Hertwig was a 6-8, 260-pound native of Macon, Ga., who played at Mark Smith
High School.

hertwig_action"Obviously, Craig was nicknamed 'Sky' because of his height," Dooley said. "During his playing days, he was really tall for a lineman. I actually had gone to see another player on another high school team when I saw this big ole guy jumping around. He was kind of under the radar but that eventually led to us signing Craig."

Hertwig played for the Dawgs during the 1972, '73 and '74 seasons and was named offensive team captain as a senior. He also was tabbed first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI) in 1974.

Hertwig started on Georgia teams that won the 1973 Peach Bowl and played in the 1974 Tangerine Bowl.

"Because of his size, he was not ready to play as a freshman and we redshirted him," Dooley said. "One of the things I remember most about Craig is how big a fan he was during that season he redshirted. He loved to get in the stands with the students and cheer for the team. I don't know if I ever had a player who was as big of a fan as Craig. He matured and became a great player, ­an All-American,  ­played professionally and came back to Athens. He always continued his support of Georgia football and all Georgia sports in that social way. He was so well known all over Athens and will be missed."

Hertwig was selected in the third round of the 1975 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions and played for the Lions from 1975-77 and for the Buffalo Bills in 1978.

Following his playing career, Hertwig returned to Athens and owned several area nightclubs. "Sky" also was well-known for his daily jogs in Athens' Five Points area and was dubbed the "Giant Jogger" by UGA legend Dan Magill.

Friday, May 25, 2012

44 Dawgs Earn Athletic Director’s Honor Roll


Forty-four out of 111 members of the University of Georgia Football team were named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for the spring of 2012. Student-athletes earn these honors for finishing the semester with a grade point average of 3.00 or better.

Out of the 44 players to earn a spot on the honor roll, six were also named to the Dean’s List as a student that maintained a 3.50 GPA or better while earning at least 14 credit hours for the semester.

The players that earned Dean’s List honors are: Taylor Bradberry (Winder), Luis Capella (Augusta), Austin Herod (Woodstock), Ethan Jackson (Sandersville), Connor Norman (Duluth) and Jeremy Sulek (Dacula). Reuben Faloughi (Martinez) finished the spring semester with a perfect 4.00 GPA.

The other 37 members of the football team that were named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for the spring of 2012 are:

3.50-3.99 GPA
Faton Bauta (W. Palm Beach, Fla.), Scott Eichler (Oakwood), Ty Frix (Calhoun), John Gazaway (Buford), Richard Lowe (Duluth), Keith Marshall (Raleigh, N.C.), Hutson Mason (Marietta), Aaron Murray (Tampa, Fla.), Lucas Redd (Jefferson), Ben Reynolds (Bainbridge), Dustin Royston (Royston), Dimitrios Vavlas (Tarpon Springs, Fla.) and Wes Van Dyk (Highland Park, Tex.).

3.00-3.49 GPA
David Andrews (Johns Creek), John Bodin (Covington), Brandon Bogotay (San Diego, Cal.), Chris Burnette (LaGrange), Corey Campbell (Hephzibah), Chris Conley (Dallas), Watts Dantzler (Dalton), Zachary DeBell (Tarpon Springs, Fla.), Caleb Drake (Hogansville), Michael Erdman (Merritt Island, Fla.), Adam Erickson (Athens), Cody Johnson (Marietta), Greg Lanier (Clarkesville), James Lindley (Savannah), Arthur Lynch (Dartmouth, Mass.), Rhett McGowan (Calhoun), Greg Mulkey (Fairmount), Geoffrey Rapp (Kennesaw) Blake Sailors (Athens), Garrison Smith (Atlanta), Michael Thornton (Stone Mountain), Xzavier Ward (Moultrie), Hugh Williams (Atlanta), and Chris Young (Hinesville).

The 111 student-athletes that are a part of the football team earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.80 for the spring semester of 2012.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

UGA Athletic Board Report


A fiscal year 2013 budget of $92,130,725 and three facility-related projects were approved Thursday highlighting the quarterly meeting of the University of Georgia Athletic Association Board of Directors.

