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CLASS OF 1979

 

ARNOLD BLUM

Macon’s Arnold Blum was a standout on the links while attending Lanier High where he won the state high school championship in 1937 and 1939. At the collegiate level, Blum helped the Georgia Bulldogs claim the 1941 SEC Championship. While he was certainly talented enough to seek a professional career, Blum remained a lifelong amateur racking up trophies throughout the country. Other than Bobby Jones, Blum was arguably the best amateur golfer in Georgia history. Arnold won the Southeastern Amateur three times, the Georgia Amateur five times, and the Southern Amateur twice. Blum was a member of the victorious 1957 U.S. Walker Cup Team. He played in the Masters Tournament five times, finishing in the top 24 in 1952. He qualified for the U.S. Amateur 16 times and reached the quarterfinals twice. From 1960-61, Blum served as president of the Georgia State Golf Association. He also served as Board member of the GSGA and the Southern Golf Association. Blum is a member of the Southern Golf Association Hall of Fame. 

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ALICE COACHMAN DAVIS

Born in Albany, Alice Coachman Davis took to the track at a young age at Madison High School. She was such a raw talent and was recruited by the Tuskegee Institute and immediately began to establish her prowess in the high jump, winning her first Amateur Athletic Union National Championship. In the early 1940’s, Alice excelled on the track taking national titles in the 50m and 100m as well as the 400m relay and was also a tremendous basketball player, where she helped Tuskegee win three championships. Coachman was named to five All-American teams, and she was the only African-American to be honored. In 1948 at the London Summer Olympics, Coachman became the first black woman from any country to win a gold medal in track and field claiming the high jump with a record mark of 5 feet 6 and one-eighth inches. In Atlanta, at the 1996 Olympics, she was honored as one of the 100 greatest Olympic athletes in history. In 2004, she was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. Among her tributes and legacy, an elementary school in Albany is named in her honor.

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CHARLIE GRISHAM

Charles (Charlie) Grisham is a coaching legend in the State of Georgia winning State Championships in 1961, 1964, 1971, 1972, and 1974 at Carrolton High School. Grisham was a standout performer at Jacksonville State University in 1955 under Coach Don Salls. It was in college that Grisham decided to pursue a coaching career and he made certain he adopted the Notre Dame Box offense which they ran at Jacksonville State. Grisham’s Carrolton teams took 7 North Georgia Titles, 16 Region Crowns including 10 straight from 1959-1968. He claimed over 250 victories and was named Georgia Coach of the Year four times. His 104 wins were the most during the decade of the 1960’s by any high school coach in Georgia. Grisham is a member of the Jacksonville State Hall of Fame and the football stadium in Carrollton now bears his name.

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FRANK "HOP" OWENS

Frank “Hop” Owens graduated Boys High in Atlanta and enrolled at Georgia Tech in 1916.  He was a cross country and tennis standout and during the 1920’s he was easily the top tennis player in the state of Georgia. He captured the state’s singles crown in 1920, and defended in 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, and 1926. He teamed to win the state’s doubles championship in 1921, ’23, and ’27 and claimed the Southern doubles crown in 1922. Frank traveled to neighboring states and took home titles there too, winning the Tennessee singles and doubles in 1922, the South Carolina doubles in ’22 and ’24, and the North Carolina doubles in 1926. His college career at Georgia Tech yielded even more honors as he claimed Southern Intercollegiate singles and doubles titles. He never played professionally opting for a career in real estate. He is a member of the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame.

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BILLY PASCHAL

William “Billy” Paschal was born in Atlanta attended Tech High School, where he played football and ran track. He then played briefly at Georgia Tech lettering in 1942 before injuring his knee. After the injury, he left school and went to work as a railroad switchman. But, after his knee healed, Paschal got a tryout with the New York Giants on the recommendation of the sportswriter Grantland Rice and eventually signed with New York in 1943. He became the first player to win consecutive rushing championships in the NFL, gaining 572 yards on 147 carries in his rookie year of 1943 and 737 yards on 196 rushes in his second year. He also led the league in rushing touchdowns both years, with ten in 1943 and nine in 1944. He was league Rookie of the Year in 1943. He was an All-NFL selection in both 1943 and 1944. Paschal was then traded to the Boston Yanks during the 1947 season and played through 1948, before retiring. He gained 2,430 yards with 28 rushing touchdowns for his career. 

