In 1956, Sonny Seiler brought his bulldog to the Georgia football home opener. A member of the University of Georgia’s Athletic Association, after seeing a picture of the dog at Sanford Stadium, suggested that the bulldog become Georgia’s mascot. Since that day, Uga has been at every Georgia football game, both home and away, and his legend continues to grow.
Uga I through X come from a line of pure white English bulldogs. Bred in succession by the Seiler family, Uga lives in Savannah, Georgia during the offseason, and his on-field home is an air-conditioned dog house next to the Georgia cheerleaders. When one Uga dies, he is buried in a grave site on the south side of the Georgia football stadium. Flowers are laid at the graves before every Georgia home game.
From home games at Sanford Stadium in Athens to the SEC Championship in Atlanta to the 1982 Heisman Trophy ceremony, there’s no place the iconic Georgia mascot hasn’t been.
Heck, Uga is still the only dog allowed in the State of Georgia Building.
And yes, he’s a damn good Dawg.
How Many Uga Mascots Have There Been?
There have been 10 Uga mascots throughout time, and the American icon has made trips to Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech and Texas A&M among many other stadiums around the country.
From the great Vince Dooley to Mark Richt and Kirby Smart, coaches come and go, but these Bulldog legends last an eternity. From the very first Uga to today’s Uga X, here are the best Georgia Bulldog mascots to don the fabled spiked collar:
10. Uga VIII, 2010-11
Career Record: 4-2
The shortest-tenured official mascot of the Bulldogs, Uga VIII is considered the biggest “What-If” story in NCAA college football history. “Big Bad Bruce” was diagnosed with lymphoma after presiding over the team’s first six games in 2010. Uga VIII didn’t see his second birthday; He passed away the following February, but he’ll wear the red and black colors forever.
9. Uga II, 1966-72
Career Record: 42-16-3
The first successor of the original, Georgia’s Uga II roamed the sidelines for seven seasons, and three times Georgia finished the year ranked in the AP Top 10. Uga II was a quiet boy, but his teams helped carry on the Bulldog tradition laid down by his predecessor.
8. Uga VII, 2008-09
Career Record: 16-7
The only live mascot to be posthumously recognized by the Georgia team, “Loran’s Best” passed away unexpectedly prior to the end of the 2009 season. In his honor, the football team wore decals in remembrance of his sacrifice, hard work and tenacious bone-chewing abilities.
7. Uga IX, 2009 & 2012-15
Career Record: 44-19
Perhaps the most versatile of the Bulldog mascots, “Russ” first served as the Bulldog’s interim mascot in 2009. Following the unexpected deaths of Uga VII and Uga VIII, he was called back into emergency action in both instances, before being officially recognized as Uga IX in 2012. Russ gave everything he had to the university he loved.
6. Uga X, 2015-present
Career Record: 68-15
Flying up the rankings is the young dog, “Que.” After his appearance in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship game, Uga X is cementing his legacy as one of Georgia’s elite mascots. Time will tell if Uga X can lead his team to more success in this new age of college football and powerhouse SEC.
5. Uga V, 1990-99
Career Record: 65-39-1
Uga V is the last heir of Uga IV. Perhaps the most popular of the Georgia Bulldogs, Uga V was featured on the April 1997 cover of Sports Illustrated and dubbed “College Football’s Best Mascot.” While his career is more remembered for his off-the-field antics, Uga V’s career saw five bowl victories, and his 65 wins rank fourth in school history.
4. Uga IV, 1981-89
Career Record: 77-27-4
Uga IV is the only Bulldogs mascot to appear at every bowl game during his tenure. Racking up wins and SEC titles wasn’t enough for old Four, as he also brought home the 1982 Heisman Trophy with Herschel Walker. Uga IV was the best looking dog at the ceremony, wearing a black tie over his patented red sweater.
3. Uga I, 1956-66
Career Record: 53-48-6
The first. The original. The G.O.A.T.
Uga I didn’t post the best record during his tenure, but he set the standard for every heir to follow in his paw prints. At the “Passing of the Bone” ceremony to Uga II, the entire stadium of Georgia fans erupted in a chant of “Damn Good Dog.” No one left the emotional impact quite like Uga I.
2. Uga III, 1972-90
Career Record: 71-32-2
Uga III is the only Bulldog to bring a National Championship back to the University of Georgia. The historic 1980 season would be the last full year of Uga III’s career. He presided over the home opener in 1981 and died weeks later. He walked off into doggie heaven a winner, a national champion and a hero to the state of Georgia.
1. Uga VI, 1998-2008
Career Record: 87-27
Present at 114 games, Uga VI is the winningest Uga mascot in Georgia history. “Whatchagot Loren” presided over nine bowl wins, and his teams finished ranked in the AP Top 25 every season. Known for his tenacity, work ethic and grit, no dawg has ever done it like Six did.
This article was originally published July 12, 2018.