Former Georgia Southern football coach Erk Russell will be honored during a ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 1, when the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation unveils a nine-foot bronze statue depicting the coach who resurrected GSU football after it was dormant for 41 years.
The statue, titled “One More Time,” will be displayed in front of the Gene Bishop Field House after the Eagle football team arrives at Allen E. Paulson Stadium for the playoff game against Central Arkansas.
The sculpture of the late coach will be moved to its permanent location in the plaza of the new football operations center. Construction on the facility is expected to begin in late spring 2013.
“The statue of Coach Erk Russell is a great addition to the ‘Prettiest Little Stadium in America’ — the house that Erk built,” Georgia Southern Athletic Foundation President John Mulherin said. “We are appreciative of all the donors who helped make this possible, especially Derek Sills, who led the fundraising effort.”
Sills resides in Midway.
According to the GSU football media guide, Russell arrived in Statesboro in 1981.
During his eight-year head coaching tenure with the Eagles, he compiled an 83-22 record, winning three national championships and guiding the 1989 team to a 15-0 record.
USA Today named Russell the Georgia Coach of the Decade for the 1980s. He died in Statesboro in 2006.
The Coastal Courier contributed to this report.