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JOHNNY RAUCH

John Rauch was diagnosed with a heart murmur at age 14, but that didn’t stop him from success as both a player and coach. At the University of Georgia, Rauch started 45 consecutive games at QB, leading the Dawgs to a 36-8-1 record including two SEC championships and four consecutive bowl victories. In fact, he was the first QB in NCAA history to start four consecutive bowl games. He was All American and SEC Player of the Year in 1948. Rauch left Georgia that year as the NCAA’s career passing leader, with over 4,000 yards. After a brief professional career as a player, Rauch became the AFL’s Oakland Raiders’ head coach in 1966, hired by Al Davis. In 1967 Rauch’s Raiders won the AFL Championship and played the Green Bay Packers in what would be known as Super Bowl II. Despite losing to the Packers in the final game of Vince Lombardi’s professional coaching career, Rauch was named the AFL’s Coach of the Year for his success that year. Rauch’s assistants in Oakland included two Hall of Famers, Bill Walsh and John Madden. Rauch also coached in Buffalo and Toronto (of the CFL) before retiring. He is a member of the College Football of Fame.

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B.L. "CROOK" SMITH

B.L.”Crook” Smith was a Tennessee native who migrated to Macon and played athletics at Mercer University. He earned 13 letters in football, basketball, baseball and track. He was a prominent end on the football team and was selected for the All Southern squad in 1922 and 1923. He was the head basketball coach and head football coach at Georgia Teachers College in Statesboro (now known as Georgia Southern University). He headed up basketball for 12 seasons and posted a record of 116-60. In 13 seasons as football coach his teams were 45-66-7. After his coaching days were complete, Smith became an official in the Southern Conference. He is a member of the Mercer Athletic Hall of Fame. 

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GEORGE "TWEEDY" STALLINGS

Augusta native George “Tweedy” Stallings graduated from VMI in 1886. He entered medical school, but was lured away when offered a contract by the Philadelphia Phillies. Stallings reached the big leagues as a player in 1890, going hitless in four games with the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. He was soon back in the minors and began his managing career with the Augusta Electricians of the Southern League in 1893. Stallings was also the head coach at Mercer from 1893 to 1896. He became the Philadelphia Phillies manager in 1897 and then bounced around between the Major and Minor Leagues over the next 30 years. He is best remembered as the skipper of the 1914 "Miracle Braves" as he took Boston from last place to a pennant the next summer. They went on to sweep the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series. He would manage over 1700 games in the Major Leagues. In 1959, Stallings was elected to the International League Hall of Fame.

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SIDNEY "BEAU JACK" WALKER

Sydney Walker left Waynesboro following his mother’s death and moved in with his grandmother in Augusta. She affectionately called him "Beau Jack." As a young boxer, Jack needed money and accepted a position as a caddie at Augusta National where he quickly befriended some of the club's members, including golfing legend Bobby Jones, who helped fund his boxing training. The investment proved to be a good one because Walker developed into a two-time world lightweight champion in the 1940’s. He was a headliner at Madison Square Garden on twenty one occasions and considered by many to be one of the greatest lightweight boxers ever. On April 2, 1943, Beau Jack defeated the great Henry Armstrong in a ten-round unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden. Armstrong had previously held the Featherweight, Lightweight and Welterweight World Championships. Jack would lose and regain the championship over the next few years. He retired with a record of 83 wins, with 40 knockouts, 24 losses and five draws. He was named Boxer of the Year in 1944 by Ring Magazine and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

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