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CLASS OF 1987

 

HARLEY BOWERS

Harley Bowers was a longtime sports editor and columnist at the Macon Telegraph penning more than 11,000 columns for the newspaper from 1959-1996. Bowers initially received a tennis scholarship at West Georgia College but transferred to the University of Georgia, where he was named the school’s most outstanding journalism graduate in 1942. He served in the Army Air Corps during WWII as an engineer-gunner on B-24 bombers then began a newspaper career spanning 54 years beginning at The Atlanta Constitution. He also had stints with The Columbus Enquirer and The Albany Herald. In Albany, he served as public relations director for the St. Louis Cardinals, which had its training complex there. During his career, Bowers covered The Masters golf tournament as well as such athletes as Pete Rose, who played for the 1962 Macon Peaches. Bowers helped launch the Macon Sports Commission and played a key role in getting the Atlanta Braves to put a Class A baseball team in Macon. 

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ISABELLE DANIELS HOLSTON

Isabelle Daniels Holston was born the last of nine children on a small farm in Jakin. Her dad drove the school bus and Isabelle would run the 13 miles from home to school alongside the bus as training for a hopeful track scholarship. She got it. Holston became part of the legendary Tennessee State Tigerbelles track program. She claimed 4 gold medals in the 1955 National AAU meet and earned AAU All American honors from 1956-1959. Holston joined Mae Faggs, Margaret Matthews, and Wilma Rudolph to claim the bronze medal in the 4X100 relay in 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. In the 1959 Pan American Games she won a gold in the 60 meters, a silver in the 200 meters, and another gold in the 4-by-100-meter relay, this time with Barbara Jones, Lucinda Williams and Rudolph. After graduation Holston taught health and physical education at Carver High in Columbus for 2 years before moving to Atlanta where she coached track and basketball in DeKalb County until 1986. She was twice named Atlanta Track Coach of the Year. In 1990 she was named by the National High School Athletic Association as National Coach of the Year.

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PAT DYE

A native of Blythe, Patrick Fain (Pat) Dye played high school football at Richmond Academy in Augusta where he was an All-State and All-American offensive lineman. He played collegiately at the University of Georgia from 1957-60 where he was a two-time All-American and All-SEC performer. Dye was a two-way starter as a senior at offensive lineman and linebacker and was named SEC Lineman of the Year that season. Upon graduation from Georgia, Dye played three years of professional football in the Canadian Football League before embarking on a coaching career as an assistant under Bear Bryant at Alabama in 1965. He served as the head coach at East Carolina University (1974–1979), and the University of Wyoming (1980), before landing at Auburn in 1981. Under Dye, the Tigers won four SEC Championships including 3 straight: 1987-1989. Dye was also Auburn's Athletic Director from 1981 to 1991. Pat compiled a career record of 153–62–5. In 2005, the playing surface at Auburn’s Jordan–Hare Stadium was named Pat Dye Field in the former coach's honor.

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JOSEPH "CY" GRANT

Clarkesville’s Joseph A. "Cy" Grant was a three-sport standout who was one of the first ALL SEC performers at the University of Georgia. On the football field, Grant was a three-year letterman at halfback from 1932-34. He was the key player in Georgia's 14-0 win over Florida in 1933, scoring two touchdowns - one on a run, one on a pass reception – and he kicked two extra points and punted for an average of 45 yards. Grant helped the Dawgs defeat Georgia Tech in 1933 by catching a 79‐yard TD pass and then kicking the winning extra point. He was also a letterman on the Georgia baseball team becoming the Bulldogs' first All-Southeastern Conference player in football and baseball. The SEC was formed in 1933. Cy played minor league baseball and would eventually reach the AAA level including a stint with the Atlanta Crackers. His third sport was track and he claimed a gold medal at the 1928 Southeastern Track relays. Grant later coached football at Jesup High School and then North Habersham. He also served as dean of students for 28 years at North Georgia Technical School.

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TOMMY LYONS

A native of Atlanta, Thomas Lewis (Tommy) Lyons was a standout high school football player who somehow decided against playing for Georgia Tech and their legendary coach Bobby Dodd. Instead, Lyons opted for Athens and the University of Georgia where he was a three-year starting center for the Bulldogs helping them to the 1968 SEC Championship. Lyons was a three-year letterman and named All-American in 1969 and 1970. Drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 1971 Draft, Lyons used two post-graduate scholarships to attend medical school at the University of Colorado while starting 49 consecutive games for the Broncos. An avid pianist, he was once a guest conductor for the Denver Symphony Orchestra. Lyons became a doctor and was recognized as a pioneer in endoscopic laser surgery. In 1996, Tommy became only the second Georgia student-athlete to be honored with the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, given to individuals who have developed significantly in their field of endeavor after top performances as NCAA athletes. He is also a member of the UGA Circle of Honor and past recipient of the school’s Bill Hartman Award for exemplary service.

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JOHNNY MOON

Atlanta native Johnny Moon managed or coached various amateur teams over seven decades, including 53 years as a men’s softball coach. He compiled an impressive record of 2799 wins against 1051 defeats. He coached 19 baseball teams that won 11 city titles and compiled a composite record of 791-231. His girls’ basketball Tomboys never had a losing season and won 901 games. His fast pitch Tomboys’ softball team competed for 23 seasons and compiled a 612-306 record including making appearances in 17 Regional and 3 National tournaments. Moon is a former president of the Southern Major Softball League. He was also a co-founder of the Greater Atlanta Old Timers Baseball Association. Moon was inducted into the National Softball Hall of Honor in 1979. He made ASA history in 1990 when—at age 84—he was forced to play right field when several of his players could not make it to the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Tournament in Minnesota.

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HUGH ROYER, JR.

William Hugh Royer Jr. was born in Eastman but raised in Columbus where he learned how to play golf at Columbus Country Club. Royer signed with the University of Georgia and played both basketball and golf for the Bulldogs in the late 1950’s. He decided to focus on golf and in 1958, Hugh won the Georgia State Amateur and the Southern Amateur tournaments. He turned pro in 1959 and won the St. Charles Open in his first pro event. Royer won one PGA Tour event, the biggest win of his career, the 1970 Western Open. He would spend 14 years playing the PGA Tour, but like most professional golfers of his generation, Royer earned his living primarily as a club pro. He was head pro at Callaway Gardens from 1960 to 1966. Later, he was head pro at Bull Creek Golf Club in Columbus. Royer served as president of the Georgia PGA and was honored as Georgia Golf Professional of the Year in 1983. Royer also coached golf at Columbus State University. During his tenure as Associate Coach, the Cougars of Columbus State won five NCAA Division II titles. He was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in January 1989. 

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ERK RUSSELL

Erskine "Erk" Russell was a multi-sport standout in his native state of Alabama at Ensley High School. Russell played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track. He graduated from Auburn University where he earned ten varsity letters. He was the last four-sport letterman in the college's history. Russell moved into the coaching ranks. After a stop at Grady High School in Atlanta, Russell would eventually move into college football as an assistant at Auburn and also at Vanderbilt. He would join the Georgia Bulldogs staff in 1964 as defensive coordinator. He would hold that position for 17 years until Georgia Southern hired him to resurrect their football program in 1981 after a 40-year dormancy. Russell established a standard of excellence during his tenure, bringing the Eagles to three NCAA Division I-AA championships in his 8 years at the helm. At GSU he compiled an overall record of 83-22-1 with his '89 team going 15-0. Erk was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.