Smith mug

Loran Smith: For a loyal teammate, a handsome honor

Wayne Ingle was a football player who was considered an over achiever, one who was always doing his best to help the team, understanding his role and appreciating both the scholarship, which was a badge of honor, and the opportunity to play for the University of Georgia.

A modest man who reaches out to others and one who salutes the success of his former teammates and friends, Ingle, who played tight end at Georgia from 1964-68, is not given to boasting of accomplishment but serenading that old-fashioned notion that there could be no greater experience than to being a part of a team. To have worn the Red and Black, to have come under the influence of coaches who influenced him to appreciate leadership and the work ethic and to have had the good fortune to play between the hedges has been the most rewarding of accomplishments for him in his life.

“Even with the passing of time, I don’t take the good things about my time at Georgia for granted,” he said one day recently at Yesterday’s Café in Greensboro, N.C. “I never expected a lot, I just wanted to be a part of the team and help make a contribution to our success. I was happy for the real stars of our team to make headlines, I just wanted to pitch in. I was never a great player or never made a great play, but I feel that I did contribute and that somebody else benefitted from a block that I might have made. We were successful when I was at Georgia, and to be a member of a championship team and to leave campus with a degree. What an experience to remember and savor, and I have been savoring that experience all my life. I love to hear the Georgia cheerleaders chant, “It’s Great To Be a Georgia Bulldog.” That is so true, and I love the fact that I am a Georgia Bulldog.”

There is subtle humor in Ingle’s makeup, dry but insightful. He can be self deprecating, but those who know him know that his disclaimers often fall on deaf ears. He was an accomplished football player, known for his competent ability to block fluidly and in dominating fashion from his tight end position. He helped make room for the runners and the pass catchers, the headline-makers getting opportunity when a blue collar guy who did his job. That would be Wayne Ingle, a native of Conyers and graduate of Rockdale County High School.

When he was informed that he had been chosen by the University of Georgia chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame to be honored for Post Graduate Achievement, Ingle asked. “How did this happen to me?” He didn’t think it was for real. “You gotta be mistaken,” he grinned. “I did play with some outstanding ends — Pat Hodgson, Glenn Creech, Frank Richter, Billy Payne and Dennis Hughes,” he said with appreciation.

The award is not for great play, but team play and for post-graduate achievement, which is a criteria Ingle meets with the greatest of qualifications.

Following graduation with a degree in business, Wayne married Carol Broadnax, who finished Georgia with a Home Economic degree, and began work with Roadway Trucking Lines. Subsequently, he started his own company, a personnel business. “I began,” he laughs, “with a rocking chair, a desk and a phone. It was the era of temporary services and things broke nicely for us. We have been blessed.”

He started out in his hometown of Conyers. “The community has been so supportive of me, and it was fun to move back. I joined civic clubs, worked with several local charities and became a county commissioner. I help start the cherry blossom festival and we just had a wonderful experience being back home and being involved.”

One day he got a call from a former teammate, Billy Payne, who told him that he was planning to bring the Olympics to Atlanta. “I remarked with a snicker, ‘Yeah and the cow just jumped over the moon.’ Then I realized that I if anybody could to something like that, it would be Billy. Sure enough, it happened. I never really doubted him. He was my road roommate at Georgia and I knew what a leader he was. When that closing ceremony took place, I was so proud of Billy. That is the kind of thing that makes you proud about your college experience. Billy Payne is a special person, and I was his teammate. We played between the hedges. That means a lot to me.”

In 1981, Ingle bought a second home at Harbor Club and eventually made his permanent home on Lake Oconee where he has multiple fishing opportunities.

Always a person of faith, he was overwhelmed when his daughter, Caroline, was diagnosed with leukemia a couple of years ago.

“My family (Carol, son Chris and wife Kelley and Caroline’s fiancée Robert St. John) all bonded together to help Caroline with her fight, but all my old teammates reached out to me, led by Dr. Tommy Lawhorne, who understood what was happening and gave us great support and encouragement,” he said.

During this difficult time, Ingle drew on his football experience.

“I thought of the togetherness we had on our teams I those years and I thought about the leadership of Coach Dooley and Coach (Erk) Russell. I felt that with that support we would make it. Fortunately, everything has turned out favorably.”

Blog: Richt: No ACL issue this time for RB Marshall (and more updates)

by Marc Weiszer

Georgia coach Mark Richt couldn’t say Sunday evening whether tailback Keith Marshall will be available for Saturday’s game against Tennessee, but said that Marshall... Full Story

Follow marcweiszer

marcweiszer

Richt: No ACL issue this time for RB Marshall (and more updates) http://t.co/veWW7zfo8u #UGA

4 hours ago