The facility-related projects totaling an estimated $2,731,000 include:

1. $1,006,000 to upgrade scoreboards at baseball, softball and soccer. The existing scoreboards at each of these venues have been in service for seven years. The upgrades would replace the video displays which will provide an enhanced game-day experience for fans and student-athletes.

2. $1,350,000 to begin the process of renovations to Foley Field. A segment of the funds will be dedicated to aesthetic enhancements to the facility, which includes a sound system improvement, new landscaping beyond the outfield wall and improvements to Kudzu Hill, which will be completed prior to the 2013 baseball season. A segment of funds will be dedicated to an architect and engineer and construction manager to begin planning for renovations and enhances to the main entry, exterior plaza, concourses, concession stands and rest rooms, and handicapped accessibility throughout the facility, which would include renovations to the press box. A timetable for this segment of the project has not been determined.

3. $375,000 for Sanford Stadium Gate 10 renovations (under the bridge). The project improves the main entrance gate and passageway to include a large arched entry portal and piers, wider pathways, and new campus standard light poles to improve safety features.

The athletic director’s report also included an update on the three-year extension of football coach Mark Richt’s contract. The contract, which is expected to be finalized and signed soon, will provide the potential for performance bonuses to double from the current $400,000 maximum to $800,000. Included will be bonuses for appearances in the SEC Championship game, BCS national championship game, BCS non-championship bowl game, non-BCS bowl games, and top five finish in the national polls. There is also a provision for a team academic performance bonus of $50,000 which was part of his current contract.

Preseason All-Americans


Two Dawgs named First Team All-Americans highlight a group of Georgia players featured in Phil Steele’s 2012 College Football Preview edition.

Both junior OLB Jarvis Jones and senior FS Bacarri Rambo have been named preseason First Team All-Americans, making them two of only 28 players nationwide named to the squad.

Jones was an unanimous First Team All-American following the 2011 season after the Columbus native led the Southeastern Conference in both sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (19.5) in his first season playing for the Dawgs.

Rambo, a native of Donalsonville, was a 2011 Associated Press All-American thanks to registering the second-most interceptions in the country (eight) and tallying 55 tackles. He returned those picks 157 yards, which ranked fourth nationally and third all-time in school history for a single season.

Phil Steele also named senior nose tackle John Jenkins a preseason Second Team All-American. Jenkins shared time with junior Kwame Geathers during Jenkins’ first season with the Dawgs, starting seven of 14 games in 2011 and finishing with 28 tackles, including three sacks, to go with an interception.

The publication also picked four All-SEC teams, which featured eight Dawg defenders. Jenkins, Jones and Rambo were all picked as First Team selections while on offense, junior quarterback Aaron Murray, sophomore tailback Isaiah Crowell and senior receiver Tavarres King were named as All-SEC Second Team selections.

Senior defensive end Abry Jones, junior ILB Alec Ogletree and senior CB Sanders Commings were also included on the All-SEC Third Team as senior ILB Michael Gilliard and senior CB Branden Smith were named to the All-SEC Fourth Team.

The Dawgs kick off the season versus Buffalo in Athens on September 1st.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Danna Durante Named Head Gymnastics Coach


duranteDanna Durante, who served as head coach at California-Berkeley for the 2012 season and was the 2007 National Assistant Coach of the Year, has been named head gymnastics coach at the University of Georgia, Director of Athletics Greg McGarity announced Wednesday.

Prior to her stint at California-Berkeley, Durante spent nine seasons at the University of Nebraska as the Cornhuskers’ beam coach and choreographer. She joined the Nebraska staff as an assistant coach in 2003, then served as associate head coach from 2007-2011.

Nebraska gymnasts earned a total of 23 All-America honors during Durante’s time in Lincoln, and she helped guide the Cornhuskers to a fourth place finish at the 2011 NCAA Championships.

“Danna is ready for this challenge," said McGarity. "She embraces the remarkable accomplishments of our gymnastics program, and we’re very confident she will provide the leadership, passion and experience to be successful at UGA. Danna has excelled at every stop along her journey --- as a student-athlete, a club coach, an assistant, associate and head coach at outstanding institutions, and we are confident this pattern will continue at UGA. I know she is anxious to get started.”

Before joining the Nebraska staff, Durante was an assistant for five years at Washington, where she helped lead the Huskies to the 1999 NCAA West Regional title and a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Championships. She was named the West Regional Assistant Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2002. Before joining the Washington program in 1998, Durante spent two years working as a coach with the Arizona Sunrays and Royal (Fla.) Gymnastics Club.

“I want to thank Dr. (Michael) Adams and Greg McGarity for this opportunity,” Durante said. “I could not be more excited to join the Dawg family. With its rich history and amazing success UGA is without a doubt one of the premier programs in the country. The community support for the Gym Dawgs is unparalleled, something I truly look forward to experiencing first hand. We have a very strong, hungry team returning and we are excited to hit the ground running as quickly as possible. It’s important to me that the Georgia alumni understand how much I value their connection to this program. The doors to the gym are open and they are always welcome.

“The decision to leave the University of California was a difficult one, and I want to thank Sandy Barbour for the opportunity at Cal. The support from the administration at Cal and the Berkeley community is strong, and I’m excited about where the program is headed.”

A native of Tulsa, Okla., Durante was a two-time member of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation National team in 1988 and 1990. She qualified for the 1988 Olympic Trials and won top honors in the all-around in 1986 and 1987 at the South African Cup. She competed internationally in Germany, France, Bulgaria and South Africa, and was also a two-time member of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation National Team. In addition, Durante served as a USAG Elite Level Judge from 1996 to 2000.

"Danna has an outstanding background and is highly regarded throughout collegiate gymnastics," said Carla Williams, UGA executive associate athletic director. "We're looking forward to her energy and expertise in leading our program."

Durante graduated from Arizona State in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science/Exercise Wellness. She was an All-Pac-10 gymnast for the Sun Devils from 1992-95, and scored five perfect 10s. Durante and her husband Joe have a daughter, Samantha (12), and two sons, Jaxson (10) and Jordan (9).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Jarvis Jones Named To 2012 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List


Jarvis JonesJunior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones is one of only five players from the Southeastern Conference to be named to the ninth-annual Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List, according to a recent announcement.

Jones is one of 42 players nationwide who is in consideration for the honor given to the player who is the best example of Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity (IMPACT). The winner will be announced at the annual black-tie awards banquet on December 9th at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Ca.

A 6-3, 241-pound native of Columbus, Jones was named a Butkus Award finalist, was the winner of the CFPA Elite Linebacker Trophy and an All-American for his efforts in the 2011 season. He was also honored as the Collegiate Player of the Year at the Atlanta Sports Awards earlier this year after being named the Dawgs’ Most Valuable Defensive Player and the team’s Defensive Captain.

Named First Team All-SEC, Jones recorded 70 tackles, including 19.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks, to go along with two forced fumbles, two pass breakups and 49 quarterback pressures. The redshirt sophomore ranked first in the SEC and tied fifth in the NCAA in sacks (0.96 per game) and first in the SEC and tied 16th in the NCAA in tackles for loss (1.39 per game).

Georgia’s David Pollack won the inaugural Lott Trophy in 2004.

The Dawgs host Buffalo to open the 2012 season on Sept. 1.

Daryl Jones Named Director of On-Campus Recruiting


Daryl JonesDaryl Jones, veteran high school coach and athletic director with 17 years in the state of Georgia system, has been named Director Of On-Campus Recruiting according to an announcement Thursday by UGA head football coach Mark Richt.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have Daryl joining our staff,” said Richt. “He’s a veteran high school coach and administrator who has a complete understanding of the recruiting process along with the relationships between the university and the high schools. He’ll be a great addition to our staff in the areas of high school relations and directing our on-campus recruiting efforts.”

