Partial Transcript: We had a -- we had cavalry here on our campus.
Segment Synopsis: Magill recalls the ROTC cavalry drilling on UGA's campus and his involvement in the cavalry while an undergraduate.
Keywords: Cavalry; Civil War; James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart; Nathan Bedford Forrest; ROTC; Reserve Officers' Training Corps
Partial Transcript: One of the other things you had mentioned to me was a visit by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to campus...
Segment Synopsis: Magill recalls President Roosevelt visiting UGA in 1936. He details what UGA's campus looked like in the late 1930s and early 1940s while he was an undergraduate.
Keywords: Andrew Erwin; Eurith Dickinson "Ed" Rivers; FDR; Franklin Delano Roosevelt; UGA; University of Georgia; Warm Springs
Partial Transcript: Herty Field was where it all started, right?
Segment Synopsis: Magill details the locations where UGA hosted its athletic meets from 1886 to 1929. He recalls watching his first football game at the Sanford Stadium inaugural game in 1929.
Keywords: Charles Herty; Herty Field; Mercer University; Sanford Field; Sanford Stadium; Steadman V. Sanford; UGA; University of Georgia; Yale University; college baseball; college football; college sports; geography; landscape
Partial Transcript: Talk to me a little bit, I remember an old, a baseball field out across from where the Georgia Center is now...
Segment Synopsis: Magill recalls the removal of Sanford Field when the Navy built their pre-flight training facilities on UGA's campus in 1942. He details the consequent creation of Foley Field in 1967 for the baseball team and talks about its namesake, Frank Foley.
Keywords: Frank Foley; Navy Pre-Flight School; UGA; United States Navy; University of Georgia; World War II; college baseball
Partial Transcript: We've talked about all, uh -- we've talked about a lot of facilities; we've not talked about the tennis facility...
Segment Synopsis: Magill recalls the history of tennis at UGA beginning in the 1890s. He notes where the courts were originally and where they were subsequently relocated. He also mentions how UGA became the semi-permanent host of the NCAA tennis tournament after hosting the 1972 tournament, and names some of the famous tennis players who have played in the tournament.
Keywords: NCAA; National Collegiate Athletic Association; UGA; University of Georgia; college tennis
Partial Transcript: The hall of fame is located here because it was considered the appropriate spot since we were hosting the national championship.
Segment Synopsis: Magill recalls how his association with a young Marianne Gordon resulted in singer Kenny Rogers funding the construction of the Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame at UGA. He lists some of the artifacts in the Hall of Fame.
Keywords: Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame; Kenny Rogers; Marianne Gordon; UGA; University of Georgia; college tennis
Partial Transcript: Coach, let's talk a little bit about some of the interesting personalities that you've known over the years...
Segment Synopsis: Magill talks about Coach Jim Whatley's career as a football player for the University of Alabama, minor league baseball player, and UGA basketball coach.
Keywords: Adolph Rupp; James W. "Jim" Whatley; UGA; University of Alabama; University of Georgia; college basketball; college football
Partial Transcript: Did I tell about how Spec Towns got his scholarship?
Segment Synopsis: Magill recounts how Spec Towns earned a scholarship for track at UGA in 1933. He also details Towns' success in the 1936 Olympic Games and the oak tree Adolph Hitler awarded him for his first place finish. He talks about how Spec got his nickname and how the Spec Towns Track at UGA got its name in 1964.
Keywords: Adolph Hitler; Forrest Grady "Spec" Towns; Olympic Games; Spec Towns Track; UGA; University of Georgia; college track and field
Partial Transcript: Talk to us a little bit more about Dean Tate -- you know, everybody has a Dean Tate story.
Segment Synopsis: Magill recalls William Tate's track career at UGA in the early 1930s and shares some anecdotes regarding Tate's tenure as Dean of Men.
Keywords: Herman Stegeman; John Morris; Sylvanus Morris; UGA; University of Georgia; William Tate; college track and field
Partial Transcript: Talk a little bit, coach, about Dr. Eugene Odum, one of our most famous faculty.
Segment Synopsis: Magill recounts Eugene Odum's tennis career and Dean Rusk's career as chief of war plans, Secretary of State, and professor of law at UGA.
Keywords: Chiang Kai-shek; David Dean Rusk; Eugene Odum; Joseph Stilwell; UGA; University of Georgia; University of Georgia School of Law; World War II; college tennis
Partial Transcript: Talk then about -- you mentioned the war -- talk about, uh, those, those folks you knew.
Segment Synopsis: Magill recalls his proposal to erect a memorial honoring UGA students who died while serving in World War II. He names his eight classmates who died in combat and details who they were and how they died.
Keywords: UGA; University of Georgia; World War II; memorials
Partial Transcript: Coach Magill, let's talk a little bit about you.
Segment Synopsis: Magill recalls some of the honors he's received while working at UGA. He remembers his parents' education at UGA and discusses his plans to write a book about his experiences in the Marine Corps during World War II. He recounts his experience playing in the National Negro Table Tennis competition in 1945.
Keywords: UGA; United States Marine Corps; University of Georgia; World War II
FRAN LANE: This is Goin Back: Remembering UGA interview part twowith Dan Magill, conducted by Fran Lane on May 9, 2006. Can we just get started? Coach, lets just jump right back into this. You know there are some things, that I would imagine that our current students would not have an idea ever 00:01:00happened on this campus. Some things that they would be surprised about, interested in, and one of those things would be that we had cavalry here on our campus.
