Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Wally Butts

Wally Butts


  • Position: Coach
  • School: Georgia
  • Years: 1939-1960
  • Inducted: 1997
  • Place of Birth: Milledgeville, GA
  • Date of Birth: Feb 07, 1905
  • Place of Death: Athens, GA
  • Date of Death: Dec 17, 1973

Member Biography

Wally Butts grew up in Milledgeville, Georgia, attended a prep school, Georgia Military, and was captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams. He enrolled at Mercer University and was active in five sports - football, basketball, baseball, boxing, and wrestling. He was only 5-6 in height, 155 pounds in weight, but he was a star. His football coach was Bernie Moore (elected to the Hall of Fame in 1954). Moore said Butts was "the best blocking end I ever coached." Butts graduated from Mercer in 1928 and for 10 years, 1928-37, coached high school football at Madison Prep, Georgia Military, and Male High of Louisville, Kentucky. In those 10 years he lost 10 games. Georgia named him assistant coach in 1938 and head coach a year later. He held the job 22 years, through 1960, and was Georgia director of athletics through 1964. After that he operated an insurance agency in Athens, Georgia. His record at Georgia, 140-86-9, gave him a .615 percentage. His best teams were 1941 (9-1-1), 1942 (11-1), 1946 (11-0) and 1959 (10-1). The 1941 team beat Texas Christian 40-26 in the Orange Bowl, and the 1942 team beat UCLA 9-0 in the Rose Bowl. Some polls named Georgia national champs in 1942 . Frank Leahy called him "football's finest passing coach." Fran Tarkenton said Butts "knew more football than any other man I ever met." His stars included Frank Sinkwich, Charlie Trippi, John Rauch, and Zeke Bratkowski. Sinkwich said, "He made a man of me." The main athletic building on the Georgia campus is named for him. He was born Feb. 7, 1905 and died Dec. 17,1973.