Champ “Vance” Leavy is another generation of Leavys who love Georgia football (sometimes a little too much). His grandfather Howard is rumored to have sent a feisty telegraph to Coach Dooley after a loss in the 60s. His father Howard is rumored to have been on the sideline and while no one was looking, patted the third string quarterback on the back and sent him in the game in the 1968 Georgia-Florida game that was played in a deluge. It is said that the coach left the player in the game.
Vance is a 1995 graduate of the University of Georgia with a B.A. in history and was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. He is a passionate Athens Y camp alumnae and spent many happy summers as a counselor there. Vance is a born and bred newspaperman. His family has owned The Brunswick News since 1902. He served as executive vice president and advertising director for a decade and started Bulldawg Illustrated in 2002 as its editor. The Brunswick News was honored in 2002 with the Georgia Family Business of the Year awarded by the Cox Family Center at Kennesaw State University and then in 2004 with the Cox Century Award for a family business owned for more than 100 years.
Vance served on the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce for six years and was honored in 2006 with the Chairman’s Award for leadership and in 2005 with the Georgia Small Business Administration’s Journalist of the Year award. He has served as a member of the Police and Fire Merger committee for Brunswick and Glynn County. He was the chair of a Cultural Needs assessment for Brunswick and Glynn County in 2006. He served as a board member for the Golden Isles Bowl as well as the Okefenokee Area Boy Scouts of America council. He helped organize the Golden Isles Bulldawg Club and served as its president for two terms. Vance is the past chair from 2006-2009 of Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee, a festival benefiting the Boys and Girls Club. Vance participated in Leadership Glynn in 1998 and Leadership Georgia in 2007. He served on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He is a member of Gridiron. Leavy was awarded the University of Georgia Alumnae Association’s 40 Under 40 in its inaugural year 2011.
Vance has always been a die-hard Dawg starting in childhood when his Dad began rubbing Vance’s head for good luck at the beginning of the second half in 1980 when Herschel made his debut in Knoxville, TN. He was hooked from then on and, now with his wife Cheri, partners his love of newspapers and the Georgia Bulldogs to produce Bulldawg Illustrated and its sister publication about the best college town in America, guide2athens.
An eighth generation of the Golden Isles of Georgia, Cheri Harden Leavy grew up in the small town atmosphere of St. Simons Island. With a love of everything southern, she went to Mississippi for school. Oxford and Ole Miss captivated her. A Chi Omega, she excelled in deep southern culture studying Faulkner and the delta blues and enjoying crawfish boils and greek life. Returning to Georgia, she graduated from the University with a B.S.E.D. in Secondary English Education and she took her passion for literature into the classroom at Brunswick High School although she was graduated from Glynn Academy locally.
She received the Sallie Mae First Year Teacher Award for Glynn County in 1999. Leaving teaching after a few years, she helped open the first island office for The Brunswick News. She started a Newspaper in Education program that received the Southern Newspaper Association’s Rookie of the Year Award in 2001. Cheri served as editor of The Coastal Illustrated for five years spotlighting the culture of the Golden Isles. Cheri is currently serving on the University of Georgia Alumni Association board of directors and has served on numerous boards such as College of Coastal Georgia, Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation, and past president of Golden Isles Arts and Humanities.
Married to her best friend and business partner Vance, they created Bulldawg Illustrated, a publication that covers UGA sports and the lifestyle of being a Georgia Bulldog. Now in their sixteenth year, covering the South’s beloved tailgating and football is still a labor of love. Ten years ago, they created a local piece for the place they call home half of the time … Guide2Athens. The pocket-sized square book and social media share their insider perspective of the inspired resources, people and enterprises of Athens.
Cheri’s other venture which brings together so many of her passions, The Southern Coterie, was awarded #23 in the 2019 Bulldog 100 fastest growing businesses. The Southern Coterie is a resource for the entrepreneurial South. Designed to offer a community of passionate business owners the opportunity to connect, collaborate and create, the “Southern C” just launched a membership app and The Southern C Summit brings the online content to life with a unique multi-day conference where attendees network and connect in person with the best and brightest names in Southern business and branding.
When Athens isn’t beckoning, you can find them on St. Simons with their two golden retrievers enjoying the beauty and tranquility of tidal marshes and the Atlantic Ocean.
