Posted: 3:00 pm Monday, April 21st, 2014

Georgia Southern coaches ‘head butt’ Erk Russell statue in recruiting video 

By Michael Carvell

Not much is known is about Georgia Southern’s new football coach, Willie Fritz.

But he totally “gets it” when it comes to marketing his football program and recruiting efforts.

Fritz, joined by his new staff members which include former Carver-Columbus High School coach Dell McGee, put together this four-minute Vimeo video before all the coaches hit the road for the spring evaluation period.

It’s funny, witty, creative, and informational.

For a program like Georgia Southern, which is starving for publicity among recruits in this talent-loaded state, it’s a grand slam.

I think everybody will agree that the best part of the video is when the coaches “head-butt” Erk Russell’s statue before jumping in their Hummer or recruiting ride.

Apologies for not mentioning this in the original post, but for people who maybe haven’t followed Georgia Southern football, the late Erk Russell was legendary as UGA’s defensive coordinator for giving “head butts” to his players – while they had their helmets on. They’re some famous pictures of it, with Erk’s head bleeding. If there’s one sure way for Georgia Southern’s new coach to win over hardcore Georgia Southern fans (and people across the state), it’s to pay homage to Russell with his famous “head butt.” Well done, coach, well done.

Erk Russell head butt, Georgia Bulldogs 1979

Former UGA assistant Erk Russell was a master motivator. In 1979, a head-butt with a helmeted player left him bloodied, but it simply added to Russell’s aura. (Billy Downs, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Erk Russell Statue unveiled

To borrow an Erk Russell phrase, Georgia Southern would “do right” in honoring the late great legend by making him a permanent fixture on the field at Paulson Stadium. See photos of the Erk Russell statue at WTOC.com

Here is a good link about the statue from ESPN.com. At right is a story with photos of the statue itself from WTOC. And from the AJC archives is a classic photo by the AJC’s Billy Downs.

Thoughts? Please post below.

18 comments
John R
John R

I feel like this article is semi-bashing our new football staff. Willie Fritz isn't some no name football coach who just came out of no where to coach our team. He made Sam Houston State one of the most dominate names on the FCS level and he had a really good (winning) record with that institution. Willie also took his staff with him. Dell McGee is Georgia Southern Alum and he used to be on the coaching staff at one point when we were dominate. 


Also, lets bring up the fact that Georgia Southern had the best recruiting class in the Sun Belt. That's a statement. 


Keep rooting for Georgia State AJC, Maybe they'll win a game next year. 

peachstealth
peachstealth

Erk belongs in the college football hall of fame. As I understand it, he isn't there because he wasn't head coach for 10 years. 

IMHO a coach that retires after 8 years with 3 national championships is worthy of HOF inclusion. His last year Southern was 15-0 and 1-AA National Champion. Who else has done that?

Tybalt
Tybalt

I still mourn he fact that the louse, Vince Dooley, blocked Erk Russell from succeeding him as Head Coach at UGA.  It set back the Dawgs by decades; and they still haven't fully recovered.  It was a great blessing for Georgia Southern, though.  Russell is the best coach this state has ever produced - including Heisman, Dodd, Dooley and the other pretenders.

EagleDawg1
EagleDawg1

GATA Eagles!   A true blue Eagle fan from day one!

leefrommeeks
leefrommeeks

Eagle Nation----True Blue

Thou shall not wear red....GUS

Remarkable3
Remarkable3

I love 45 minutes from Ga. Southern and pull for them against everyone but UGA.  Go Eagles!

aon
aon

It is a thrill watching this program grow!  Go EAGLES!

BCW1
BCW1

So are they going back to the spread instead of the Ham-Bone???

FromATLtoAZ
FromATLtoAZ

Eagle Nation thanks the AJC for posting this. Also thanks to all the UGA supporters on this board.  They know who that statue represents that our coaches and our players head butt before they take the field on Saturdays. 


Georgia has never shied away from playing Southern like that other school in Atlanta has done for years.  For that, I say thanks to UGA. 


GO EAGLES!!

GATA!

ONE MORE TIME!

fidlin1
fidlin1

I always wanted Erk to be Dooley's successor.

JackClemens
JackClemens

Ga. Southern is my alma mater and I love the concept. Editing needs to be much, much tighter guys. It's a recruiting video, not a car commercial.

rwjohns
rwjohns

Thanks for the Southern coverage Mike.  It's seldom the AJC gives us enough coverage.

RangeRover
RangeRover

Could have picked a better day for filming! 

Tallcarl
Tallcarl

Loved it, even as a UGA diehard I will always root for Ga. Southern a little. The underdog that 'can'.

TimothyParr
TimothyParr

if there's no blood, you didn't head-butt Erk! GATA!


Gt79
Gt79

You need to stop worrying about GaState, and start figuring out how to beat Ga Tech. That's the game that will make or break your season. That's the game which will determine who is number two or three in the state.