Richt, Van Halanger speak in Tifton - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Richt, Van Halanger speak in Tifton

July 13, 2004

Tifton - The all-stars were out in Houston for major league baseball's summer all-star game Tuesday night in Houston.

And there were plenty of football all-stars speaking over in Tifton.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt and his strength coach Dave Van Halanger were the featured speakers at an old fashioned pig pickin' at the new Tiftarea YMCA facilities.

It was a reunion for Richt and Van Halanger with a couple of Tift County Blue Devils they coached at Florida State.

Offensive tackle Todd Fordham, who now plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Stan Shiver got a chance to talk about the good old days playing and coaching for Bobby Bowden and the Florida State Seminoles.

Tonight all these former and current football greats were talking about the YMCA and how important the Christian ideals the organization teaches are for children and adults.

Mark Richt is very familiar with the YMCA.

His wife Kathryn's father was the director of the YMCA in Tallahassee and her grandfather ran a YMCA in South Carolina.

Mark Richt said "I have been around the YMCA a good bit and believe in the Christian principles upon which it is built upon and I am just thankful to have the chance to talk to everybody tonight."

Todd Fordham said "I am excited to be able to come back and see that the Y is doing this and I know we didn't have it growing up and I know how important things like this are for our youth here."

Other former Tift County Blue Devils included Robert Massey and Roy Hart who played at the University of South Carolina and for the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks.