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Georgia's on his mind
Kent Hannon
May 30, 1977
Dan Magill does not claim he runs the University of Georgia without assistance. Others suggest this, and may be forgiven for the well-intentioned exaggeration
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May 30, 1977

Georgia's On His Mind

Dan Magill does not claim he runs the University of Georgia without assistance. Others suggest this, and may be forgiven for the well-intentioned exaggeration

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To say that Dan Magill is a man who wears many hats is to say that Lon Chaney had a flair for disguises. In addition to serving as tennis coach at the University of Georgia, where he is playing host to this week's NCAA championships, Magill is also:

? Georgia's full-time public-relations man and for 27 years its sports information director, which means that when a press release comes out on the tennis team, you can be sure it meets with the approval of the tennis coach.

?Secretary of Georgia's athletic fund-raising organization. The Georgia Bulldog Club, and, therefore, a beleaguered Saturday evening telephone apologist whenever the football team loses a game.

?The self-proclaimed world's fastest two-finger typist (148 words per minute).

?A 10-time table tennis champion who once played a competitive point that lasted an hour and 58 minutes.

?The son of one of the first coeds to attend Georgia.

?The husband of Rosemary Magill, who earned a Phi Beta Kappa key at Georgia, which Magill sometimes wears on the road to fool people into thinking he's, well, a scholar.

?A balding, 56-year-old son of the Old South whose accent makes Billy Carter sound like a Yankee.

Magill's record at Georgia, 420-112, makes him the second-winningest tennis coach in the country behind Dale Lewis of the Miami Hurricanes. But it was Magill's plans for turning this year's national tournament into a real money-maker, not his down-home personality or stature in the college tennis world, that persuaded the NCAA to hold its championships in Athens. In fact, if the NCAA likes what it sees of Magill's new stadium—its 3,500 seats make it the largest outdoor college tennis facility in the country—it may become the semi-permanent site of the tournament.

When Magill and Athens staged the NCAAs in 1972, conditions were different. In the minds of most Georgians tennis was still a game for sissies. Football—Fran Tarkenton, Vince Dooley and all that—was the only sport that mattered. The old tennis facility seated just a few hundred and, after expenses, the 1972 NCAA tournament made exactly $52.06. Now, five years later, Magill has told the NCAA he hopes to gross as much as $60,000.

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