OK, so maybe it's still a little too hot for fall, but school is back. The Summer Olympics are over where the Dawgs had themselves a good time, and then some. The school helped develop 37 athletes that went down to Brazil for this year's Olympic games. And with the University of Georgia classes back in session, that means it's also time for the fall sports to begin. Football is the big daddy, but there's quite a few other athletes doing their best for the red and black. (There's also been at least one extremely notable non-athlete all-time great Dawg pass away, but thankfully the man left us so, so, sooooooooo much great art to enjoy and a style to influence generations.) So since we've got a lot to get to here, let's get going....
SWIMMING AND DIVING
The aforementioned Schmitt and Bentz weren't the only medal winners Jack Bauerle has worked with before reaching Rio, and that's not just because our long time, highly decorated swim coach is part of the US Olympic coaching crew. Gunnar Bentz, prior to the unpleasantness of a Gator, became the first male swimmer in UGA history to earn an Olympic gold. Schmitt matched Teresa Edwards' school record with her fourth gold. All in all, current and former Georgia swimmers brought home nine medals from Rio, capped off when Olivia Smoliga was part of the gold medal winning 4x100m freestyle relay team. Brazilian and volunteer diving coach Cesar Castro got to perform back home, and made the finals in what was his fourth Olympic games.
TRACK AND FIELD
Former Dawg Shaunae Miller won gold in the 400m, representing her native Bahamas. Rising junior Keturah Orji may have finished fourth in the triple jump, but her effort was good enough to break her own American record in the event.
GlimmerTwin has been, as always, keeping us very well informed on the pro Dawgs making their rounds on the PGA Tour, and during the Olympics. Josh Brewer announced the women's schedule for the year, beginning next weekend at the Atlanta Athletic Club in John's Creek.
Mark Fox took his boys on a trip to Spain, where they won all their games as well as a dolphin show dance-off. PG JJ Frazier has been recognized as expected to be one of the best seniors in the country, and they held a couple open practices prior to departing for the Iberian peninsula. I was able to catch one, and was extremely impressed with rising sophomore Derek Ogbeide, and incoming freshman Jordan Harris and Tyree Crump. Junior big Yante Maten also looked more than ready to pick up where he left off last season dominating the court (can you tell I'm a bit excited for this season on the hardwood? cause I'm really excited about this season on the hardwood).
Meanwhile, the women have finalized their non-conference schedule for this winter, and coach Joni Taylor gives us some insight into what was a wild and change filled last 365 days for her in what was the first year someone other than Andy Landers led the Lady Dawgs.
Manny Diaz announced the schedule for another season of Georgia men's tennis, his 29th at the helm after succeeding Dan Magill. It also starts next weekend, in Puerto Rico, and will end in Athens as UGA is hosting the men's and women's championships again this year (as they should every year NCAA!). Meanwhile John Isner is doing work in the U.S. Open, with his second round match beginning earlier this afternoon. Junior Ellen Perez joined Isner in the field for this year's U.S. Open on the women's side, but fell in her first round match.
The Diamond Dawgs had several excel in various summer leagues around the country, and on top of them added the nation's fourth best recruiting class once MLB draft picks were signed. Dawg Haus also, as always,keeps us up to date on former Diamond Dawgs working in the pros.
After two excellent seasons as a volunteer coach working with the hitters, Tony Baldwin has been promoted to Associate Head Coach under Lu Harris-Champer. We also got an update on former Dawgs in the pro ranks of National Professional Fastpitch.
The Spike Dawgs started their season last weekend, beginning with a win over UNC-Asheville. They followed that up with a clean sweep on opening weekend, thanks to a pair of victories in the Benson Hospitality Invitational over Savannah St and San Francisco.
Following her senior season in Athens and individual national title on the bars, the recently graduated Brittany Rogers joined Team Canada to compete in her second Olympic games.
Georgia's 2016-17 season doesn't begin until next month, and brought back former athlete Alex O'Toole, who has been running Wisteria Farms in Monroe, GA since finishing up in Athens, to be an assistant coach. Preseason training is, of course, already under way
The Kicking Dawgs have begun their season as well. It started with a 4-1 win over Furman and 0-0 draw vs. Georgia Southern in exhibition action. Regular season action began with a2-2 draw against Oklahoma St, a 3-1 loss at top 15 ranked Clemson, and then this past weekend brought a pair of victories over Samford and Cal St-Fullerton.
And as always, Goooooooooooooooooooooo Dawgs!