DAN MAGILL: We certainly did. For many years they had the cavalry ROTC and theyrode the horses and had the drills on a field that was right back of the military building that is still there on Baldwin Street in front of Park Hall. But in back, there was a flat area where the infantry drilled and where the cavalry drilled. All southern boys, I think most southern boys, wanted to be in the ROTC cavalry, and ROTC was required in those days in high school and college. They didnt have cavalry in high school, but they certainly had it available in all the big colleges as well as infantry. And now of course, they have Air Force too. But, all southern boys wanted to be in the cavalry, most of them, because they remember the great history of the War Between the States, and 00:02:00the south certainly had the greatest cavalry divisions. Lees great cavalry leader was Jeb Stuart, and he was killed in May 1864, and it was a great loss when he was killed leading the charge. Then, Nathan Bedford Forrest was a great cavalry leader. General William Tecumseh Sherman thought he was the greatest cavalry leader he had ever seen and he called him that devil, Forrest. After the war, being interviewed one time, a writer asked General Forest what he attributed his success to, and he said, I always believed in getting that firstest with the mostest. And then I, in particular, wanted to be in the 00:03:00cavalry not only because of the tradition of Jeb Stuart and General Nathan Bedford Forrest, but because of Tennysons great poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade. That was such a wonderful poem about the British brigade that was wiped out, I believe, fighting the Russians in an old war. But, and I was in the cavalry class at Georgia, but I didnt get a commission in the cavalry because to get a commission in the summertime, you had to go to Fort Oglethorpe up near Chattanooga in the summer. I spent every summer running the Georgia tennis courts in front of LeConte Hall in those days. But I did get a commission in the United States Marine Corp, but we didnt have any cavalry, and Im glad we didnt. Wouldnt want to make a cavalry charge in World War II against tanks. 00:04:00
LANE: Talk a little bit, coach, about where the physical setup, the horses. Youhad mentioned at one point the--
MAGILL: Oh yeah. The horses we had wouldnt have been able to lead much of acharge. They were old horses. The younger horses were at bases where they would be needed in case they were used in war. These were old horses and the stables were located almost where the Georgia Continuing Education Center building is. But I remember we would ride the horses out into-- oh, just for miles in the south part of the campus. The University of Georgias acreage, Ive been told, is the most acreage of any university in the United States, but it was--there were no buildings where we rode, no paved road. We just rode through the fields and rode back. I havent been on a horse since then. That was 1941. 00:05:00
LANE: Well, we are now talking about days of the past at the University. One ofthe other things that you had mentioned to me was a visit by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to campus.
MAGILL: I think he is the only sitting president who has ever visited the campusand made a speech. I think it was in the summer, late summer--I know it was in the late summer of 1936. He was to come here and get an honorary degree. It also was in the summer when he had begun campaigning for his second term as president. My father was editor of the Athens Banner Herald at that time. I was a 15-year-old boy. He said I could go with him down to the train station at the 00:06:00end of College Avenue and watch President Roosevelt get off the train and get in a convertible and ride to the field. Well, my father also was a friend of Governor Ed Rivers, and he was down there with Governor Rivers, who was giving the President a state welcome. While I was there, just eavesdropping to what my father was saying to Governor Rivers and others, Governor Rivers gave me a $10 dollar bill, maybe a $5 dollar bill, but anyway it was a bill. Id never seen a bill. It was during the depression years-- and asked me to go to the train station and get him a box of cigars. So I did, and when I came back I gave him the cigars and the change, and he told me I could keep the change, and it was several dollars. Now I didnt meet President Roosevelt. I saw him step off the 00:07:00train and get into a convertible, but I did see a very interesting thing down on the field. They built a platform out in the center of the field on the north side of the stadium facing the south side. They had a good crowd there. He came in the west end of the stadium, you know, that runs into Lumpkin Street. He was on a convertible and there were all kind of people standing on the running board. I think they were FBI men, G-men, and somehow or another, he got up, climbed up to the platform, and in those days, there are few people that knew that he was an invalid. He had been a strapping fellow, a tall strapping fellow in his younger days. I think he was out of college when he got infantile paralysis. Anyway, he stood up straight and made a great talk. I dont 00:08:00remember what he said, but when he left--Ill always remember when he left. His convertible stopped just as he was going to ride out of the stadium area, when another tall, handsome fellow--he was the Mayor of Athens at that time, and his name was Andrew Erwin, and in 1920, he had been a delegate to the US Democratic nomination for President in New York. Ohio Governor, Jim Cox, whose family owns the Atlanta Journal Constitution now, was running for President and got the nomination for President, and Franklin D. Roosevelt got the nomination for Vice President. One of the nominating speeches for Roosevelt was given by 00:09:00Andrew Erwin of Athens. This must have been prearranged, but anyway, the convertible stopped and Roosevelt stood up, and he waved to Andrew Erwin, who was standing over close by, and he said, Hi, hello Andrew. How are you my boy? And they shook hands. Ill never forget that.
LANE: Coach Magill, FDR had a relationship with us because he was down at WarmSprings. So he felt a special relationship with Georgia, do you think?
MAGILL: Oh, he certainly did, Im sure. Yeah, he spent a great deal of hislife and he died at Warm Springs. Died at Warm Springs. He died early in 1945. I know I was in San Diego Marine Station getting ready to go overseas when he died. Harry Truman succeeded him as President. 00:10:00
LANE: Well, were talking about the 30s in Athens. Talk to us a little bitabout how the campus looked in the 30s and 40s.
MAGILL: Well, I hung around the athletic fields as a boy, starting in 1931.Flyball chasing, batboy on the baseball team on the campus. Then when I went to school, as a freshman in the fall of 38, practically all of my classes were in what we called the Academic Building right there by the Arch. I know I had English there under Robert West, math, Professor Strong, I believe, and history in that building. I did have geography in another building not far from there, 00:11:00and journalism, of course was in that area where the Terry School of Business (is now). They had half of it and half of the other building was the journalism school. We only had about 3,000 students then. Everybody knew everybody else, and the professors knew all the students. When they called on them, they would call them by name. Those were the good old days. And there wasnt much on the south side of the campus above Sanford Stadium except Ag School students. Conner Hall had been built, I believe, and Soule Hall had been built. We had women students then, but my wifeat that time, they had women students, but they lived on the Coordinate Campus. She lived in Miller Hall, I believe, over there. 00:12:00
LANE: Thats the Navy School now?
MAGILL: Now the property of the US Navy, but it used to be--and even beforewomen were admitted to Georgia, they used to have a womens school up there. I know Professor Jerry Pound, the grandfather of my mothers sisters husband--Pound Hall up there on the campus is named for him. His son, Merritt Pound, the first, used to be the head of the political science department of Georgia, and his son, Col. Merritt Pound, Jr., my younger first cousin, after the Vietnam War, came back to Athens and headed ROTC program here. Hes 00:13:00retired now.
LANE: Talk about--you--
MAGILL: The athletic field had moved from one place to another.
LANE: Right. I was going to say Herty Field was where it all started, right?
