Georgia Southern football really became a house-hold name in the 1980s when Erk Russell was hired as the first head coach after a 40 year inactive period. In his eight years at Georgia Southern, 1981-1989, Erk Russell did not only win three FCS championships but he created traditions that still happen today. Probably the most popluar one to football players and coaches at Georgia Southern would be where they head butt a sculpture of Erk Russell’s head as seen in the picture. Coach Russell wasn’t afraid to get in his players faces to motivate them, he would head butt them. Yes, this meant his bare forehead to helmet.
That’s just one of the many traditions Erk Russell left at Georgia Southern. He took the drainage ditch that runs alongside the Eagles’ practice field and nicknamed it “Beautiful Eagle Creek.” We still call it that today. Beautiful Eagle Creek holds magical water in it which Russell use to fill a milk jug up and take it on the big road games. He would then pour the water onto the field as a motivational tactic. I know Coach Summers did it for his first road game as Georgia Southern’s head coach. You can find “G.A.T.A” (Get After Those A$$es) and “One More Time” shirts all over campus. Russell brought those saying with him to Georgia Southern and they stuck. The traditions at Georgia Southern are great. There are many more but these are just some of my favorites that I like. Don’t forget to watch Georgia Southern play Arkansas State Wednesday October 5th on ESPN2. Let’s see if the Eagles are ready for national television. You don’t want to miss it.
Hail Southern and No Place Else!