An English bulldog named Big Bad Bruce will be the next Uga, University of Georgia athletic officials announced Wednesday.
Danny White/Special Uga VIII, the latest in the legendary line of University of Georgia mascots, will be introduced to the Bulldog Nation on Saturday during ceremonies before the Georgia-Vanderbilt game in Sanford Stadium.
On Saturday, Bruce will become Uga VIII, the latest in the world-famous line of mascots owned by the family of Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler of Savannah.
UGA President Michael Adams, athletic director Greg McGarity and members of the Seiler family are scheduled to unveil Bruce on the football field before the kickoff of this Saturday’s Georgia-Vanderbilt football game in Sanford Stadium.
Bruce takes over for Russ, who was named interim mascot after Uga VII died unexpectedly last Nov. 19 at the relatively young age of 4. He was only in his second season as UGA mascot.
Georgia football teams went 4-4 with Russ as mascot.
Russ began his mascot duties in last year’s Georgia Tech football game; Georgia played one game without a mascot last year, a Nov. 21 loss to Kentucky.
While Russ was serving as mascot, the future Uga VIII was growing. Born Sept. 12, 2009, Bruce is named for Bruce Hollett, a veterinarian in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine who has provided medical care to the Uga bulldogs for years.
“We had several puppies that were direct descendants from the Uga line to choose from,” Seiler said in a prepared statement. “We came to the conclusion that this dog had all the physical attributes that we look for in a Georgia mascot. He is the grandson of Uga VI. He is only 13 months old. He already weighs 55 lbs. and we think that he has an excellent head. We made the choice based on experience and I’m confident the Bulldog Nation will be pleased when he is introduced Saturday.”
“As our mascot, he represents everything we want our student-athletes and fans to be … proud, loyal, tenacious and relentless,” McGarity said.
Although the new Uga won’t be introduced until Saturday, the UGA Athletic Association gave the world a sneak peek at the new Bulldog on Wednesday, releasing information and a photo of the dog.
The new UGA is mainly white with some black markings on his face and ears.
Considered by many to be the top college mascot in the country, Ugas have appeared at Heisman Trophy ceremonies, in the movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and on the cover of Sports Illustrated and other magazines.