MAGILL: Herty Field was our first athletic field. It wasnt called Herty Fieldthen. It was a flat area close to the chapel, in back of the chapel. It was used for years by military students, even during the War Between the States it was. Students trained there and drilled there. The first sports were baseball in 1886 and track and field. They were in 1886. They were played there. Then, in 1892, in January 1892, we played our first football game against Mercer. But our most memorable game was against the second game. The only other game we played that 00:14:00year was against Auburn in Atlanta. We lost that one, but we beat Mercer. The fellow who introduced football to the Georgia students was not a football coach. He was a great chemist. He got his graduate degree. He went to Georgia. He was from Milledgeville, I believe, named Charles Herty, and he had gone to Johns Hopkins to get a graduate degree in chemistry, and he saw football played. He liked it and he brought a rulebook back, and he read the rules to the Georgia students that year and coached the team that year. He wasnt a real coach. Then he turned it over after that one season, but he became one of the greatest men in the history of the United States. He later developed the process by which paper is made from pine pulp, and that is certainly one of the greatest 00:15:00industries, if not the greatest industry, in the world today. He didnt make a penny out of it, but a lot of people--Charles Herty.
LANE: Our stadium, Sanford Stadium, the one that we all know now, was built inthe late 20s, is that right?
MAGILL: We moved from Herty Field, the athletic area moved from Herty Field in1911 to an area at the end of what is Lumpkin Street now, down in the Tanyard Creek hollow. You know Tanyard Creek where it starts across Lumpkin and goes under the street at the bottom of Lumpkin, under the stadium actually, all the way into the old Oconee Hill Cemetery, Tanyard Creek. I have walked it many a time as a boy underneath the stadium into the area by the river. The faculty 00:16:00chairman of athletics in the old days when they played on Herty Field later was Dr. S.V. Steadman Vincent Sanford, and they named the new athletic field down there in 1911 Sanford Field. That was the first Sanford Field. It was the--the grandstand--it was just magnificent in those days--It was built for a baseball crowd. It had a roof on it. One part of the grandstand went down the first baseline. The other part, down the third baseline. It would seat over 3,000. They would put other bleachers when they were playing football games. Thats where Bob McWhorter made his greatest record. He started his career on Herty Field, but he finished up in 1911 and 1912 and 1913 too. He was Georgias first All American football player, a local boy, Bob McWhorter. Robert Ligon 00:17:00McWhorter. Lets stop this now. Im rambling around. Where was I?
LANE: We were talking about Sanford Field and then it became Sanford Stadium.
MAGILL: Yeah. Okay. Now Sanford Field was used for football until SanfordStadium was built a few hundred yards down east to its present location. It was built and dedicated against Yale in October, 1929. It was a very hot day. I was a little boy, 8 years old. I went to the game. I didnt know anything about football. In fact, all I could hear was talk by older folk. The big game, big football game coming up. I asked my dad could I be there. I wanted to play in 00:18:00it. I thought I could be chosen and play there. I put on my football uniform that I had gotten for Christmas that year and Charlie Martin was our business manager of athletics, and hes the one who got the hedge started. Theres another story. He was business manager of athletics, a good friend of my dads, and my dad wasnt a sports writer, but he was at the game because it was a big deal. The governors of all nine Southern states were there for that occasion. It was a big social event for several days in advance. A big crowd, seated 18,000 on the north side, 12,000 on the south side, overflow of 30,000, and there wasnt any ticket for me, but Charlie Martin told my dad hed pass me through the gate. I got there after the kickoff had already been made. I asked Mr. Martin, I said, Wheres my daddy? He was in the press box then, which was on the north side of the stadium in those days. Later, it became 00:19:00the Presidents box, and I think the Presidents box is still there, but its double deck. Anyway, I ran down there and I saw my dad there sitting in the press box. I said, Daddy, theyve already chosen sides. Everybody in the press box, including the great Grantland Rice, they just laughed like heck. He said, Well, you go on down there on the field. Theres a walkway around the field. You just watch the game from there. I didnt know much about football at all then, but I watched the game, just walking around. The thing that I most remember was at half time, Georgias band was just a little ROTC military band, didnt do much. But Yale had a crack band. They had on white and blue silver helmets and they were really snappy, and they played a tune I had never heard before, but everybody in the stadium stood up when they played the tune. I asked my daddy later what the name of that tune, and he said it was Dixie. 00:20:00
LANE: The Yankees came down and played Dixie for us.
MAGILL: They knew what would get a good--
LANE: And we won!
MAGILL: We won the ball game. Catfish Smith of Macon scored all 15 points. Hegot his nickname, Catfish, because on a dare when he was a boy, he was fishing in the Ocmulgee River and he caught a catfish, and somebody made him a bet, and he bit the head off the catfish. Thats how he got that nickname. But there has been many great games in Sanford Stadium through the years.
LANE: Ill say. And many renovations--
MAGILL: Yeah, and my dad also took me up to the chapel bell. He said, Do youwant to go see them ring the bell? I went up there. I was a little boy. There was some boy big ringing the bell. He said, Do you want to ring it with me? I jumped into his arms and we swung out there and rang the bell. Ill never forget that in 1929, ringing the chapel bell.
LANE: It was a big day.
MAGILL: Big day. A historic day.00:21:00
LANE: As we talk about those times, coach, talk to me a little bit--I rememberan old baseball field out across from where the Georgia Center is now, off of Carlton Street, but that would have been later, I guess in the 50s.
