Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Georgia mascot Uga IX to retire.

Uga IX. Image via WABE. 

There's a changing of the guard being planned at Georgia. The school has officially announced that Uga IX, the school's mascot, will retire sometime during the 2015 college football season.

Charles Seiler, whose family has owned the dynasty of bulldogs that have served in the role of Georgia's mascot since 1956, had previously announced over the weekend that the 11 year-old  Uga IX would retire at some point during the upcoming season.

Seiler introduced a potential candidate to become Uga X at the annual Countdown to Kickoff event held in Athens, Ga. this past Saturday. The one-and-a-half year old bulldog, named Que, is a grandson of Uga IX.

“We’re training Que to see if he can be the new Uga,” Seiler said. “We’ve got two others that we can choose from, but it’s his turn first. So this is his first gig.”

Ugh IX (a.k.a Russ), half-brother of Uga VII, has served as the Dawgs' official mascot since Sept. 15, 2012. He had previously served as an interim mascot on two separate occasions. The first came in the final two games of the 2009 season, following the death of Uga VII. He continued to serve in the role for the first six games of the 2010 season before Uga VIII was introduced at the Oct. 16 home game against Vanderbilt.

Russ again served as interim mascot for the 2010 Liberty Bowl, when Uga VIII took ill. Uga VIII passed away in February of 2011, after being diagnosed with Canine Lymphoma. Russ continued in the interim mascot role through the 2011 season. He was officially installed as full-time mascot before the start of the 2012 season, taking the name Uga IX.

Georgia president Jere W. Morehead, praised the service of Uga IX in a statement released by the school.

"We look forward to celebrating the reign of Russ who has served the University and our sports program in magnificent fashion," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. "He has truly endeared himself to fans all over the country. At the same time we anxiously await the arrival of the newest in our long-standing line of mascots, Uga X."

A date for the official "passing of the collar" ceremony has yet to be announced. Seiler said he was hoping the ceremony would happen later in the fall, when the weather cooled down. 

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