Greg started Leather Helmet Blog in November 2009. Blogging was a completely new experience but one that allowed him to indulge his passion for college football while presenting the challenges of a business startup. Leather Helmet Blog was built on a model that encouraged reader participation and debate without the mean-spirited and abusive comments that are often found on sports blogs.
After a successful run that saw steady growth in readership, LHB merged with Bulldawg Illustrated in 2013. “The opportunity to join the publishing family of Vance and Cheri Leavy was far too attractive to pass up. Their online publishing philosophy meshes neatly with mine – including both their ideas on Internet civility and their eagerness to incorporate the latest technological tools into their online portfolio,” said Greg. Greg and, his wife, Beckie have 2 (UGA grad) children and 5 grandchildren. Living on Clark Hill Lake in East Georgia, Greg spends his time away from BI thinking about fishing, gardening and several other worthwhile, but unrealized, activities.
It didn’t take Jeff Dantzler long to discover that he would not be the next Herschel Walker. Or Dominique Wilkins. Or Mikael Pernfors. That’s when he decided he wanted to be the next Dan Magill and Larry Munson. Well, no one will ever compare to “The Greatest Bulldog Ever” or “The Greatest College Football Announcer Ever,” but it has long been his dream to follow in their footsteps when it comes to the love of his life. And, like many Georgia fans, when you really break it down, outside of his family, he’s never loved anything or anyone longer than he’s loved the Dogs. All of his close friends came after, as did all the girls he’s loved before.
He developed a major crush on the Bulldogs as a six-year-old when Georgia came back to beat Tech 29-28 between the hedges in 1978. That became a full fledged love affair when Herschel Walker impaled Bill Bates that fateful night of September the 6th, 1980, culminating with the national championship. To this day, January 1, 1981 remains the greatest of his life. He was eight. Through the years, Georgia has been the unwavering love. “Oh yes, there have been numerous heartbreaks,” he says. “And every year since 1980, that annual worst of the year, the first loss of the season.”
He feels his life in many ways has been a dream come true. As a true freshman out of Statesboro, Georgia, he began working for one of his mentors in the Bulldogs sports information department. Claude Felton, the greatest sports information director in the country took him under his wing. And then coach Magill did. As a very young man, he was amongst Georgia royalty. From the 1993-94 season through 2011-2012, he served as the play-by-play voice of the championship Lady Bulldog basketball team, working closely with the legendary Andy Landers, who gave him his first shot and has become a great friend. That next year, he began broadcasting Georgia baseball. Since 1997, he has been the lead play-by-play voice of the Bulldog baseball program. He’s been blessed to call the Lady Dogs in three final fours and the baseball team in three College World Series, two under his good friend Coach David Perno’s watch. There are many broadcasters who may go a lifetime waiting to get to just one of these six collegiate grand finales. He served as the 1997-98 season – 2007-08 season as the color commentator for the Georgia men’s basketball program. For football, he hosts the pre-game show, Bulldog Gameday with veteran SEC broadcaster Charlie McAlexander and the post-game show with College Football Hall of Famer Kevin Butler to break down the game and take calls from Georgia fans. He also hosts the Sunday Brunch call in show with Kevin Butler. Calling sports and hosting a daily talk show on 960 the ref make for busy days and weeks.
“But it has also given great joy, a treasure-chest of memories and enough stories to fill a couple of nice-sized Dan Jenkins novels,” says JD. He adds, “Most of the names would be changed to protect the innocent, or more importantly, “the guilty.” In the spring of 2003, his friends from beautiful St. Simons Island, the Leavyes, asked if he would be interested in helping form Bulldawg Illustrated. Intrigued, and at the time only partially employed calling Georgia games, he leapt at the opportunity. As JD says, “It has been immeasurable fun and good times. Listening to the tales of Magill, a cigar with Munson on his back porch, Bulldog Saturday nights after a win and those unforgettable moments on the road. Most importantly, when the Dogs play, that’s when you see everyone. All of your friends who have married, long moved away and had kids, they come back for those special fall Saturdays. And there you have it again, the love of his life, the Georgia Bulldogs, the foundation for an irreplaceable group of friends and a collection of memories.” “Let’s win ’em all in everything!”
ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHERS
Becca is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia, where she majored in Consumer Journalism with a certificate in Entrepreneurship and Personal & Organizational Leadership. Her passion lies in connecting with others to help them fulfill their greatest potential. At UGA, she spent her time investing in Cru, an on-campus ministry, her sorority, Chi Omega, and worked on different areas of campus throughout her time, including the Sports Communications department. Now she works full-time for The Southern C, meeting and assisting all of the amazing creatives of the entrepreneurial south that are part of its community. With that, she also helps Cheri + Vance on Bulldawg Illustrated from content to ideas to interns. Ways she finds joy? People, power walks, calling old friends for a catch-up, sand between her toes, and ideas— no matter how scary they may be. Calling Columbus, GA home but born and raised in South Mississippi, she love places and people that feel like home and believes there’s nothing sweeter than making other people feel the same way.
Caroline Kinney is a Washington & Lee “General” by diploma and a Georgia Bulldawg by marriage…her husband Matthew having graduated in ’00 from UGA. Born in Atlanta, Caroline went to Westminster and spent many weekends going to UGA games with friends. After 8th grade, she moved with her family to Columbia, SC to be near her mother’s “Lumpkin” family…direct descendants of noted Athenians, Joseph Henry Lumpkin, first Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, and Wilson Lumpkin, Georgia Governor and United States Senator.
Shortly after Caroline & Matthew’s wedding in April 20ll, Matthew accepted a position at Georgia Jet in Lawrenceville, where he now serves as Chief Operating Officer. Facing a move from Charleston where they’d both lived for years….they agreed on Athens and headed this way for a Fall weekend to get things lined up for the move. The weekend was a home game, ironically UGA vs. USC…a test of their SEC loyalty, having lived in Gamecock country for so long. They were won over by the welcoming Athenians at Kid’s Tailgate, where a chance photograph was taken that became Caroline’s introduction to the influence of the Bulldawg Illustrated. The week following, her phone buzzed with texts from Atlanta friends who had seen her picture…one saying “you don’t even live in Athens yet, and you’re already in the Bulldawg Illustrated!!”
Settled in Athens, the Kinneys couldn’t be happier. Just as Caroline’s favorite local paper in Charleston (The Mercury) kept her up with what was going on, she learned to rely on the Bulldawg Illustrated with their “you never know who you’ll see” photographs. A phone call to the Bulldawg Illustrated office to order a subscription for her mother introduced Caroline to the owner Vance Leavy. Their conversation lead to a meeting with Vance and his wife Cheri. When they learned of Caroline’s extensive sales background, it became apparent that she would be a perfect fit for their team. Caroline began her sales career in real estate at Sotheby’s International Realty in Jackson Hole. She continued in resort home sales in Charleston, selling at Wild Dunes, Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. Most recently she worked in the commercial division with CB Richard Ellis in downtown Charleston. She’s also worked in the Mortgage Industry, Resort Marketing, and as a Regional Sales Rep.
In her spare time, Caroline can be found enjoying everything outdoors…tennis, golf, fly fishing, mountain biking, and plein air painting. Caroline and Matthew have a beautiful daughter, little Caroline, and son, John, who keep a big smile on their faces all the time.
DIGITAL MEDIA SUPPORT
Katy Wildes received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Georgia in 2015. Upon graduation, she met Cheri at a Heery’s fashion show and joined the guide2athens and Bulldawg Illustrated teams shortly thereafter.
In 2017, her husband Paul graduated from the UGA School of Law and they moved to the big city of Atlanta, where they now reside with their one year old, Win.
Murray Poole served as sports editor and senior sports editor of The Brunswick Newsfor 40 years and four months. The running joke is that he is the happiest sports writer ever now because he doesn’t have to be fair and cover Georgia Tech without bias. Murray covered the last game of Herschel Walker’s high school career at Johnson County and then the first game of his college career as Georgia beat Tennessee in Knoxville in 1980.