A native of Ocala, Fla., Jones played wide receiver and was a decathlete at Long Island University C. W. Post where he earned his bachelors degree in political science and education. From 1990 to 1995, he served as a volunteer assistant coach at Hofstra and Duke, followed by the University of Maryland where he was a graduate assistant coach and earned his masters degree in educational administration.

He spent the next 17 years in the state of Georgia coaching system beginning as an assistant high school football coach at Glynn Academy in Brunswick. He later served as head football coach and athletic director at Griffin High School, Wayne County High School and North Oconee High School. Jones also served as head coach and student support coordinator at Oconee County High School and assistant coach at Grayson High School.

Jones was named Georgia High School Athletic Director of the Year in 2005 and was the Under Armour manager of football camps, combines and the 7on7 projects, during which he was a two-time head coach of the Under Armour All-America Game.

He is married to the former Donna Coscar and they have three children:
Marlee Shea, Ansley Noel and Zachary Kenneth.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Diamond Dawgs Rally Past Auburn


Kyle Farmer’s RBI-single capped a two-run rally as Georgia clinched another SEC series with a 6-5 win over Auburn in 11 innings Saturday at Foley Field.

Georgia (27-20, 11-12) never led Saturday until Farmer’s walk-off base hit as the Tigers fell to 25-21 overall and 10-13 in the SEC. It was Farmer’s second walk-off hit this season, also delivering against Kennesaw State at Coolray Field on March 6 when the Dawgs posted a 3-2 decision. A total of more than 60 former Dawg baseball letterman were among the crowd of 2,438 as Georgia held its annual Alumni Day.

Auburn built a 4-2 lead after six innings. The Tigers struck first with a solo homerun by Justin Bryant who went 4-for-4 with a walk on the afternoon. Creede Simpson scored in the fourth off an RBI single by Garrett Cooper. Auburn would plate two more runs including a solo shot off the bat of Simpson later in the game.

Georgia got on the board with three consecutive singles by Levi Hyams, Peter Verdin and Colby May. Conor Welton smacked a line drive at the third basemen, which was bobbled, allowing Verdin to score in the second inning. Later in the fifth, May reached on a walk, advanced to third by a Welton single and was able to score on a wild pitch to make it a two-run affair. The Dawgs trailed 4-2 until the seventh when their bats had some life to tie the contest. Farmer hit a long double over the centerfielder which scored Welton who reached earlier in the inning with a walk. Brett DeLoach followed up with a near identical double scoring Farmer.

Auburn pitcher Daniel Koger tossed for five innings allowing six hits and giving up two runs but did not factor in the decision. Koger was relieved by Derek Varnadore who came in to strike out the side in the sixth. Varnadore went the rest of the way, allowing four runs on five hits over the final 5.2 innings and fell to 2-7.

UGA senior starter Michael Palazzone lasted six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits while tallying five strikeouts. After Palazzone, Georgia got solid relief from senior Chase Hawkins. Jay Swinford, Blake Dieterich and Bryan Benzor. Benzor allowed a run in the 11th but benefited from the Dawg rally to pick up a victory to move his record to 5-4.

After being shut out for four straight innings, the Tigers took a 5-4 lead in the 11th inning. After a single by Bryant, Mitchell Self knocked him in with an RBI double off Benzor. The Dawgs responded with a leadoff walk by Jonathan Hester. Hester advanced to second on a Nelson Ward groundout and later scored on a fielder’s choice by Curt Powell, who reached second on a throwing error. Farmer followed with an RBI single that provided a walk off win. Farmer finished the day 3-for-6 with two RBI.

“I thought we pitched pretty well today and the defense made some big plays,” said coach David Perno. “I liked how we hung in there and battled. We never could break it open; we had some chances early but we didn’t give up a big inning either so that helped. I liked how we responded in the 11th. We’ve been in some close games this year, and I think playing at home helped us today because we’ve lost some tough ones on the road.”

Georgia is now 8-7 in one-run games this year including 3-3 in the SEC and 1-1 in extra innings. The Dawgs wrap up the series Sunday at 2 p.m. Georgia will start freshman Luke Crumley (1-2, 4.44 ERA) while the Tigers counter with freshman right-hander Trey Cochran-Gill (4-1, 2.59 ERA).