MAGILL: Our second, or third baseball field. The first baseball field was Hertyfield. Then we moved to old Sanford Field. But during World War II, the US Navy built one of its four regional Navy preflight schools. The boys who wanted to be pilots came here for physical training. They didnt do any aerial training, and they built a big building where the Sanford Field stadium used to be. They built it--they had drill hall in there, but they also had a big swimming pool in 00:22:00it that Georgia took over after the war. The reason they had a swimming pool was the cadets would get up to the rafters, have a parachute on, and drop down into the water, and they had to learn how to get out of the parachute in case they jumped into the ocean. That was the reason that pool was built, but Georgia took it over as a swimming pool. Tey later moved to a magnificent pool in the Ramsey Center. But the baseball field was moved after the war to where the Coliseum is now. Out in that area. Thats where Jim Whatley won several conference championships in the early 50s. Then it was later moved to its present site named for Judge Frank Foley. It was named for Judge Frank Foley. It could have 00:23:00been named for him for several reasons, because he and George Kidd Woodruff, who lived next to each other in Columbus, had been good athletes at Georgia, both of them, Woodruff played quarterback in football. Judge Foley was a star pitcher, left-handed pitcher and first baseman in baseball. But they really helped Georgia after the war in raising money for the athletic department. They were the president and vice president of the Georgia Student Educational Fund. In fact, when I started the Georgia Bulldog clubs in 1950 they bought me a red and black station wagon to travel the state in. The Foley Field was named for him because he was a great baseball player for Georgia on the team that was Georgias most famous athletic team until the 1927 football team. That was the 00:24:001908 baseball team on old Herty Field that won the southern championship. Grantland Rice, who later became a nationally syndicated sports columnist, was originally from Nashville, Tennessee and went to Vanderbilt, but at that time, he was sports editor in Atlanta. He called the 1908 Georgia baseball team the greatest baseball team, or any kind of athletic team, in the history of the south, and it was known as our greatest athletic team until 1927, when he had the Dream and Wonder. George Kidd Woodruff was coaching that team. The Dream and Wonder team, they won their first nine games and then was upset--was en route to the Rose Bowl, but Georgia Tech upset them on Grant Field, and Tech had a good team. They went to the Rose Bowl themselves the next year. But it was some 15 years later before Wally Butts gave us our first Rose Bowl team in 1942. 00:25:00
LANE: Claude [McBride] wants us to talk about personalities. I want to ask youone more question about facilities, and then were going to do that.
LANE: We talked about a lot of facilities. Weve not talked about the tennisfacility, and were sitting in the finest tennis facility in the country to my knowledge.
LANE: Collegiate-wise. Talk about.
MAGILL: I think youre 100% correct. [laughter] We moved out to this presentlocation in 1958. Tennis is a very old sport at Georgia. In the 1890s, they had boys play in the individual tournaments. They didnt have any team matches, but the first champion of the South in tennis Southern collegiate champion, the first championship was held in Montgomery, Alabama in 1898, and a Georgia boy won it. They would practice on private courts at the time. In those days, almost 00:26:00every home had a private tennis court in the front yard or back yard. It was like having swimming pools now, you know. His name was L.A. Cothran of College Park, Georgia, and he defeated a football star from the University of the South in Suwannee, named Sieboltz, but he was a tennis star too. We have his--L.A. Cothrans picture in our Hall of Fame here, and his racquet, or the same model racquet he used back in 1898. But the first tennis courts on the campus were four dirt courts aside Broad Street just below the Arch. They were there from 1900. I have pictures of those courts. As a boy, I saw them in the late 20s, never played on them, but they were there through the late 20s, and then they moved to a location in front of LeConte Hall. Six red clay courts were there 00:27:00until after World War II and then they had four courts for the varsity right in back of the stadium. In 1958, we moved to this location and we began having winning teams in the 60s and 70s, winning the conference championship, but we had big crowds, very big crowds. The chairman of the NCAA tennis committee, Dale Lewis of the University of Miami, was impressed by the big crowds we had, bigger crowds than anybody else had. So he let us have--the committee voted Georgia host of the NCAAs in 1972. That was the first year. It was a big success because it was the first time in history there had ever been scoreboards on all 12 courts. We had 12 courts. The six courts here and--no, we had 14 courts when 00:28:00I had the tournament, the six courts right here, four courts where our indoor courts are now, but they were outdoor courts then, and then four right above. We had 14 courts. A tremendous draw. And we had scoreboards on all courts. For the first time fans could keep up with the score. The fellow who invented the scoreboard that we still have on the courts, and there has never been a better one, was Stan Drobeck, coach at Michigan State. So I asked him--I bought six of his things and that was 1972. We still use some of the wooden score sheets, that have to be replaced. Then he brought down eight for the other matches. We also had people--monitors keep the score and keep the scoreboard, and I got a lot of pretty girls to sit in the chair, and the fans liked that. Then of course for the big matches, theyd have real umpires, but it was a big success and the 00:29:00coaches voted 32-0 for Georgia to be the semi-permanent site. It had already been prescheduled over the next four years, at Princeton in 73 and Southern California in 74, Corpus Christi, Texas in 75 and 76, but we got it again in 77 and have held it here most of the time since then, and we gradually developed the grounds, made a beautiful place, had gardens, and the tournament was very popular here. Were going to host it again next year.
LANE: I was here in 1972, sitting in that picture somewhere, and I spent most ofmy time--snuck away from the admissions office to come sit and watch everybody play, and one thing about the NCAAs is that it has brought the most outstanding tennis players in the world.
MAGILL: Well, so many of them right to this day have gone on to international00:30:00honors, won Wimbledon, and all of the grand slam tournaments, and been stars on the US Davis Cup team. The number one doubles team in the world right now, the Bryan twins, Mike and Bob of Stanford, who won the NCAA doubles here, led Stanford to the championship in 1998, and they are ranked number one in the world in doubles and stars of our US Davis Cup team, and James Blake of Harvard. Hes on the Davis Cup team right now. He was runner up in the NCAA tournament here. Of course, the ace of the US Davis Cup team is Andy Roddick, but his older brother and his coach now is John Roddick, who played for Georgia, and I remember Andy Roddick when he was a little boy on the banks, running around and yelling for his brother and hollering woof, woof, woof. Yeah, were very proud of the great tennis tradition we have at Georgia, and the Hall of Fame is 00:31:00located here because it was considered the appropriate spot, since we were hosting the national championship. This is the mens Hall of Fame. The womens Hall of Fame is at William and Mary, built a few years after this one. But the great singer, Kenny Rogers, gave us the money for this building, and he came to Athens, you know, because he married the beautiful Marianne Gordon. He met her on the Hee Haw show. She was--she never said anything. She just always looked pretty in the swing. She was the colonels daughter sitting out on the veranda swinging. She used to help me in my office. Her mother was the bookkeeper in the athletic department. Shed come down to her mothers office and visit her when she was a teenager. Her mother would call me up and 00:32:00say, I want you to put Marianne to work because I cant balance the books, shes getting in my way. So I put her to work in my office. This was before we had stamp meters, and shed lick 3-cent stamps, fold up stories to put in news releases. When she and Kenny were married, she brought him out here to be--wanted to know if he could play tennis. I said, sure. Then he wanted to make a donation to the tennis program, and I said were trying to raise money for the Tennis Hall of Fame, and he gave the whole amount, $200,000. I put bronze plaque right out in front of the building, said, Thank you, Kenny Rogers, for your contributions to college tennis. He said, Take it down. I said, You want it down, I will. Youre the boss. He said, Put another one up that says thank you Marianne and Kenny Rogers.
