CARROLLTON, Ga. – In the spring of 1980, the University of West Georgia – then known as West Georgia College – did not have an intercollegiate football team. Two years later, West Georgia was home to an NCAA Championship football team.
UWG athletic director Daryl Dickey announced Friday the accomplishments of the 1982 West Georgia championship team would be saluted with the placement of a permanent historical marker at University Stadium. The commemorative plaque will be unveiled Saturday, Nov. 2, during ceremonies at the game versus Mississippi College.
“This honor is long overdue,” Dickey said. “What the 1982 team achieved is one of the great stories ever in college football. To start from having no team at all to winning the national championship is an achievement we should all celebrate. We want every fan who comes to University Stadium to know about these players and coaches – and join us in paying tribute to this outstanding football team."
In spring 1980, West Georgia President Dr. Maurice K. Townsend announced plans to return football to the Carrollton campus, resurrecting a program that had been removed in 1958. Weeks later, Bobby Pate, then the secondary coach at Western Carolina, was hired as head coach and given the task of building a program from the ground up.
The fledgling West Georgia team practiced through the fall of 1980, and then took the field for the first time in 1981. The team stunned everyone with a perfect, 9-0 regular season and a bid to the NCAA Playoffs, where the season ended with a loss to defending national champion Widener.
A year later, there would be no losses. West Georgia ripped off a second-straight perfect regular season. That was followed by a playoff win over Widener, 31-24, in triple overtime. Two weeks later, West Georgia captured the national title with a shutout win, 14-0, over Augustana.
Members of the 1982 title team are encouraged to attend the Mississippi College game and the dedication of the marker honoring the championship team this November. Those ceremonies will be part of a full day of activities at University Stadium. Beyond the dedication and the football game, the day will include induction ceremonies for the five newest members fo the University of West Georgia Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2019. Season tickets are available for the 2019 season, with reserved chairback seats on sale for $100 through the UWG Athletics Ticket Portal. Also available for the televised games is a GSC general admission pack of four games for $35.
For more information, visit www.UWGSports.com.