Friday, May 4, 2012

Jay Clark Resigns As Gymnastics Coach


University of Georgia head gymnastics coach Jay Clark has resigned his position effective immediately according to an announcement Friday by UGA Director of Athletics Greg McGarity.

Clark took over the program three years ago after serving 17 years as an assistant on the Gym Dawgs’ staff including five as associate head coach.

“I have accepted Jay’s resignation and want to express our appreciation to him for his many significant contributions to our program over a long period of time,” said McGarity. “Our gymnastics program has always been a source of pride for the Athletic Association and Jay has conducted the program in an admirable manner during his years of service to UGA. We certainly wish him the very best in his future endeavors. We’ll move as quickly as possible to begin the process of finding the best possible head coach to lead our program.”

“It’s been an honor and privilege to be at the University of Georgia,” said Clark, who first joined the staff in 1990. “I love the University of Georgia and treasure my time here.”

Clark’s teams finished third at the SEC Championships in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and posted national finishes of tied for 2nd at the 2010 NCAA Regional, tied for 9th at the 2011 NCAA Championships, and 11th at the recent 2012 NCAA Championships.

Butler Named To Honor Society


DSC_0485University of Georgia senior Drew Butler has been named to the 2012 National Football Foundation (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society, according to a recent announcement from the NFF and the College Hall of Fame.

Created in 2007, the Hampshire Honor Society is comprised of college football players from all divisions who among other things maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better throughout their college careers.

A native of Duluth, Butler becomes the third Dawg to earn membership in the society since its inception, joining former place kicker Brian Mimbs (2009) and wide receiver Kris Durham (2011).

The honor follows Butler’s inclusion this past October in the 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete class, for which he received an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. Having earned his bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a 3.62 GPA, Butler is pursuing a graduate degree in Sport Management.

The son of College Football Hall of Fame Dawg Kevin Butler, Drew has created his own legacy between the hedges with an impressive career in the classroom and on the gridiron.

Butler is a two-time Capital One Academic All-America first team selection and a four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll honoree. He has qualified for the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll every semester during his college career, as well as the President’s List, the Dean’s List and the Academic Round Table. He also claimed a Ramsey Academic Scholarship and a HOPE Scholarship.

One of the top punters in college football history, Butler is a two-time All-American and three-time All-Southeastern Conference election, with a 45.0-yard career punting average. He won the 2009 Ray Guy Award as the top punter in the nation, and he was a finalist for the honor in 2010.

Butler recently signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent.

Causwell Invited To National Team Trials


Kaelyn Causwell, a signee who will join the Georgia Lady Dawgs this fall, is one of 26 athletes who have accepted invitations to attend the 2012 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team Trials.

The selected team will compete in the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Aug. 15-18 with hopes of securing a berth in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championships.

Causwell is a 6-4, forward, who helped lead the Wesleyan School to its fifth straight Class A state championship this season. The Lady Wolves finished the 2011-12 campaign with a 29-4 record and at No. 18 in the final ESPN PowerAde Fab 50 national rankings.

Trials to select the 12-member USA squad will be held May 19-21 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. After arriving in Colorado on May 18, the participants will get on the court on May 19 at 8:30 a.m. MDT and will hold a second session at 3:45 p.m. MDT. There will be two additional sessions on May 20 followed by a final workout on May 21. It is anticipated that the team will be announced at 11 a.m. that morning.

The selected team will regroup at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., for its first training camp from May 28-June 2. The squad will then return to the USOTC for a final camp Aug. 3-12 prior to traveling to Puerto Rico.

The Georgia Lady Dawgs have a long history of success with USA Basketball. All told, 25 Lady Dawgs have represented the USA in more than 40 different competitions worldwide.

Most notably, Teresa Edwards and Katrina McClain are two of the most decorated American basketball players ever. Edwards is the only American basketball player to participate in five Olympic Games, winning four Gold Medals. McClain became just the third American ­joining Edwards and David Robinson ­to play in three Olympics and won a pair of Gold Medals.