Uga (mascot)


Uga I
University University of Georgia
Conference SEC
Description English bulldog
Origin of name University of GeorgiA
First seen 1956
Related mascot(s) Hairy Dawg

Uga (/ˈʌɡə/ UG) is the official live mascot of the University of Georgia Bulldogs. Since 1956, all the dogs serving as Uga have been part of a lineage of English Bulldogs owned by Sonny Seiler.[1]


Uga VI, the official live mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs from 1999–2008

The Uga mascot line started in 1956 when Seiler brought a bulldog that was given to him as a wedding present by Frank Heard to Georgia's first home game of the season. Afterwards, head coach Wally Butts asked his permission to use the dog as Georgia's mascot, and around the same time a college friend, Billy Young, suggested that he name it Uga, a play on the common abbreviation of the University of Georgia, UGA.[2] Since then, every Uga has been owned by and lived with the Seiler family in Savannah, Georgia.

Traditionally, the current Uga is present at every Georgia Bulldogs home football game, many away games, and other University-related functions and sports events, and usually wears a spiked collar and red jersey with varsity letter. The red jersey is Uga's typical "uniform," though he wears a green jersey on St. Patrick's Day.[2] Other special appearances include 1982, when Uga IV attended the Heisman Trophy Ceremony in New York City wearing a tuxedo, and 2007, when Uga VI wore a black jersey for the "blackout" game against Auburn University. Uga's jersey is made from the same fabric as the players' official game jerseys, and he even has an official student identification card. He has a custom-built air conditioned dog house at Sanford Stadium and typically sits on or near bags of ice at games, as bulldogs are susceptible to heat stroke (a problem in the humid southeastern United States).[3]

To date, 10 dogs have carried the name "Uga", which is derived from an abbreviation for the University of Georgia.[2][4][5] Each has been descended from the original Uga, and has frequently been the son of the predecessor.

Deceased Ugas are interred in a mausoleum near the main entrance at the southwest corner of Sanford Stadium. A bronze plaque describing each dog's tenure and including an epitaph is engraved in front of each tomb. The tomb's original location was at the east end of Sanford Stadium, and Ugas I and II were originally buried there. Prior to its 1981 enclosure, the University moved the Uga graves to the west end. When the west endzone was enclosed in 1992, the Ugas were entombed in their current resting place, and a bronze, life-sized statue representing Uga was placed in front of the mausoleum.[2]

Several Ugas have retired as part of pre-game ceremonies, during which there is a "passing of the collar" and the new Uga begins his reign. During these ceremonies, the fans typically chant "Damn good dog," a tradition dating back to Uga I.

The costumed character representing the University of Georgia is named Hairy Dawg and, while also a bulldog, should not be confused with the Ugas.

Genealogy of Uga namesakes

Records for each mascot
Uga I53486.523
Uga II42163.713
Uga III71322.684
Uga IV77244.731
Uga V65391.624
Uga VI87270.763
Uga VII1670.696
Uga VIII420.667
Uga IX44190.698
Uga X1030.769

Temporary mascots

Since 1956, four other bulldogs (three of which were from the Uga family line) have served as temporary sideline mascots when the current Uga was not available. The bulldog later known as Uga IX served two terms as an interim mascot before officially becoming Uga IX.

Georgia mascot history prior to Uga

Georgia officially claims the following animals as live mascots prior to the introduction of the Uga line in 1956.[3]

See also


  1. Official Uga page at Last accessed 2012-03-25.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Terry College of Business Lecture Series – Sonny Seiler – "Damn Good Dogs! The Real Story of Uga, the University of Georgia's Bulldog Mascots" Last accessed 2012-03-25.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Georgia Football 2011 Media Guide". Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  4. Branch, John (October 16, 2010). "Long Live the Mascot, Uga VIII". The New York Times. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  5. 1 2 Dan Magill (July 1, 2008). "Uga VI was descendent of Rose Bowl mascot". Athens Banner-Herald. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  6. Stroer, Joan (November 10, 1999). "Uga rated nation's top mascot in Sports Illustrated". Athens Banner-Herald. Athens Newspapers Inc. Retrieved January 12, 2008.
  7. Atlanta Journal Constitution: UGA statement on Uga VI's death. Retrieved June 30, 2008. Last accessed 2012-03-25.
  8. UGA Sports Communications: “Loran’s Best” To Become “Uga VII” During Pre-game Ceremonies Saturday
  9. Emerson, Bo (October 13, 2010). "Brand new damn good dog". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
  10. ""Big Bad Bruce" introduced as UGA VIII.". Georgia Magazine. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  11. Tucker, Tim (October 5, 2010). "New mascot, Uga VIII, will make debut next week". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  12. 1 2 Swartz, Kristi (January 7, 2011). "UGA VIII has lymphoma, is responding well to treatment". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
  13. 1 2 "Mascot Uga VIII dies from lymphoma". ESPN. February 4, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
  14. 2012 Spring football media guide. Last accessed 2012-04-06.
  15. Tucker, Tim (November 27, 2009). "'Russ' will serve as UGA mascot vs. Tech". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 27, 2009.
  16. Augusta Chronicle: Georgia football fans face season of changes
  17. "Mascot Uga VIII sidelined from bowl by illness; 'Russ' returns". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. December 30, 2010. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  18. Adina Solomon, Russ will finish out the season, The Red and Black, December 2, 2011
  19. "Russ Promoted, Assumes Title of Uga IX". University of Georgia Athletic Association Website. August 30, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  20. Staff (December 21, 2015). "Former UGA mascot, Uga IX, dies". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  21. Stutsman, Doug (December 23, 2015). "Retired UGA Bulldogs mascot Uga IX buried". Online Athens. Athens Banner Herald. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  22. , CBS Sports, October 23, 2015
  25. 1 2 3 4 King, Bill (November 20, 2009). "A Game Without a Bulldog Makes History". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
  26. "History of Our Mascot". UGA Sports Communications. July 13, 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2008.
  27. "Black and Crimson Waves Triumphantly Over The Ball Ground". Athens Weekly Banner. February 2, 1892.
  28. This quote appears in the 2011 Georgia football media guide, and is attributed to the November 18, 1962 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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