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Gainesville’s Tommy Aaron is best known as the first native Georgian to win the Masters, which he captured in 1973. His junior golf career included a quarterfinal appearance in the 1954 U.S. Junior Championship and the 1955 Class A Georgia High School title for Gainesville High. He was selected to the 1959 U.S. Walker Cup team that included such notables as Jack Nicklaus, Deane Beman, Billy Joe Patton and Charlie Coe. Aaron claimed SEC individual titles in 1957 and 1958 while at the University of Florida, as well as the Southeastern Amateur in 1958 and 1960. Aaron played professionally from 1961-1979. In addition to his Masters victory, he won the 1969 Canadian Open, 1970 Atlanta Classic, 1972 Lancome Tournament of Champions in Paris and was a member of Ryder Cup teams in 1969 and 1973. After moving on to the Champions Tour, Aaron won the 1992 Kaanapali Classic, giving him victories at every level of championship play.

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While at Georgia Tech, Maxie Baughan started at both linebacker and center. In 1959, he was Georgia Tech's captain, an All-American, the Southeastern Conference Lineman of the Year, and set a single season record with 124 tackles. Maxie was selected in the second round of the 1960 NFL Draft by Philadelphia and became an immediate starter for the Eagles at linebacker. After 6 years with Philadelphia, it was on to Los Angeles where he was the Rams defensive captain. He was selected for the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons with the Rams making 1st Team All-Pro three times. In 1970, Baughan retired from the NFL and embarked on a coaching career. Baughan was inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame in 1965 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988.

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Edmund Raymond "Zeke" Bratkowski from Danville, Illinois became one of the University of Georgia's most celebrated quarterbacks under Coach Wally Butts. "The Brat" earned All-America honors in both 1952 and '53 and was the nation's leading passer in '52 and the nation's leading punter in '53. He was a two-time All-SEC selection and two-time SEC passing champion. In 1954, he was selected by the Chicago Bears in the annual NFL draft and earned the starting job as a rookie. He is still one of only three first-year quarterbacks to start a season opener for the Bears since 1933. Later with the Packers Zeke became known as "Super Sub" backing up starter Bart Starr as Green Bay won three consecutive World Championships including two Super Bowls in 1966 and '67. In 1965, Bratkowski led the Packers from a 10-0 deficit to a 13-10 overtime victory over the Baltimore Colts clinching the NFL Western Conference title. In his 14 NFL seasons, he completed 762 of 1,488 passes for 10,345 yards and 65 touchdowns.

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Born in Lula, John “Whack” Hyder was one of the best all-around athletes in Georgia Tech history, lettering in basketball, baseball, cross country and track. He received a football scholarship to Georgia Tech because there were no basketball scholarships in those days. After graduating from Georgia Tech in 1937, he signed a professional baseball contract and played three years in the New York Yankees farm system. After a stint in the U.S. Navy in World War II, Hyder returned to Tech in 1946 as an assistant basketball coach. He was elevated to head coach prior to the 1951-52 season. Hyder coached the Yellow Jackets from 1951-1973, compiling an overall record of 292-271. His tenure was highlighted by Georgia Tech’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1960 as well as two trips to the National Invitation Tournament. Hyder’s most famous victory was on Jan. 8, 1955, when his Yellow Jackets defeated Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky powerhouse, 59-58, to end the Wildcats’ 129-game home winning streak. He is the second winningest coach in Tech history behind Bobby Cremins.

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Born in Atlanta, Edith McGuire (Duvall) ran track as a member of the famous Tigerbelle program at Tennessee State University during the early 1960’s. TSU had a very successful women's sprinting team, including triple Olympic champions Wilma Rudolph, Wyomia Tyus, and McGuire. Edith is the only American woman ever to hold three different AAU titles at different times. She held championships in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and the long jump and made AAU All-American in all three events. In 1964, she was undefeated in the 200 meters, her favorite event, and went to the Tokyo Olympics as the main contender for the gold medal. She broke former Tigerbelle Wilma Rudolph’s Olympic record in the 200-meter to win the gold medal, won silver in the 100-meter, and helped the U.S.A. to win another silver in the 4 X 100-meter relay. She ranked fourth in the Sportswoman of the World competition that year and was among the ten finalists for the James E. Sullivan Award, given to the outstanding amateur athlete of the year in the United States. In 1991 McGuire was a recipient of the prestigious NCAA Silver Anniversary Award for outstanding athletes.

