Georgia Bulldogs win the National Championship
INDIANAPOLIS, Ga. (WALB) -The National Championship trophy has arrived at its new home in Athens.
The Georgia Bulldogs rolled past the Alabama Crimson Tide to win its first title in over four decades.
Those celebrations will continue into the weekend. Parades and dozens of events are slated for Saturday to properly celebrate the Bulldogs’ victory.
In Kirby Smart’s sixth season as the Dawgs head coach, he finally won the big one.
While he said winning the national championship doesn’t define his career, being the leader of the Dawgs certainly does.
For the Bainbridge native, it’s always been a dream of his.
WALB’s Paige Dauer caught up with his former high school baseball coach, Stan Killough, who said Monday night was years and years of hard work.
”I think south Georgia, especially Bainbridge should be especially proud. He’s one of ours,” said Killough. “If you watched, I think you saw the things that make Kirby the coach that he is. His work ethic, he’s so competitive, and then the enthusiasm. It was like watching him in high school all over again, you saw all three of those things. He’s like us, he’s got a lot of dreams. One was to be the head coach at the University of Georgia and the second one was to win the National Championship. It’s just nice to see a guy like that have dreams come true.”
For the Bainbridge native, his first dream of becoming the Bulldogs Head Football Coach made a couple of stops along the way.
Including a stop in “Titletown USA” where Smart was the defensive backs coach for the Valdosta State Blazers in 2000 and the defensive coordinator in 2001.
Now a national championship-winning coach, Blazers’ Athletic Director Herb Reinhard said it’s also an exciting achievement for the Blazers.
“Kirby being a part of that and winning a national championship is certainly exciting and brings additional visibility to Valdosta State. If you look at the coaches that have come through Valdosta State and have been a part of the Blazer program at one time or another and then have left Valdosta State and have gone on to do some tremendous things, it’s very very rewarding. Kirby certainly fits that bill,” said Reinhard.
Now, Smart isn’t the only south Georgia native feature on this 2022 championship-winning team. Five players on the roster are from southwest Georgia.
Senior linebacker Quay Walker made the biggest impact on our south Georgia players.
The Crisp County native led the defense with seven solo tackles and one assist and one tackle for loss.
Our other south Georgia natives are Dajun Edwards of Colquitt County.
Garrett Jones and Gleaton Jones of Deerfield Windsor. Rounding out the group is Noah Jones of Cairo.
Copyright 2022 WALB. All rights reserved.