7/24/18

Uga: Georgia's Bulldog



University of Georgia's famous mascot began over 60 years ago with a bulldog named Uga. His descendants and name continue the tradition today.




In 1956 Frank "Sonny" Seiler was a law student at the University of Georgia (UGA). He married that year and the couple was given a white English bulldog as a wedding gift. He took the dog to the first football game of the season and the head coach asked Seiler if his bulldog could be the school's mascot. Seiler agreed and a fellow student suggested naming the mascot Uga.

Uga (Hood's Ole Dan), the grandson of a bulldog that accompanied the Georgia football team to its Rose Bowl victory in 1943, was born on December 2, 1955. He was the University's mascot for ten years. According to Seiler, his wife made Uga's red jersey using a kid's t-shirt, and she had to make quite a few of them. "During the early games in Athens, especially the hot ones before he had a dog house, the large green hedges that surround Sanford Stadium afforded welcomed shade in the heat of battle. Unfortunately, the hedges constantly tore these jerseys and new ones had to be made."

Uga retired in 1966 and died peacefully on November 9, 1967 while sleeping in the sun in the Seiler's backyard in Savannah.

Since Uga I, nine Ugas followed - all descendants of Uga I and all owned by the Seiler family.

All Ugas who passed away are buried in marble vaults near the main entrance at the southwest corner of Sanford Stadium. Epitaphs to the dogs are inscribed in bronze, and before each home game, flowers and gifts are placed on their graves. The epitaph for Uga I is "DAMN GOOD DOG", the words the whole stand at the stadium shouted when his retirement was announced.