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tive NCAA men’s tournaments and a brief stint with the New Mexico Slam. The man knows about competition at the highest level.

As a coach, he paid his dues at Jacksonville State and Ole Miss as an assistant before becoming a head coach, first at Louisiana Tech and then Florida. With the Gators, his teams became an annual participant in the NCAA tournament. He brings elevated experience to his job as the Bulldogs head coach.

His brother Danny is the athletic director at Tennessee; brother Brian is the AD at Florida Atlantic and sister Mariah Chappell is the assistant AD at SMU. His father Kevin had a distinguished 30 year career in administration, highlighted by stops as athletic director at Notre Dame and Duke. The Bulldog basketball boss has an impressive pedigree.

FLASHBACK FROM THE PAST: As we go, there is a lighthearted and unforgettable recall of the days of Jim Whatley, who coached football and baseball at Georgia and was also Bulldog basketball coach in 1950-51. A highlight for him was beating Kentucky in old Woodruff Hall. Rupp vowed he would never play in Woodruff Hall again. But he did.

Whatley stood 6-6. In a hotly contested game one night, he walked out on the court and began berating an official who stood about 5-7. After a couple minutes the official pointed his finger up at Whatley and told him that it was going to cost him a technical for every step it took him to get back to the bench.

Nonplussed, Big Jim, as he was known, dropped to his knees, and crawled off the court.

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