GATA, One More Time.

It’s fitting that the statue of Erk Russell which will be displayed at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro is being created in Athens.  And so is this story:

The Russell statue will feature a milk jug of “Beautiful Eagle Creek” water at the coach’s feet and will also honor the “One More Time” motivational saying that he began using at Georgia and famously employed at Georgia Southern — including his final game as the Eagles’ coach, the 1989 national championship win against Stephen F. Austin.

“At Georgia for the 1980 national championship, he had ‘One More Time’ T-shirts made because they needed to win one more time, one more game, to be national champions. He then comes to Georgia Southern,” Sills said. “At the pregame of his last game, which is the 1989 national championship, he’s got a pullover on. He brings the team together and he pulls off the pullover and he’s wearing the original ‘One More Time’ shirt.

“Now by this time, it’s ripped up and shredded and falling apart. But he brought that saying to us: ‘One More Time. We can do anything just one more time.’ And the team went crazy.

“When Coach Russell died, they actually found a Maxwell Coffee can in his belongings and there was a handwritten note on the coffee can that said, ‘Shirt I wore to my last big game,’ and they opened the coffee can and it’s the ‘One More Time’ T-shirt. It’s the only sideline clothing that he kept, but he kept that. It kind of ties that whole history of where he came from and where we went to.”

Sure does.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “GATA, One More Time.

  1. Bryant Denny

    That’s a pretty cool story.

  2. Go Dawgs!

    It got a little dusty in here all of a sudden.

  3. Edgar

    As an alum of both GSU and UGA, this is a wonderful tribute. Thanks for the link to the entire article — it’s a great read.

  4. Derek

    I still get angry when I recall how Coach Russell was treated by chuck Knapp when Coach Dooley retired. Rather than give Erk the keys to castle they made it perfectly clear that he wasnt wanted.

    I sure would have enjoyed watching a couple of Erk v. Spurrier battles too. Something tells me SOS wouldn’t have been running that sewer quite so much.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Well, it was somewhat more complicated than “how Coach Russell was treated by chuck Knapp”. I was always told, by folks who were “in the arena” that a complicating factor was the transfer of Russell’s tenure.

      And, that a couple of members of the athletic board just could not keep silent when very delicate negotiation to overcome the hurdles was underway.

      Knapp got the rap, but he was really just the front man.

      • Dooley deserves a lot of the blame. He was head coach and> AD, but didn’t bother to have a successor ready when he decided to dabble in politics. Nobody at the school was prepared to hire a new coach. And that showed throughout the botched process.

        • Scorpio Jones, III

          I seem to remember there was a period when Dooley was neither head coach nor athletic director…was off in Europe or something.

          No question the process was botched, frankly, everybody who had anything to do with this period should get at least some of the blame, including Dooley.

  5. rugbydawg79

    Coach Russell was a sincere kind man–as a student and Rugby player at UGA in the late 70’s he always had time to talk–he was the real deal–I wish I could have played for him-The most loved coach in Georgia history in my opinion

  6. Spike

    I was lucky to meet Erk Russell once as a UGA student. The man had the strongest handshake I have ever felt. GATA, indeed.

  7. Beer Money

    God bless that man. He is what every man should aspire to be. A kind gentleman who is tough enough to knock your teeth out if necessary. One with a seasoned sense of humor and an appreciation of life and people from a long and travelled road, but not grizzled to the point of being jaded or bitter.

    We should all be a little more like Erk each day.

    • Todd

      He was a winner and a true leader. Vince can thank Erk and a rb out of Johnson Co. for his career.

  8. Jason

    As a GSU alum, I am proud to say Erk was our coach. He put the Boro on the map. Great things still to come from down there.

  9. One of the main reasons we use to stay at the Amelia Island Surf and Racquet Club for GA/Fla weekend was to get to see Erk.(he had a condo there) God love him he was never too busy or too important to acknowledge a simple “Go Dawgs . And Derek I think your right,a few weeks ago I posted that Fred Davidson was the reason Erk didn’t succeed Dooley but after you mentioned Knapp ,I believe you’re right, Knapp was fairly new a President and knew Erk would make him the second most powerful man on campus

  10. aristoggle

    This wind is making my eyes run …

    Erk Russell was a Damn Good Dawg. Perhaps the original and certainly the standard by which all DGDs should be measured.

    Woof, dammit, woof!!!

  11. 69Dawg

    Cried like a baby the night Erk died. Just was too much for a 50 something to bear, the death of a Legend.

  12. Cojones

    Watched the Dawgs practice every day they were in Sanford Stadium in late 60s. Had a view from Bioscience Bldg that opened onto full stadium. His image, with arms crossed on a bright white T-shirt, was indeed of “Mr. Clean”.