LANE: Lets talk about--if I came to see the Tennis Hall of Fame, what would I find?
MAGILL: Were proud of two things. We have the finest collection of racquets00:33:00of any museum in all the world. Ive been to the museum at Wimbledon and International Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport. Of course, they have a larger building, but what we have, and no museum has this--because this is just dedicated to traditions of college tennis. We have the same model racquet used by every national intercollegiate champion, singles and doubles, since 1883. About 75 or 80 of the racquets actually belonged to the players when they won. Now, when I step out on the court to congratulate a boy who has won, he said, Do you want my racquet for the Hall of Fame? I used to ask them, but now its such a big honor for them to have their racquet in the hall of fame. The racquet used by the first champion, Joseph S. Clarke, a blueblood from Philadelphia, who played for Harvard was a [unclear] flat top, and we have that racquet under his picture. We also have the racquets used by the first American 00:34:00Davis Cup team, three Harvard boys, Holcomb Ward, Malcolm Whitman, and Dwight Davis himself. We also have a great collection of pictures. We have over 1,700 photographs and murals. All are connected to college tennis. All of the champions singles and doubles. All of the collegians who have starred in the so called grand slam tournaments, Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, the Australian Open, Davis Cup matches. Weve never had a Davis Cup team that didnt have at least one college boy on the team as a player or the team captain. So the college tennis has much to be proud of, and I love to show visitors and any person interested in tennis is amazed by the collection. Its really kind of a well-kept secret. Not many people know its on the campus. 00:35:00Its the only program on the University of Georgias campus that is honored with a national Hall of Fame.
LANE: Were going to help people know that its here. Well do that.Coach, lets talk a little bit about some of the interesting personalities that youve known over the years and one that you mentioned earlier was Coach Jim Whatley, Big Jim Whatley.
MAGILL: Big Jim. He weighed 12 pounds at birth in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He waspretty big at birth, 12 pounds. He was the University of Alabamas greatest all-around athlete. Adolph Rupp called him the best center he ever played against, his take had ever played at Kentucky. He was a home run hitting first baseman. In professional ball one time in the minor leagues, he hit five consecutive home runs, four times in one game and then his next time at bat the 00:36:00next day in another, and that was five consecutive home runs. In football, he was an All-America tackle on Alabamas championship Rose Bowl team, and his roommate in college wasnt real known then, but it was a fellow by the name of Bear Bryant, was his name. He later became pretty well known as a coach. In fact, he could walk on water, they said. But--Big Jim. I really loved Big Jim. When he first came to Georgia in 1950, he was the basketball coach. He was going to also be a line coach in football. I remember in one of his first games--it was against Kentucky in January, 1950 in old Woodruff Hall. Adolph Rupp was the coach then, a famous coach. I went with Jim the day before the game to open up 00:37:00Woodruff Hall for Rupp and his team to practice. Afterward, Rupp or somebody said, How about coming up to my hotel that night and have a beer with me? It was the old Georgian Hotel. He said to me that I could come along too. Well-- he drunk both me and Jim under the table. We never got in a word, but he just told one funny story after another. He was a great storyteller. Adolph Rupp. But Jim was a fabulous fellow. One of his favorite tricks. He could kick the top of a door, the very top of a door, kick up high. If the lights in a room were hanging low, he could kick the light bulbs out, that was one of his favorite tricks, to go into a room and unexpectedly kick the lights out, and people 00:38:00thought the room was blowing up. [laughter] He--one of the funniest jokes was one on him. He was coaching Georgias baseball team. A boy hit two or three home runs in the game. The newspaper article the next day quoted him and said what did he ow his success to, and he said, I owe all my success to the Lord, you know, praising the Lord, and the next day at practice, Coach Whatley said to the boy, he said, Thats the biggest bunch of baloney I ever heard you say, you owed all your success to the Lord. You never have been in a church. He said, I bet you cant even recite the Lords 00:39:00Prayer. And the boy said, I betcha I can, and they put up money. They put up about five dollars apiece. Then Jim said, Now let me hear you recite the Lords Prayer, and the boy began, Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And Jim gave him the money. He said, I swear I didnt think he knew it. [laughter] Oh.
LANE: Well now, there were some other interesting coaches during that time.
MAGILL: Oh, we had many, many colorful coaches. Spec Towns, Harry Mehre, WallyButts. Herman Stegeman was a great joke. I dont know why they used to pull so many jokes on each other. I think its maybe they didnt have television. It 00:40:00wasnt as fast a pace as it is now. Television, the instant communication, computers, and the Internet and everything. Now its just a faster pace. It was fun pulling jokes on each other. Coach Stegeman liked to pull jokes. Have I told the joke about him and Clegg throwing the football?
LANE: Yes. Did that in part one.
MAGILL: I did. Did I tell how Spec Towns got his scholarship? Maybe I did.
LANE: I dont think you did that for--you did that for me, but I dont thinkyou did that for the camera. Do that. Talk about how Spec got his scholarship.
