Last month, University of Georgia J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity put forth an open letter to Bulldog Nation discussing what is happening with UGA athletics and continues this month with his minutes for July.
Since our last message of June 20, 2017, we have had more great news to celebrate!
First of all, we would like to thank each and every one of you who contributed to the record breaking fund-raising year we had in Fiscal Year 2017. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, we saw more than $55 million in gifts and pledges to Athletics while the UGA Foundation as a whole raised a record $227.8 million. This is a testament to how passionate our fan base is about our University and how they are willing to step up to make a difference. Thank you for your wonderful support.
Senior track and field star Kendell Williams was named the 2017 Roy Kramer Female SEC Athlete of the Year by a vote of the SEC athletics directors, was one of three finalists for the Honda Award and qualified for the 2017 World Games in London next month. Kendell joins only ten other Bulldogs who have won the coveted SEC Athlete of the Year Award (Buck Belue, 1992; Herschel Walker, 1993; Terry Hoage, 1994; Alec Kessler, 1990; Vicki Goetze, 1992; Saudia Roundtree, 1996; Kristy Kowal, 2000; Matias Boeker, 2001; Courtney Kupets, 2009; Allison Schmitt, 2013).
Also on the national track scene, Devon Williams will join sister Kendell in London as well. Devon qualified for the USA team in the decathlon, which will mark the first time a brother-sister duo made the USA team since Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Al Joyner accomplished the feat back in 1987. Keturah Orji will join Kendell as a member of the United States team in London in the triple jump and is one the three finalists for the annual Bowerman Award, which recognizes the top collegiate athlete in college track and field.
Seven current and former members of the UGA swimming and diving team made the USA squad for the World Championships, July 23-30, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. Highlighting the Trials in Indianapolis earlier this month was the 1-2-3 finish for the Bulldogs in the 400 Individual Medley. Overall, Georgia will be represented by nine American swimmers and divers as well as by two from Canada, one from Singapore, one from the United Arab Emirates and one from Finland. Head coach Jack Bauerle and diving coach Dan Laak will join these Bulldogs on the World Championships coaching staff.
At the World University Games, Aug. 20-27 in Taipei City, Taiwan, Georgia will be represented by swimmers Veronica Burchill, Taylor Dale and Kevin Litherland. Associate head coach Brian Smith will serve as an assistant for the men’s squad.
We continued the proud tradition of our student-athletes earning NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships as swimmers Chantal Van Landeghem and Rachel Zilinskas along with former tennis player Ben Wagland received 2017 scholarships. They will each receive a $7,500 Postgraduate Scholarship from the NCAA, which awards 87 to women and 87 to men annually. Since 1986, the Georgia swimming and diving program has produced 38 recipients (29 women, nine men) of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, garnering more than $200,000. Dating back to 1965, Georgia’s overall athletic program has produced 79 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients. These are remarkable accomplishments for our current and former student-athletes who have excelled in and out of competition.
Chantal has also been selected as one of the nominees for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service, and leadership. The award will be presented in October.
Last week, running back Nick Chubb was named the Collegiate Athlete of the Year by the Atlanta Sports Council. Georgia was well represented as the other two finalists were our own Olympians Keturah Orji and Olivia Smoliga. Nick is the 2nd in a row of UGA student-athletes to win after golfer Lee McCoy won in 2016.
In August 2017, we will begin to distribute a weekly, in-depth note to all donors, which will spotlight numerous areas focusing on the specifics of the 2017 home football season in Sanford Stadium. The intent of this communication is to educate and inform all fans of what to expect from a fan experience standpoint for the season. These emails will include specific information such as concessions, parking, rest rooms, traffic patterns, ingress/egress, West End Zone construction and other pertinent information as we prepare for another season Between the Hedges.
It is very important for us to hear from you on any matter regarding this forthcoming information, or at any other time during the year. Please let us hear from you by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And don’t forget about our Dawg Days in Valdosta On August 9th and Columbus on August 10th. This is a great opportunity for you to hear from some of our coaches about some of these great stories and more. For more information or to RSVP email Mylie Hill at email@example.com.
Here are some other upcoming dates of interest:
8-5-17 Football Fan Day in Sanford Stadium
8-12-17 Open Practice in Sanford Stadium for Magill Society Members
8-14-17 FALL SEMESTER CLASSES BEGIN AT UGA!
8-17-17 Soccer Home Opener vs. Wake Forest, 7 p.m. in our new soccer facility!
Thanks for your support!!!