Murray has covered Georgia football for the last 52 years and has attended every Georgia-Florida game for the last 55 years. He won 58 state sports writing awards while at The Brunswick News. Needless to say, Bulldawg Illustrated is lucky to have this consummate gentlemen and sportswriter. Murray Poole is a 1960 graduate of Moultrie High School and attended Norman Junior College and the University of Georgia, graduating from UGA journalism school in 1965. He had a front page story in the Red and Black of the first-ever basketball game where Georgia played in the new Coliseum in February of 1964, beating Georgia Tech before a record crowd of 13,200. Murray served in U.S. Army Reserve and U.S. Air National Guard.
He has served as a deacon at First Baptist Church of Brunswick and is a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and of the Georgia Alumni Society. He is married to the former Barbara Vaughn of Cleveland, Tennessee with two sons, Jeff, a banking officer at Seaside National Bank and Trust in Orlando, Fla., and Chris, manager of Sherwin-Williams Paint in Newnan, Ga. Both are graduates of the UGA Terry College of Business. Murray has one beloved granddaughter, Rachel, 11, and three grandsons, Kyle, 8, Justin, 5, and Connor, 2. Rachel was born December 23, 2005, the same day Murray retired from The Brunswick News.
Matthew “Huck” Pasek was born into a family of Georgia Bulldogs. Huck’s father, Gary, graduated from UGA in 1976 and became a high school chemistry teacher at Peachtree HS in Dunwoody, GA where he coached alongside Georgia High School football legend T. McFerrrin. Gary’s love of football, especially Georgia football, was passed along to his son. Huck lives in Belmont, NC with his wife, Whitney, and works in Financial Services Litigation. In his spare time he is an avid golfer, movie fanatic and habitual traveler to St. Simons Island with his wife “just to get away”. The moniker ImYourHuckleberry arose from his favorite movie, Tombstone, and character Doc Holiday’s famous line, “I’m Your Huckleberry”. Matthew was never one to shy away from a confrontation or debate, thus the nickname instantly stuck.
Rob Saye is from a family of Athens Bulldogs. Rob’s father, Fuzz and mother, Patti, meet at UGA in 1957. His father and his Uncle Bill (Bulldog center & linebacker 1953-55) grew up in Athens and Rob was born at the old St. Mary’s hospital on Milledge Avenue. He grew up in Stone Mountain, GA and attended the University of Georgia, graduating with a BBA from Terry College of Business in 1981. Rob served as President of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity in 1981. He feels very blessed to have been a student during the “Glory Days” of the 1980 National Championship.
Rob began photographing the Dawgs in 2007 and joined the Bulldawg Illustrated team in 2010. He enjoys hitting the road with Dawgs and has not missed a road game since mid-2007 season. A lifelong Dawg fan, Rob still keeps his season tickets that he has had since 1982.
Rob lives in Alpharetta, GA, where he is a single Dad of a 13 year old son, Robby. A salesman by trade, he has 35+ years experience in sales and marketing. Along with his growing photography business, Rob owns and operates a Business Development Consulting practice specializing in helping emerging technology companies acquire customers during their start-up phase. In his leisure time, Rob enjoys traveling (especially visiting our National Parks with his son), photography (of course), golf, fly fishing, hiking, reading and more recently painting. He is a member of Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church in Johns Creek.
Kevin Gregory Butler (born July 24, 1962 in Savannah, Georgia) is a former professional American football placekicker. He played college football for the University of Georgia Bulldogs, and then played professionally for the Chicago Bears (1985-1995) and the Arizona Cardinals (1996-1997) of the National Football League (NFL). Since retiring, he has continued his affiliation with the University of Georgia as a football radio personality on numerous shows. Kevin Butler picks Bulldawg Illustrated’s players of the game in every issue during football season.
Butler was born in Savannah, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia, where he played college football for the Georgia Bulldogs. Butler placekicked 77 field goals and 122 extra points, a total of 353 points. In his four years (1981-84) Georgia had a 38-8-2 record, was in two Sugar Bowls, one Cotton Bowl Classic, and one Citrus Bowl. His accuracy on attempts 50 yards or longer, 52.4 percent, was anNCAA record. His longest field goal was 62 yards against Clemson in 1984. This kick decided the game for Georgia 26-23. He had other field goals of 59, 53, and 52 yards. He was 122 for 125 on extra points and 77 for 98 on field goals. Butler would go on to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001. With his induction, he became the only kicker to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. I
n his 11 seasons with the Bears, Butler became the team’s all time leading scorer with 1,116 points, easily surpassing the old record of 750 points held by Walter Payton. Butler was also part of the oft-praised 1985 Chicago Bears team who won Super Bowl XX. His nickname during his time with the Bears was “Butthead.” It was said that Butler called his fiancée from training camp in Platteville, Wisconsin, and explained that “we’re going to have to change the date of our wedding, because we’re going to the Super Bowl and it’s on January 26th.”