MAGILL: Well Spec Towns was born in Fitzgerald, Georgia, but he moved to Augusta00:41:00and went to Richmond Academy and he played football. That was his only sport. He was just a skinny end. Incidentally, Specs full name was Forrest Grady Towns. He was named for Nathan Bedford Forrest, the great confederate cavalry leader, and Henry W. Grady, who was an Athenian, you know, and the famous editor of the Atlanta Constitution and famous orator. But Spec didnt get a football scholarship to Georgia, he was just a skinny end. After he graduated, he spent a year or two driving a taxicab in Augusta. He was arrested one time for smuggling illegal liquor across the Savannah River into Augusta. The police ran him into a blind alley. He stopped his cab and he ran down a blind alley and they thought they had him because there was a six-foot wall there, but he just jumped right over that wall. The judge, Judge Miller in Augusta, whose son, Freddy Miller, 00:42:00played on Georgias football team, heard that story when he was trying Spec, and he told Freddy, who told Coach Stegeman about this boy in Augusta, who could jump six feet. He gave him a track scholarship. He had graduated in high school. He couldnt get in school now. He wouldnt be smart enough--I couldnt either...but anyway, he--Coach Stegeman gave him a scholarship thinking he could be a world champion high jumper. He was a pretty good high jumper, but he never could learn the western or eastern roll properly. But Coach Stegemans assistant coach was Weems Baskin, who had been national collegiate high hurdles champion at Auburn, and he tried to make a hurdler out of Spec. I saw him try to 00:43:00clear his first hurdle. It was in the fall of 1933. I had finished my duties as batboy and was hanging around the track field right there next to the baseball field. I was just chewing on the bermuda grass weeds waiting on him to finish practice so I could practice the pole vault because Coach Stegeman said I could use that pit to practice to be a pol-vaulter after practice. All of a sudden, I saw a guy hit a hurdle and hit the center of the track and come up cussing. Id never heard such cussing in my life. I had grown up at the Athens Young Mens Christian Association here, and had never heard such cussing. I later learned even better cussing from the drill instructors at Paris Island, but anyway--this guy I found out later his name was Spec Towns. He had red hair and I had red hair too. He didnt know my name, but yes, he called me Red and I 00:44:00called him Spec. He had freckles all over his face and that was his nickname, Spec Towns. Two years later, though, he was the Olympic high hurdles champion and he set the world record that stood for 14 years in an exhibition after the Olympics in Oslo. They just didnt believe he had run it that fast and they were hesitant to approve it, the International Track Rules Committee. They looked at a movie of a fellow from Great Britain, who they had recommended, OConnor of Great Britain had been recommended for his time. They looked at a movie of Spec in a race at Oslo where he had done it in exhibition and Towns was crossing the finish line when OConnor was just finishing the last hurdle, so 00:45:00they unanimously approved his record of 13.7, which stood for 14 years. Spec was quite a character.
LANE: Talk about naming the track for--
MAGILL: Well, Spec and I used to--even though wed known each other since1933. He called me Red and I called him Spec. I didnt know his name. They just have all called him Spec. But we used to have an argument on how to spell his nickname. I spelled it S-P-E-C-K and so did Old Timer the Atlanta Journal Sports writer. Spec called it Spec and I told him-- He said I should spell it S-P-E-C. I said, No, its a nickname give somebody who wears spectacles. He said, You got the name because you got more freckles on your face than any trout in north Georgia. So we had a big argument on it. I just didnt give in, but when I got Coach Dooley to name the track out there for Spec Towns. He 00:46:00said, We want to put a sign up there and call it the Spec Towns Track. He said, I know you alls arguing about how to spell his name. How do you think we should spell it? I said--Spec was dead then. I said, Oh hell, spell it S-P-E-C. I dont want Spec jumping out of his grave. So its Spec Towns Track. He was a great competitor. When he won the Olympics, when Spec Towns won the Olympics, Coach and Mrs. Stegeman were there watching the meet, and when Spec circled the track, you know thats the habit when you win, you circle the track. When he saw Coach Stegeman up in the stands, he knew it was him and he stopped and he did like that gave the victory salute. Hitler gave 00:47:00the winners of the Olympic championship, baby oak trees from the German Black Forest. Mrs. Stegeman nursed that little sapling on the way back by ship to keep it wet, you know. When they got back here, the groundskeeper at the University happened to be an old German named Winemiller, and he was from the German black forest. He just loved to plant that tree. They planted it originally in back of the north side of the stadium. When they double decked the stadium, they had to move it. Well, they did a bad job digging it up. Mr. Winemiller wasnt around then. They planted it over where the Coliseum is and theyve got a bronze or 00:48:00granite monument there to Spec, and it died. But before it died, Dean Tate, Dean William Tate, a great colorful character at Georgia he had been a trackman under Coach Stegeman, and he says we ought to do like they did, the Tree that Owns Itself. When it died, get one of its acorns, which--that was my fathers idea to continue the Tree that Owns Itself legacy. So Dean Tate got one of the acorns from the original oak from the Black Forest and that still stands there in front of the granite monument to Spec.
LANE: Talk to us a little bit more about Dean Tate. You know, everybody has aDean Tate story.
MAGILL: Yeah. Let me look at my notes on Dean Tate. Hes in my book here.00:49:00
LANE: I know he--you mentioned he ran track and I have seen those pictures ofthat skinny-legged fellow in his tracksuit.
MAGILL: Yeah, heres--Dean William. He was known as Wild Bill. I dont knowhow he got the nickname Wild Bill, but there he is in my book. Let me just look at some of these notes. He married Chancellor Barrows daughter, Sue Fan. Thats probably the greatest thing he ever did. [laughter] But, yeah. I want 00:50:00to tell about him. Dean Bill Tate certainly is one of the most beloved characters in the history of the University of Georgia. Long time Dean of Men, but before that, he was a track star. In the early 30s, he ran for Coach Stegeman, and incidentally, he succeeded Coach Stegeman as Dean of Men at Georgia. Coach Stegeman after he had retired as athletic director was Dean of Men a few years. Bill Tate, who had run for him on the track team, succeeded him also as the Dean of Men. Dean Tate was a champion long distance runner in college, well known by the high school boys, and there was a young boy, at Lanier High, Macon, named Young, Bob Young. He was the state high school 00:51:00champion. He would write Bill Tate for some advice on how to be a distance runner, and Dean Tate sent him postcards and gave him tips on how to run. Then they were running in the southern AAU mile race shortly thereafter in Birmingham. Bob Young upset the great Bill Tate at the finish line in the mile race. Coach Stegeman went up to Bill Tate after the race and said, How could you lose to a high school boy? Dean Tate said to him, Well, he had a better coach. [laughter] But, Dean Tate is certainly going to be well remembered for the beautiful Tate Center named for him. One of the greatest things Dean Tate did--whenever boys got in trouble at Georgia, students, he 00:52:00would be there whether they were right or wrong. He would be there to defend them. I remember having to go to a little town near Athens, I think it was Lexington. One of my tennis players had gotten in some trouble, and I had to go there early one morning. When I got there, there was Dean Tate already there to help that boy. They couldnt have honored a greater Georgian than Bill Tate. He told me so many wonderful stories. He used to regale me with so many stories when I would carry him to Georgia Bulldog Clubs because I was wanting him to speak there because all the alumni there at the Bulldog Clubs knew Bill Tate. 00:53:00His most famous character on the campus was the long time dean of the law school. Sylvanus Morris. The Morris dormitory is named for him on Lumpkin Street. His younger brother, John Morris, was a famous catcher on Georgias first baseball team and a long time German teacher at Georgia. They say he had the best arm that had ever been, throwing people out at second base. I know he had a good arm, because when I took German under him, if you werent paying attention, hed throw his blackboard eraser at you and hit you right in the head. He hit me in the head one time. I mean, I was paying attention because I knew that story and I was too afraid not to, but he was aiming at a boy in front of me who ducked, and the eraser hit me. But Sylvanus Morris was quite a character and Dean Tate used to regale me with stories on him. 00:54:00
LANE: Talk a little bit, Coach, about Dr. Eugene Odum, one of our most famousfaculty members.
