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Georgia Southern Football

Honoring the Bald Eagle

More than two dozen former players and coaches came out for this weekend's tournament More than two dozen former players and coaches came out for this weekend's tournament
Former Coach Erk Russell brought out a lot of memories for his former players Former Coach Erk Russell brought out a lot of memories for his former players
Golf was secondary to raising money for these men Golf was secondary to raising money for these men

Put a bunch of ex-football players together on a golf course and the tall tales could fly further than the balls.

But at this tournament, all the stories revolved around the man who shaped their careers, Georgia Southern legend Erk Russell.

Past Eagle players and coaches gathered outside Dublin Saturday to raise money for a scholarship in his honor.

"With all he taught us and all he meant to us, we can't thank him enough and we can't do enough to glorify someone we think is the greatest coach in college football history," said former GSU Assistant John Pate.

"It's a big thing to have had the opportunity to play for Coach Russell," explained Taz Dixon, who played for GSU from 1985-1989. "As the years pass, it's amazing how much more it means to me in my life."

Players of different eras spent their round of golf remembering how Russell founded Eagle football just a quarter century ago. Won three national championships, and laid the foundation for three more after his retirement.

"It took a special, special man to start this program back up and be so successful so early," said Victor Cabral, a GSU player from 200-2004. "A one in a million kind of guy."

Its an important causes especially for Russell's sons.

"Even these younger guys met him and they have an idea what his character was and his sense of humor was and so forth," laughed Rusty Russell

"Georgia Southern football is Erk Russell and it always will be," explained Jay Russell. "And you know we're thankful that legacy will continue under Coach Hatcher and I can't see it fading or dying away."

These former players and coaches hope to take the proceeds from this event and two more golf tournaments in the coming months and present the scholarship check at the Georgia Southern spring game next year.

For more information about the Erk Russell Scholarship and the Golf Gatherings.

http://www.tscsports.com/tscforum/index.php?PHPSESSID=2796e1a1fa8586169e666a8e0ca6cc47&topic=1221.0

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com 

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