Butler finished his 13 NFL seasons with 265 of 361 field goals (73%) and 413 of 426 extra point attempts, giving him 1,208 total points. From Butler to Cutler the story of #6 and the Chicago Bears, is the title of his new book.
Kevin is married to Cathy Butler. They have three children together Katie Scarlett(goes by Scarlett), Drew, and Savannah Butler. Scarlett goes to UGA and Drew plays for UGA and is now the starting punter. His daughter Savannah is going to Marymount Manhattan and is a ballet dancer. Butler holds the record for the most points scored by a player during their rookie season. In 1985, he scored 144 points for the Chicago Bears. That year, he made 31 field goals and all of his 51 extra point attempts. Drew his son, was the starting punter for the Bulldogs at the University of Georgia and led the nation in punting.
A former Bulldog MVP and track captain, Loran Smith, has had varied responsibilities with the Bulldogs over the years including assistant sports information director, business manager of athletics, executive director of the Georgia Bulldog Clubs. He assists with packaging of radio broadcasts, is co-host of Tailgate Show and sideline color announcer and is executive producer of the Mark Richt TV show.
He is editor of football game programs and has authored: “GLORY, GLORY” (with Lewis Grizzard) “Fifty Years on the Fifty,” the Orange Bowl story; “Dooley’s Dawgs” (with Vince Dooley); “Between the Hedges”, a story of Georgia’s first 100 years of football; “Let a Dead Horse Rest”, “Let the Big Dawg Eat”, (with his wife, Myrna), a collection of tailgate recipes; “Finish the Drill”, the inside story of Georgia’s 2002 Championship season, “Beloved Dawgs”, “The Athens Sketch Book”, “The Georgia Football Vault” and five books on the Masters.
A native of Wrightsville, Ga., he is past chairman of the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1997. He is married to the former Miss Myrna Warren of Covington, Ga. They have two children, Camille and Kent, both graduates of Georgia.
When you ask this gravelly voiced dawg fan when he graduated from the University of Georgia, he answers, “I think in ’91 or ’92.” And then he is off to the next topic. He is fast paced and fun and there is never a dull moment with Big Rob around. He is the owner of Citywide Insurance Agency in Smyrna and into many other entrepreneurial endeavors such as Zingo Transportation in Atlanta, an ingenious idea of a sober driver with a scooter they throw in the trunk and drive the revelers home, better than a cab. Rob out punted his coverage by marrying the 2006 Bulldawg Illustrated Week 8 “Fan of the Week” Amy Sherrell. They have no children and one dawg, Carly, whose favorite player is Kelin Johnson. Only a true bulldog fan’s pet has a favorite player!
Hamilton Culpepper is a senior at Prince Avenue. He has been writing for Bulldawg Illustrated since he was in 7th grade. A bulldawg fan all his life, Hamilton hopes to attend the University of Georgia next year, where he plans to major in Journalism as he aspires to be a sports broadcaster. At Prince Avenue, he announces for varsity softball and varsity girls and boys soccer. Hamilton works in the Sports Communications department at UGA under the legendary Claude Felton, where he volunteers his time, and is active in YoungLife at Prince Avenue.
Chandler Call was born and raised in Valdosta, GA and is a current sophomore at the University of Georgia. She intends on majoring in Public Relations at the Grady College of Journalism with a certificate in Music Business. Growing up in Valdosta, she typically traveled to Athens with her die-hard dawgs family for games and dreamed of being a part of the traditions and values the school holds. She is passionate about travel, music, relationships, and all things dawgs. At UGA, she is active in The Wesley Foundation and UGA Miracle. She loves interning for Bulldawg Illustrated because it is a home away from home and a way to learn valuable life skills.