MAGILL: When I take people through the Hall of Fame, I say John McEnroe was agreat left-handed tennis player. We have his picture on the wall and his racquet. Jimmy Connors was a great left-handed player. Of course, we have Connors picture and the racquet he used, the Wilson T-2000, but I said the greatest left-handed tennis player who ever lived, in my opinion, was the father of ecology, Eugene Odum. He used to play tennis for the University of North Carolina. He coached the Georgia team one year in 1944 during the war, and he won our Athens City Senior, age 55. He was the greatest left-handed tennis play of all time, the father of ecology. Dean Rusk. I want to talk about Dean Rusk. 00:55:00Did I talk about Coach Whatley? What about Dean Rusk?
LANE: Talk about Dean Rusk. That good.
SPEAKER [OFF-CAMERA]: Do I need to get you another drink?
MAGILL: Yeah, please. Its right into the room. Its dark in there. Watchout for booga bears--[laughter] Its in there. In the little refrigerator. Dont have but one. You all want to share it with me?
LANE: No sir.
MAGILL: Well, I wanted to talk about the boys who had given their lives forGeorgia in the War (II).
LANE: Okay, talk about that, and then well finish it up.
SPEAKER [OFF-CAMERA]: Do Dean Rusk.
MAGILL: Dean Rusk.
LANE: Well talk about Dean Rusk and then about the veterans, soldiers wholost their lives in the Second World War.
MAGILL: Georgia students, classmates of mine, eight of them, four in Europe,four in the Pacific.
LANE: And then, well call it a day and if we think of some other things,00:56:00well do this again.
MAGILL: Yeah, call it a day.
LANE: You okay?
MAGILL: Yeah. Lets see now. Dean Rusk. One of the greatest teachers that hadever been on the Georgia campus was Dean Rusk, Secretary of State and after he retired, he came down and was a teacher in the law school at Georgia. Theres a funny story they tell about Dean Rusk. When he first was moving into his office, the janitor greeted him, Good morning, Dean. He thought he was the dean of the school. But it was during the NCAA championships in 1978, and I liked to get distinguished people to give the awards to the champion, and couldnt get anybody more distinguished than Dean Rusk. So I got him to give the award and he gave the award to John McEnroe when he won the tournament. I have a nice picture of them at that ceremony. But I sat with Dean Rusk during 00:57:00the match and learned a lot about him. He was born in Cherokee County. I think his daddy was a minister, but he grew up in Atlanta. He played basketball and tennis at old Atlanta Boys High. Then he went to Davidson and was a star in basketball and tennis. Then he was a Rhodes Scholar to England, and he told me in the early days of the Wimbledon championship, that he and the other boys on the Wimbledon team would be linesman, because they would have so many matches in the other round. A lot of people dont realize it, but in World War II, he was chief of staff, second in command to General Vinegar Joe Stillwell in the China Burma Theater of war. He was the second in command, Colonel Dean Rusk. He was a war hero too. He told me some funny stories on Chiang Kai- shek, because he had met him. General Stillwell had his troops lined up with the Chinese troops, the 00:58:00Japanese you know had overrun, had almost wiped out China, but Chiang Kai-shek was the general for China and he was with him and he said Chiang Kai-shek had the greatest group of bodyguards, physical specimens he had ever seen. All of them stood over six feet tall and he said to get to be one of his bodyguards, the special group that are bodyguards, one of the tests they had to do was swim across a crocodile infested river rocks. If they got across that, that would prove they were pretty good, those that lived through that. That was one of their things. Dean Rusk was a great fellow. Certainly, one of the greatest Georgians and teachers in the history of the University of Georgia, too. 00:59:00
LANE: Talk then about--youve mentioned the war. Talk about those folks you knew.
MAGILL: I need the clipping. I cant memorize all the dates. One of the mostinteresting and impressive monuments on the Georgia campus is a memorial display of red and black granite in front of the Rankin Smith Building honoring all of the University of Georgia athletes who died in various wars. I had the idea to do it because eight of my classmates died and I suggested to Coach Dooley that he do it, and it was done. Eight of my classmates who died were, four of them in 01:00:00the Atlantic, across the Atlantic in Europe, center Homer Passmore and another center, Tommy Witt, and a guard, (Henry) Walter Chief Ruark, and another guard, Will Burt (Jr.). Then in the Pacific, James Skipworth (Jr.) was an end. Three guards, Smiley (Howard W.) Johnson, Winston (D.) Hodgson, Winfred (S.) Goodman died. But the first one to die was army Lieutenant Tommy Wiit. He died in October 1942, during the North African invasion. Ill have to look down at this--while flying his B25 he was shot down and died from wounds when he attempted to land his plane. On November 22, 1944, Master Sergeant Walter Chief 01:01:00Ruark, he was down in Bostwick in Morgan County. He was on our 42 Rose Bowl championship team. He was leading a five-man patrol, which was advancing on a German sniper position in a stone house on the river Ruhr, when a rifle shot pierced his chest. He was awarded the Silver Star posthumously, the second highest honor that can be bestowed on an American fighting man. In October 1944, army pilot, Lieutenant Homer Passmore of Valdosta, who played center and blocking back in 1940, was shot down over France while piloting his B17 several weeks after the Normandy invasion. At the same time, army bombardier, Lieutenant 01:02:00Will Burt of Macon, a star guard on our first bowl team, the Orange Bowl champions of 49, was shot down by German aircraft over Italy. On January 17, 1945, Captain James Skipworth, Jr., a native of Columbus and Georgia football captain in 1940, was killed while leading his troop in MacArthurs triumphant return to the Philippines. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry. One week later, January 24, Army captain Winfred Goodman of Atlanta, starting guard at Georgia in 40 and 41, was reported missing in action after leading his fourth emergency air sea rescue squadron during the recapture of the Philippines. Four weeks later, February 19, 1945, marine First Lieutenant Howard Smiley Johnson of Clarksville, Tennessee, an alternate captain at Georgia in 01:03:001939, was killed by exploding shell fragments in the landing on Iwo Jima. He was awarded a second Silver Star for hand-to-hand combat fighting against the Japanese on Sai Pan. I was at Quantico getting my commission at the same time Smiley received his commission. In June 1945 on Okinawa in the last battle of World War II, another fellow Athenian and fellow graduate of Quantico together, Marine second lieutenant Winston Hodgson of Athens, a running mate of Smiley Johnson of Georgia, was killed while leading his platoon up a mountainside against entrenched Japanese in a cave. I remember some men in Winstons platoon who later told me that he was down at the bottom of the mountain. He 01:04:00said, Im going to zigzag up to their cave, where the Japanese were in an entrenched position. Im going to zigzag up there and I want you to follow me until I give the all clear signal. Well, he got up there safely, zigzagging in the back of rocks, threw his hand grenade into the cave, but the Japanese unknowingly, had their largest supply of ammunition on the whole island. It blew the top of the mountain off and Winston was killed in the concussion. A few days later, his outfit captured the capital city of Naha and Okinawa was secured and thats where the Marines were and where I was at the end of the war later, staging for the landing on Japan. These boys all are honored with that beautiful red and black granite memorial in front of the 01:05:00Rankin Smith Center. You ought to go see it. Youve seen it?
