R.I.P. Russ – DGD

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R.I.P. Russ – DGD

UGA athletics - Russ gives up his collar

University of Georgia President Michael Adams, left, slips the collar on interim mascot Russ during a ceremony to install Russ as the school’s official mascot before an NCAA college football game against Florida Atlantic Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 in Athens, Ga. Russ is now named Uga IX. Charles Seiler, right, helps. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

 

Former University of Georgia mascot Uga IX, also known fondly as “Russ,” passed away in his sleep early Monday morning according to the Seiler family, long time owners of the Georgia line of mascots.

 

Russ, born June 20, 2004, officially retired at the Nov. 21 football game with Georgia Southern turning over mascot duties to Uga X, also known as “Que.”

 

The half-brother of Uga VII, Russ compiled an overall record of 44-19. He served as an interim Bulldog mascot for a total of 25 games, working nine games during the 2009 and 2010 seasons after Uga VII and VIII passed away. Russ roamed the sidelines at all 14 games during the 2011 season. He then served for two wins at the beginning of the 2012 season before being officially promoted as Uga IX prior to the Florida Atlantic game on Sept. 15, 2012.

 

The continuous line of Georgia Bulldog mascots has been owned by the Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler family of Savannah, Ga., since 1956.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.