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CLASS OF 2018

 

ROLAND "CHAMP" BAILEY

Roland “Champ” Bailey was a prep standout at Charlton County High School where he rushed for 3573 and 58 touchdowns, passed for 1,211 yards, and had 8 interceptions on defense. He signed a football scholarship with the University of Georgia in 1996. In 1998, Champ averaged 103.5 all-purpose yards per game on the way to earning consensus first-team All-America and claiming the Nagurski Trophy as the nation's top defensive player. The Washington Redskins made Bailey the seventh overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft. Bailey started in all 16 games he played during his rookie season and earned the reputation as a dominant lockdown cornerback. In 2004, Bailey was traded to the Denver Broncos where he spent the remainder of his career. In all, Bailey played in 215 career games with 908 tackles and 52 interceptions over his 15-year career in which he made 12 Pro Bowls. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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ARTHUR BLANK

Arthur Blank was born in Flushing, New York. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City and then received his college degree from Babson Institute in 1963. He later joined the Daylin Corporation, and worked for their Handy Dan Home Improvement Centers. There he met Bernard Marcus, and in 1978 that duo co-founded Home Depot. In February 2002, Blank purchased the Atlanta Falcons franchise from the Smith family. In 2004, he bought the Arena Football League franchise, the Georgia Force, and in 2017 he founded an expansion Major League Soccer franchise named Atlanta United. Atlanta won the 2018 MLS Cup in just its second season, the earliest an expansion team has won the title since 1998. In October 2020 it was announced that the new Children's Healthcare of Atlanta hospital would be named after Arthur Blank after his foundation donated $200 million to the project.

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TOM COUSINS

Tom Cousins was born in Atlanta and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1952. He and his father started their real-estate company in 1958. During the 1960s, Tom Cousins moved from real-estate to property development and sports franchising. In 1968, Cousins purchased the Hawks basketball team and moved them from St Louis to Atlanta, renaming them the Atlanta Hawks. Cousins also owned the Atlanta Flames until he sold them to a consortium from Calgary. In 1995 Cousins purchased East Lake Golf Club and restored it to its former glory. He also helped to establish East Lake as the permanent home of the TOUR Championship which is the season ending tournament for the PGA TOUR.  Profits from East Lake Golf Club go to the East Lake Foundation which in turn goes to help the East Lake Community. In 2010, Cousins was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Atlanta Sports Awards for his role in promoting sports in Atlanta.

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CHRIS HAACK

Wisconsin native Chris Haack has been involved with the sport of golf most of his life. After working for the American Junior Golf Association, Haack entered coaching and was named the University of Georgia men’s golf coach in 1996. Under his tutelage, 28 Bulldogs have accumulated 59 medalist titles. Thirty-one of his players have rolled up 67 All-America honors, while 32 have earned 68 All-SEC certificates. He also has coached 18 Scholar All-Americans. Haack coached the Bulldogs to the school’s first two National Championships, as well as eight Southeastern Conference crowns, and 65 team tournament titles. Haack was coach and mentor to many Bulldogs who have gone on to win at the professional level including: Bubba Watson, Brian Harman, Harris English, Russell Henley, Chris Kirk and Brendon Todd. Haack was inducted into the GCAA Hall of Fame in 2012 and the GSGA’s Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 2016.

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TERRI MOODY HANCOCK

Athens native Terri Moody Hancock competed as a member of the Athens Academy boy’s golf team as there was no girls team when she was in high school. She captured the State Amateur title during her junior year an soon became the first woman ever to receive a full athletic scholarship to the University of Georgia. During her final 3 years at UGA, Terri won four individual titles as part of 16 victories by the team. She was named All-American by the AIAW in both 1980 and 1981. As a senior, Moody became the Bulldogs' first National Medalist. Hancock was the first player from UGA to go on to the LPGA tour. She was named to the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2000.

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TRACY ROCKER

Atlanta native Tracy Rocker was a two-time All-State selection at Fulton High School and was named the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in high school. His college choice was Auburn where the defensive standout was a two-time All American and the 1988 Outland Trophy and Lombardi Trophy winner. He was the first SEC player to earn both awards. He was named SEC Player of the Year following his senior season in 1988. He was a third-round pick by the Washington Redskins in the 1989 NFL Draft and played two seasons before suffering a knee injury. He concluded his career by playing one year for the Orlando Thunder of the World Football League. Rocker broke into the college coaching ranks at West Alabama as the defensive line coach. His stock has risen throughout college football with stops at Troy, Cincinnati, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia, and Tennessee as well as working in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans. Rocker was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

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ANGELO TAYLOR

Born in Albany, Angelo Taylor attended Georgia Tech and as a freshman, won the 400-meter hurdles and anchored the winning 4x400 relay team at the ACC Indoor Championship. In 1997, Taylor finished runner-up for the NCAA Title but came back to claim the top spot in 1998. Taylor represented the United States in the 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympics. In 2000 he captured a Gold Medal in the 400 meter hurdles. In 2008 he captured two Gold Medals winning the 400 meter hurdles again and then teaming to win the 4X400 meter relay. Taylor was captain of the USA men's track Olympic squad in his fourth Olympics in 2012. The two-time 400m hurdles Gold Medalist finished fifth in the event, but in the 4x400m relay finals, Taylor ran the anchor leg as the US Team claimed the Silver Medal.

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KENNY WALKER

Kenny Walker was born in Roberta and was one of Georgia’s most sought after prep basketball players in history. In 1982, he was named Georgia’s Mr. Basketball, was a Parade and McDonald’s All-American and chose to play collegiately at the University of Kentucky. Walker had a very successful college career, being named to an All-SEC team four times and the All-American team twice. He scored over 2000 points and Kentucky and grabbed 942 rebounds. Walker was selected with the 5th pick of the 1986 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. He earned the nickname “Sky” because of his jumping exploits. In 1989, “Sky” Walker won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. However, his success on the court was dwindling, and knee injuries forced him to leave the NBA and join the ACB league in Spain. Walker returned to the NBA in 1993 to play two seasons with the Washington Bullets as a role player and completed his career averaging 7 points and 4 rebounds per game.