LANE: Oh, Coach Magill? Lets talk a little bit about you. Youve woncountless honors for all of your accomplishments, the Hartman award, the National Football Foundations Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football, thats just to name a couple. Your names on this wonderful tennis complex, and on the press box at UGAs Sanford Stadium. I also understand that your seat says, Legend, Dan Magill at the press box. Is that right? Is that the way youre designated up there?
MAGILL: Seat number 8 on the 50, I know that.
LANE: Well, it would be appropriate if it said Legend.
MAGILL: Yeah, Ive loved my life in Athens and Georgia. You know, Ive justhad so many opportunities here, so many opportunities growing up at the Athens 01:06:00Y, a great institution here. Hanging around the athletic fields, eavesdropping on all the coaches. I wasnt an All American athlete, but I was anAll American flunkie in the athletic department.
LANE: Well, we were lucky to have you.
MAGILL: My mother was in the first womens class at Georgia.
LANE: You had told us about that.
MAGILL: And quick, she was valedictorian at Old Athens High. She was real smart,and she quit school after her first year because I was born. My father didnt get to graduate at Georgia. On April 17, 1917, he was in an English class. There were only about 20 or 25 boys in it. This was 1917, and Professor Park for whom the building later was named, or later another building was named, Park Hall in 01:07:00honor of him. Professor Park said to those boys, We just declared war with Germany. He said, Every red blooded American boy should join the United States Army tomorrow and fight for democracy. The next day there wasnt a need for him to come to work. They had all joined. And after the war, my father didnt have a chance to resume. He just left about a month of graduating, but he did come back to Athens and work for a long time.
LANE: Well, were glad he came back. Were glad youre here. I think youhave led a busy, busy life, a full rich life, and youre still continuing to do that. You are writing books and articles. Youre looking after the--
MAGILL: I especially wanted to write a book about my experiences in the MarineCorps, because they really do have a wonderful esprit de corps, and I just think 01:08:00more people ought to know what a great esprit de corps they had. When I joined the marines the day after Pearl Harbor. I had been playing touch football in front of the Chi Phi house on a Sunday December 7. A boy ran out of the building and said, The Japs have bombed Pearl Harbor! Were at war! Everybody wanted to know where Pearl Harbor was. It was a new naval base. I joined the Marine Corps the next day. They knew I was a senior in college and they let me graduate because they wanted college graduates to go in a special class to be platoon leaders. They had to go to boot camp first. Well, my daddy--you know how fathers are, said, Why did you want to join the Marine Corps? I said, They have the greatest esprit de corps, theyre the first to fight. He said, Theyre the first to die. But I have many examples in there that show their great esprit de corps, and their motto is semper fidelis, which means 01:09:00always faithful, faithful to your country, faithful to the Marine Corps, and faithful to your fellow Marine. I have so many examples in that book that I managed to write.
LANE: This is the book youre working on now?
MAGILL: Ive finished writing it. Im hoping it will be published this fall.
LANE: Sounds great.
MAGILL: I was mainly just doing it for my family to give them a little history,but some people have read some of the stories and they thought I ought to put it in a book, so Ill give it a try.
LANE: That sounds great. Claude, have you got anything else we need to ask CoachMagill about.
MAGILL: Well, I dont want to say this, but my greatest honor was Coach Buttsused to say, was being national Negro table tennis champion. I played in the Chicago Open right after I got out of the Marine Corps. The Great Lakes Naval Station. Visiting my wife and little boy up---staying with her parents, living in Chicago then, and I went up to the Northside Table Tennis Club. Id been 01:10:00State of Georgia Table Tennis Champion ten times, and played the longest point on record, an hour and 15 minutes and lost it, but I won the game. Anyway, in the quarterfinals of the Chicago Open, I played a Negro. This is not for-- dont put this in there, but this is my greatest achievement. Coach Butts used to tell it introducing me sometimes. After I introduced Coach Butts, it always followed, did you know Dan was National Negro Table Tennis champion. But anyway, to tell the story, I played a guy named Overton. He was the ping-pong pro at this big Negro hotel in Chicago and he had a little shirt, he had crossed ping-pong paddles on the tee shirt. Well, I beat him in the quarterfinals of that tournament, and won the doubles with a Swede named [unclear], but anyway, 01:11:00got a little gold medal that says Chicago open doubles, Magill 1945. Anyway, Coach Butts, after Id introduce him you know would say, You know Dan, he was National Negro Table Tennis Champion, and also, he was good at tidily winks.
LANE: I think thats a great note to close on, do you all think? What an honorand a privilege to be able to do this.
MAGILL: Well, I love to talk about those good old days.
[END OF INTERVIEW]