UGA Heritage:

Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall

        

Left to right: Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, Wally Butts, Harry Mehre

 

Completed in 1967, the four-story Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall serves as headquarters of the UGA athletic program.

The facility houses office space, conference rooms, locker and training areas, equipment rooms, a laundry area, and a spacious exhibit hall beneath a large dome. A recent expansion increased the size and number of office and meeting space, and added a large indoor practice area.

The building honors two former UGA coaches who helped raise the University’s athletic program to national prominence.

Coach Harry Mehre attended Notre Dame where he was captain of the football and basketball teams. He came to UGA in 1924. In 1928, he was named head coach and athletic director. His Bulldog teams had a record of 59 wins, 34 losses and six ties.

He was born in Huntington, Ind., in 1901 and died in Atlanta in 1978. He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1971.

Coach James Wallace “Wally” Butts came to Georgia as an assistant football coach in 1928. A year later, he was named head coach – a position he held for 22 seasons (through 1960). He served as athletic director until 1963.

A native of Milledgeville, Ga., he was a graduate of Mercer University and became known as “the little round man” at the height of 5’6” tall and a heftier build. He led the Bulldogs to two national championships (1942 and 1946), and to four SEC championships (1942, 1946, 1948 and 1959).

Butts took UGA teams to eight bowls, and was known as a great innovator of the forward pass in a time when the offenses were identified as “three yards and a cloud of dust.”

He was inducted into the Georgia Hall of Fame in 1966, and into the College Hall of Fame in 1997. He and his wife, Winnie had three daughters. The couple retired in Athens where he died of a heart attack in 1973.  Butts was buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery.

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