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98 reasons it's great to be a Georgia Bulldog: #97-Charles Herty

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Life intervened to prevent this installment of 98 reasons it's great to be a Georgia Bulldog from publishing earlier. But it's still a great day (or night) to be a Bulldog. Today's reason: Professor Charles Holmes Herty, Sr.

The history of the University of Georgia is full of both interesting characters and staunch supporters who made the school what it is today. Herty was both. A native of Milledgeville, Herty was an academic, an industrialist, and the father of Georgia Bulldog football.

Herty attended the University, graduating in 1886 with a bachelors in philosophy, while also becoming a member of the Phi Kappa Literary Society. Herty continued his studies at Johns Hopkins University where he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry. You know, the old philosophy/chemistry double degree program that everybody goes for.

Herty became an instructor in the chemistry department at Georgia in 1891. While on sabbatical in 1899 he traveled to Europe to study the naval stores and paper industry there. His studies convinced him that the method of harvesting naval stores used in the southeast would eventually destroy the longleaf pine tree (hacking trees to shreds to get the turpentine out of them apparently isn't healthy for the tree). So Herty came up with a better method which allowed longleaf pines to survive for decades rather than a few years and allowed the trees to eventually be used for timber.

Herty's method (helpfully known as "the Herty method") also allowed for wood pulp to be turned into paper, creating untold jobs and economic development in the rural South. Just, you know, revolutionizing an entire industry. For these accomplishments Herty is remembered as one of the pioneers of modern paper and even had the paper factory community of Herty, Texas named for him as a result.

But back to athletics. Herty had spearheaded efforts to build the first gymnasium at UGA, and to lay out the first baseball field at the school as the first faculty athletic director in school history. While studying at Johns Hopkins Herty had picked up the new game of football, and he endeavored to introduce it when he returned to Georgia. In 1892 he became the first head football coach in University of Georgia history, guiding the 'Dawgs (not yet then known as the 'Dawgs but stay with me) to a 1-1 record with a victory over Mercer and a loss to Auburn before surrendering the reins to Ernest H. Brown.

Buildings or research centers at no fewer than four Georgia universities are named for Herty. As were a U.S. Navy cargo ship, and of course Herty Field and Herty Drive in Athens. In short, C.H. Herty, Sr. did more for his school, his state, the game of football, and the world than most people could even imagine.  Talk about a Damn Good 'Dawg.