Dan Magill (1921-2014) worked tirelessly as the sports information director for UGA for fifty years and as the University of Georgia’s head tennis coach for thirty-four years, earning him recognition in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1976.
Born on January 25, 1921 in Athens, Georgia, Dan Magill loved the Georgia Bulldogs from boyhood until the day he died. His affiliation with the Georgia Athletic program began as a teenager, when he served as a batboy for the baseball team and a manager for the tennis team. He continued supporting the University while he attended, ultimately earning a degree in journalism in 1942. He proved a valuable member of the varsity swim and tennis teams in addition to volunteering as an assistant football coach. He also joined the Chi Psi fraternity.
After service with the Marine Corps during World War II, Magill briefly worked for the Atlanta Journal newspaper as the Prep Sports editor. In 1949, he accepted a position with the University as sports information director. In the 1950s, attendance at football games dwindled as Wally Butts struggled to secure UGA victories. To rekindle interest in the team, McGill established The Georgia Bulldog newspaper to circulate throughout the state as well as founding the Bulldog Club. Before long, nearly half of Georgia’s counties had local chapters of the Bulldog Club. McGill served as the executive secretary of the organization for decades. In 1954, he assumed the role of the tennis program’s head coach, holding the role for thirty-four years and greatly enhancing the program’s reputation. As head tennis coach, Magill oversaw construction of the UGA tennis complex and convinced the Intercollegiate Tennis Association to build their hall of fame in Athens.
The facility is named in his honor. Dan McGill earned admission into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1976. He died, August 23, 2014.