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Hezekiah Boyd McWhorter, a native of Cochran, was an influential teacher and administrator becoming a prominent member of the University of Georgia athletic programs. McWhorter graduated from North Georgia College in 1942 then attended the United States Naval Academy during World War II. After earning his master's degree in English from the University of Georgia in 1949, McWhorter received his doctorate from the University of Texas in 1960. McWhorter then joined the English department at Georgia, where he taught for 22 years. McWhorter served on the university's athletic board from 1963 to 1972. In 1967, McWhorter was elected Secretary of the Southeastern Conference. He was elected by the universities and colleges of the NCAA as the organization's Vice-President for two terms. He was then named Commissioner as the fifth head of the Conference in 1972. The H. Boyd McWhorter SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is named in his honor.

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Ralph Harold Metcalfe was born in Atlanta, grew up in Chicago and after graduating high school accepted a track scholarship to Marquette University. He became the first man to win the NCAA 200 meters title three times consecutively. At the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, he virtually dead-heated with his rival Eddie Tolan, with the gold medal awarded to Tolan only after an extended study of the photograph; both recorded a time of 10.38 seconds in the event. Metcalfe also earned a bronze medal at these games, in the 200 meters. He competed again at the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin, and again took silver in the 100 meters, this time behind four-time gold medalist Jesse Owens. They teamed to win gold in the 4×100 meter relay with Foy Draper and Frank Wykoff. Fierce rivals on the track, Metcalfe and Owens became lifelong friends. Metcalfe won four Olympic medals and was regarded as the world's fastest human in 1934 and 1935. He later went into politics in the city of Chicago and served in the United States Congress for four terms in the 1970’s.

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Clayattville native Garland Pinholster pioneered winning basketball programs throughout his stellar career. Pinholster won the State Basketball Championship with a 26-2 record in first year of coaching '49-'50 at Summerville High School. Then at Rockmart High School in '50-'51 his team went 16-4 in basketball and won State Championship as did his football team. It was on to Southwest DeKalb in 1953-1956 and he compiled a 53-16 record. His success landed him at Oglethorpe University in 1956 where he amassed a record of 181-67.The playing surface at Dorough Field House is named Pinholster Court in his honor. Pinholster's legacy at Oglethorpe also included the innovative "wheel offense," a game-changer in basketball still used in various forms today. He is also the proposed inventor for the foul-line huddle. In 1963, he coached the United States to a Gold Medal at the Pan American Games in Sao Paulo. 

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Sherrod Malone “Sherry” Smith was born in Monticello and would go on to play fourteen years in the Major Leagues for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Brooklyn Robins (later Brooklyn Dodgers), and the Cleveland Indians from 1915-1927. He compiled an MLB pitching record of 114 wins and 118 losses, with a lifetime earned run average of 3.32. Despite his sub-.500 mound record, Smith's place in baseball history was cast through his play in the 1916 and 1920 World Series. In the 1916 series Smith, pitching for Brooklyn, faced Babe Ruth in the second game, with both pitchers going a phenomenal fourteen innings before Ruth's team, the Boston Red Sox, won 2-1 on their way to winning the Fall Classic. In 1920 Smith pitched thirty innings in two World Series games against Cleveland going 1-1 with an ERA of 0.89, the fifth-best in major league history, ahead of such luminaries as Sandy Koufax (0.95) and Christy Mathewson (0.97). He ended his baseball career in 1932 as the coach of the Macon Peaches.

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