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John Heisman was born in Cleveland, Ohio and grew Titusville, Pennsylvania. He is one of the most important men in football history, and is considered a pioneer of the game, particularly in the South. He was head coach at multiple schools including Auburn, Clemson, and Georgia Tech earning a 186-69-17 career record. His most notable coaching accomplishments were at Georgia Tech from 1904 to 1919, where he had a 102-29-7 record and won 2 National Championships. Heisman was considered an innovator in college football and was instrumental in several changes to the game, including legalizing the forward pass. He was also a college head coach in baseball and basketball. John’s baseball career record was 199–108–7. While at Georgia Tech, he was also the president of the Atlanta Crackers professional baseball team. Heisman was part of the second induction class into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954. College football’s most prestigious individual award, The Heisman Trophy bears his name and is given annually to the country’s best college player.

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Charles Morgan played basketball and baseball collegiately at Mercer University. He served as coach and Athletic Director at Macon’s Lanier High School from 1918 to 1923 and guided the Poets to State basketball championships in 1918, 1919 and 1922. The 1922 title was the first Georgia Interscholastic championship. Morgan played professional baseball with Toledo in the American Association and he also officiated football, basketball and baseball. He served as the playing coach for the undefeated Young Stribling Athletic Club basketball team. Morgan worked as a scout for the Boston Braves Major league baseball team. 

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A native of Crabapple, Nap Rucker played in Brooklyn baseball organization for 10 years. As one of the first pitchers to perfect the knuckle ball, he was the National League leader in shutouts (1910, 1912), WAR (1910, 1912), complete games (1910), and innings pitched (1910). He pitched a no-hitter against Boston on September 5, 1908, the first Brooklyn left-hander to do so. After his playing days, he worked as a scout for Brooklyn as well as the Atlanta Crackers. After his baseball career ended, he enjoyed a successful business career and ultimately entered the political arena. He served as mayor of Roswell and as the city’s water commissioner after his mayoral term ended.

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Frank Sinkwich was born in Croatia and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. Sinkwich made his way to the University of Georgia where he was an All-SEC and All-American football player for Coach Wally Butts. In 1941 he led the nation in rushing yards with 1,103 yards. In 1942, he set the NCAA single-season total offense record of 2,187 yards and led the Bulldogs to an 11–1 record, the SEC title, and a Rose Bowl victory over UCLA following that season. A natural leader, he was team captain for the Bulldogs and was the first Georgia and SEC player to win college football’s most prestigious award, the Heisman Trophy in 1942. He played professionally for the Detroit Lions, New York Yankees, and Baltimore Colts, earning All-Pro honors in 1943 and 1944. He was the NFL’s league MVP in 1944. He later coached the Erie Vets semi-professional football team in 1949. Sinkwich is one of the most legendary figures in the history of sports in the state of Georgia. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.

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Forrest “Spec” Towns was born in Fitzgerald and grew up in Augusta where he was a football standout at Richmond Academy. He earned a football scholarship to The University of Georgia but earned notoriety as a track athlete, becoming an SEC Champion and All-American hurdler. In 1936, he won the NCAA hurdles title in a world record of 14.1 seconds and won an Olympic Gold Medal in the 110 High Hurdles later that summer at the Berlin Olympics. From 1935-37, Towns won a string of over 60 consecutive hurdle races and also set the world record in the indoor 60 yard hurdles. He was a highly successful track coach at The University of Georgia for 34 seasons until 1975. Towns coached Bulldog athletes to 29 individual Southeastern Conference (SEC) titles, and multiple team champions in both indoor and outdoor competition. The track at the University of Georgia is named in his honor.

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