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CLASS OF 2006

 

TAZ ANDERSON

Tazwell Leigh Anderson Jr. grew up in Savannah and was an All-City and All-State football player at Savannah High School. He went on to play collegiately at Georgia Tech where he as a three-year letterman and Team Captain in 1960. He began his professional career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1961, earning team Rookie of the Year honors as an end. He played a total of six years in the NFL with the Cardinals and the Atlanta Falcons. After his playing days, he enjoyed a successful business career in the Atlanta area continued his contributions to Georgia Tech through his involvement in the Georgia Tech Athletic Association. Anderson is a member of the Georgia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame.

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BOBBY COX

Bobby Cox was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and went on to play two years of Major League Baseball with the New York Yankees (1968 and 1969). Cox went on to a successful career as a MLB manager, serving two stints as the Atlanta Braves skipper (1978-1981 and 1990-2010). He also managed the Toronto Blue Jays from 1982 to 1985. He returned to Atlanta as the team’s General Manager before moving back to the dugout as manager. During his time as the Braves’ manager, he became one of the most popular and beloved figures in Atlanta professional sports history. He is all-time winningest manager in Braves’ history, and led the team to 14 straight divisional titles from 1991 to 1995, including the 1995 World Series Title. Cox was four-time Manager of the Year and is one of only four managers to win the award in both the National and American Leagues. He won over 2500 games and was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

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RAY DONALDSON

Ray Donaldson grew up in Rome where he was a star athlete at East Rome High School playing football and basketball. He was a high school All-American and played college football at the University of Georgia. Ray was an All-SEC selection and All-American in 1979. He was selected to play in the Senior Bowl and The East-West Shrine Game after his senior year with the Bulldogs. Donaldson was drafted in the second round of the NFL draft in 1980 by the Baltimore Colts. He played 17 seasons in the NFL with the Colts, Seattle Seahawks, and the Dallas Cowboys. During his professional career he was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, and was the first African-American center in NFL history. Donaldson experienced a career renaissance at his last NFL stop as a player with Dallas where he was part of the of 1995 Super Bowl winning Cowboys. After his playing days, Donaldson became a high school football coach.

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BOBBY GASTON

Robert W. “Bobby” Gaston grew up in Atlanta and played wingback in Coach William Alexander’s single wing offense at Georgia Tech. His playing career was interrupted by World War II when he joined the Navy and saw action as a landing craft boat commander in the Pacific. He returned to Georgia Tech and finished his degree after the war and began a successful business career in the Atlanta area. He began officiating high school football games in 1950 and worked his first SEC game in 1957. He served as an SEC official until 1981 and worked 19 bowl games during his career. After his retirement from officiating, Gaston served many years as coordinator of SEC officials. 

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LEA HENRY MANNING

Lea Henry grew up in Colquitt and was named a Kodak All-American as a senior at Southwest Georgia Academy. She moved on to become a four-year starter at Tennessee, helping the Lady Volunteers win an SEC title and compete for several National Titles. Henry played in 134 games and scored over 1000 points in her career at Tennessee. She was an All-SEC selection and became the starting point guard of the 1984 United States Olympic team, helping the women win a Gold Medal. Henry also played for the Houston Shamrocks in the Women's American Basketball Association. After her playing career, she headed to the sidelines to begin her coaching career. After an assistant position at Florida she won back-to-back conference Coach of the Year honors at Mercer in 1991 and 1992 before taking over at Georgia State in 1994.

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DR. JACK HUGHSTON

Dr. Jack C. Hughston grew up in Columbus and graduated from Auburn University and LSU Medical School. A pioneer in the area of Sports Medicine, he was one of the first physicians to attend to athletes on high school and college sidelines. He invented the mouthpiece used by football players and athletes in many other sports. Known as the “Father of Sports Medicine,” Dr. Hughston founded the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and the American Journal of Sports Medicine. He was also a founding member of the National Athletic Trainers Association. The Hughston Clinic and the Hughston Sports Medicine Foundation bear his name. 

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BETTE McCLENDON

Dr. Bettye J. McClendon grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and was a graduate Tuskegee Institute University. She ultimately earned her doctorate and enjoyed a long and successful career as an educator in the Atlanta Public School System. She was known for her wisdom and sound judgement which ultimately led her to be groundbreaking and highly successful women’s sports official. In 1980 McClendon became, the first woman to officiate a men’s college basketball game. She was the first woman to officiate a girls’ high school state championship game and a NCAA Women’s tournament game. She also served as an official for the 1984 Olympic U.S. Women’s basketball team trials.

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AL MEAD

Al Mead was born in Chicago and went on to gain international notoriety as a Paralympic athlete. During a prolific athletic career, Mead won multiple gold medals and set several world and national records. He won the Gold Medal with a world record long jump in the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games and was a Silver medalist at the 1992 Barcelona Paralympic Games. He is the former record holder in the 100 meter dash, high jump, and long jump. He is one of only a few Americans who have carried both the Olympic and Paralympic torches and was an integral part of bringing the 1996 Paralympics to Atlanta. He is a member of the U.S. Amputee Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

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MARIAN MORGAN

Marian C. Morgan grew up in Atlanta and gained notoriety as a track and field coach. She assisted Coach Ed Temple in recruiting track athletes to Tennessee State University and played a critical role in the overall development of the track and field program at Tennessee State. She coached seven Olympic medalists collectively known as the Tennessee State Tigerbelles that are all members of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Morgan was selected to coach the 1961 U.S. Women’s National am in a dual meet with the Soviet Union held in Moscow. 

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"SUGAR" RAY ROBINSON

“Sugar” Ray Robinson was born in Ailey and moved to the New York City neighborhood of Harlem as a child. He took up the sport of boxing as a youngster and was a two-time Golden Gloves champion as both a featherweight and a lightweight. Robinson was a dominant amateur fighter and his record is listed as 85-0 with 69 knockouts. As a professional, Robinson held the world welterweight title from 1946 to 1951, then was the middleweight champion five times between 1951 and 1960. At his professional peak, his record was 128-1-2 with 84 knockouts. And he never took a 10-count in his 200 fights, though he once suffered a TKO. His one early loss was to Jake LaMotta, his career-long rival. They fought six times, and Robinson won five. As recently as 1997, Robinson was named the best of all time, when The Ring magazine chose him the best boxer in its 75 years of publication. He a member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame.