Bill Hartman
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Athens — Bill Hartman, a legendary figure in University of Georgia athletics, died this afternoon at Athens Regional Medical Center. He was 90.

Hartman was an All-American football player, longtime assistant coach, successful businessman and lifelong student in Athens. Any question of how much Hartman meant to UGA — and how much his school meant to him — is answered in a Vince Dooley tale about what happened when the NCAA banned voluntary football coaches 14 years ago.

Hartman, a former player and assistant for the Bulldogs, had been in the insurance business full-time when Dooley asked him to return to the field as his voluntary kicking coach in the early 1970s. From that time forward, Georgia boasted some of the best kickers in history of the SEC: Allan Leavitt, Rex Robinson, Kevin Butler, John Kasay, Todd Peterson.

When the NCAA eliminated positions like Hartman's in 1992, Dooley was frantic to come up with a solution. Finally, he decided to ask Hartman to become a graduate assistant coach. Which meant Hartman would have to return to college to attend grad school.

Never mind that he was 77 at the time.

"Oldest G.A. student in the history of the game," Dooley said with a laugh Wednesday. "He wanted to stay on and he was such a valuable asset, I didn't want him to go. And he did some great things in the classroom, I understand. I mean, the man had been in the business world for years. So he made some significant contributions to those classes, too."

Hartman's eligibility as a student G.A. expired three years later. Grudgingly, his gridiron career ended at age 79.

"I don't think anybody has done more for the university from both the academic and athletic standpoints," Dooley said.

In addition to his contributions on the sidelines, Hartman was a University of Georgia Foundation trustee, president of the university's alumni association and co-chairman of the Tech-Georgia Development Fund. In 1960, he became chairman of the Georgia Student Educational Fund, which was formed to raise private funds for athletic scholarships.

After college, Hartman went to work for Coca-Cola. He returned to Athens in the 1950s and founded the Hartman Insurance Agency, now the Hartman-Clifton Agency. In the meantime, he served the Athens and university communities as president of the Athens Jaycees, Athens Chamber of Commerce, Athens Country Club and Athens Community Chest.

He was a member of the Athens City Council from 1957-60, served as mayor pro tem in 1960 and was president of the UGA Alumni Society in 1951 and '52. He was awarded the first Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Business in 1965 and the Alumni Society's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1963-64, among many other honors.

Today, the Bill Hartman Award goes to former UGA student-athletes who have distinguished themselves as alumni.

But more than anything, Hartman was a football man.

Former Bulldogs player Leroy Dukes visited him in the hospital earlier this week and asked Hartman what he wanted done at his funeral.

"He said, 'I want the first 15 minutes to be blocking and tackling,' " said Hartman's son, WSB-TV sports anchor Bill Hartman III.

Hartman was born in Thomaston on March 17, 1915. His football career began while attending public schools in Madison. He eventually played for Wally Butts at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville.

Hartman followed Butts to UGA in the 1930s, when he became one of the Bulldogs' greatest fullbacks, linebackers and kickers. As team captain in 1937, he was named both All-SEC and All-America.

Hartman still holds the Georgia record for the longest punt, an 82-yard boomer against Tulane in 1937. Two weeks later against Georgia Tech, he fielded a second-half kickoff and, after initially fumbling the ball, gathered himself and raced 93 yards for the tying touchdown, one of the great moments in the history of the series.

What happened next was not.

"I missed the extra point," Hartman once recalled. "I was so winded, I wanted a timeout, but the officials wouldn't allow it."

Hartman moved to Green Bay, Wis., following graduation to begin work for Coca-Cola. But all the while, he was continually recruited by NFL teams. He finally signed with the Washington Redskins for $250 per game and a no-cut contract.

He signed on to be NFL legend Sammy Baugh's backup quarterback. But Baugh was hurt before the Redskins' opener and Hartman started the first six games of the season. He won the first pro game he'd ever seen, 24-22 over the Philadelphia Eagles, by throwing an 87-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Hartman turned his back on the NFL the following year, opting to return to Georgia as backfield coach under his old friend and mentor, Butts. His salary: $2,800.

Hartman helped lead Georgia to victories in both the Orange and Rose Bowls before entering World War II as an Army counter-intelligence officer. When he returned to Athens, he entered the insurance business.

He was named to Sports Illustrated's "Silver Anniversary All America Team" in 1962 and inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and the National College Football Hall of Fame three years later.

Hartman's first wife, the former Ruth Landers of Savannah, preceded him in death in 1996. He is survived by his second wife Mary; daughters Laura (61) and Barbara (55); son Bill III (57); six grandchildren and one great grandchild. All three of Hartman's children graduated from UGA's Grady School of Journalism, a fact of which he was particularly proud.
Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Mar. 16, 2006.
Memories & Condolences
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132 entries
February 9, 2007
To my loving and most honest and humble person I know.
Papa I love you and miss you so much.
You were an esteem man in the Community of Athens but most of all you were a loving father to Laura,Bill and Barbra,Not to mention your six grandchildren, Michael Ciucevich,Heather Hartman,Jeffrey Ciucevich,Scott Hartman,Amanda Howell,and Stuart Howell.
And also A great grandson Conor Ciucevich.
You will be forever in our hearts.
Love,
Your Grandchildren
Michael Ciucevich
March 29, 2006
There are but a few individuals whose impact cannot be fully measured. Truly only God knows the length of Coach Hartman's reach.

I was truly blessed to have him as my coach. His calm demeanor and careful instruction made my career possible and I will always be thankful to have known him.
Rex Robinson
March 28, 2006
To Bill & family:
Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you remember a wonderful man who raised a wonderful family. His legacy will never be forgotten at UGA, either. You are blessed.
Laurie McNair (MacDonald)
March 27, 2006
My prayers are with the Hartman family. Coach will be missed. We always miss the "Good ones", Coach was truely a "GOOD ONE", rest in peace Coach.
V. Bair
March 24, 2006
Sorry we could not be with you and the children at this time. Please note,although there are miles between us, we love you very much and we am praying for you. Prov 3:5Trust in the Lord, He will never leave you nor forsake you. Rev.G.Castor and Family
mcmillian
March 24, 2006
Fond memories of a young gentelman and keeper of peace, I wish all youngsters would follow in his footsteps and be a hero and a pillar of the society. Rest in peace sweet young man and watch over us. Deepest sympathy to all the Evans family. A truely wonderful boy.
marion (macnicol) poirrier & family
March 20, 2006
Bill and family,
Coach Hartman was a great Bulldog, a great friend to the University, a true benefactor to the Athens community and a legend to all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him. We will miss him, but we will always remember him.
Bill & Linda Lee
March 20, 2006
Julian and I were so sorry to hear about Coach Hartman - what a treasure he was! I am so glad we got to be with him in Tennille,for Walter's service, and hear the great stories of their youth. He was a remarkable man and will be missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to your entire family. Please know we are here if there is anything we can do.
Sincerely,
Anne and Julian Brown
Anne Troutman Brown
March 20, 2006
Laura,

You and your family are in our prayers.
Lori Mayhue
March 19, 2006
Coach Hartman's legacy will live on through his work with the thousands of lives he touched in so many ways. His guidance and direction served to make the "Bulldog nation" respected by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Ronald Bradley ('57)
March 19, 2006
To the Hartman family,The Coach left this World a better than he found it. His kindness and leadership will long be remembered.
Michael Barnes
March 19, 2006
Through his loyal contributions to the University and the community, Coach Hartman set an example for all of us to follow.
Brian Carr
March 19, 2006
Thanks for sharing just a few hours and some incredible stories with a stranger.I know the Dawgs have lost a true giant.

God bless you Mary and John.
Bill Laughridge
March 19, 2006
Bill is the epitome of all that is good in college sports. He represented UGA very well and set the standards for others to follow. I can remember many great games between Clemson and Georgia that came down to his tutelage of the kicking game. Greats like Kevin Butler, John Kasay and Todd Peterson set the stage of what would become a
great rivalry between Clemson and UGA. These games were often decided by a mere field goal kick. His legacy will not be forgotten and
this Clemson family sends out our heart felt sympathies to the bulldog nation.
Samuel & Elizabeth Banks III
March 19, 2006
I never met Coach Hartman, but feel as though I knew him from what I read about his career over the years. I also feel as though I knew him through the work of his son, Bill. As they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Bill, I join you in celebrating the life of your father.
Reggie Williams
March 19, 2006
let's make next season even more special, and win the national title for a great dawg. we'll miss you bill. jim sale
jim jim sale
March 18, 2006
Thank you for what you have always meant and will continue to mean to the University of Georgia. God Bless You!
Dan Chester
March 18, 2006
Our many thanks for sharing Bill these years...his influence on former players will be passed on to future generations...may God's blessings be felt and embraced by the family. Marion Holloway, Jr.'71
Marion Holloway
March 18, 2006
Your accomplishments and memories at UGA will always be with us, but God has now called you to spend eternity with Him.
Kenneth Cochran
March 18, 2006
May God bless and comfort the Hartman family.
Mr. & Mrs. Craig & Judy Samples
March 17, 2006
Bill Hartman was a true inspiration to all bulldog fans. His ability to develop kickers and maintain a positive attitude was always a blessing. He'll be greatly missed.
Bruce Flowers
March 17, 2006
Coach Hartman,

Thank you for the memories......
Sonny Walton
March 17, 2006
God speed to one of the greatest Dawgs.
Sam Avery
March 17, 2006
One of the All-Time Dawg greats, Bill was the heart and soul of Georgia football for most of his (and our) lifetimes. Georgia fans will remember him forever.
Mark Murphy
March 17, 2006
Barbara & Family,
You were very blessed to have a father like Coach Hartman. We were sorry to hear of your loss and want you to know you're in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Cathy & Dean
Dean Hadden
March 17, 2006
May God comfort and Bless the Hartman family good man good DAWG you will be missed
Michael Merrell
March 17, 2006
Barbara, you and your family are in my thoughts in this time of sorrow. Heaven has a new member in its Bulldog Club.
Patricia Price
March 17, 2006
I am praying for the Hartman family during these days. Coach Hartman was a real credit to UGA and to his family.
James Merritt
March 17, 2006
My condolences to the family (& Dawg Nation) of legendary UGA Bulldawg Bill Hartman. He is one of the great ones who'll be missed, but legacy his will live on!
C.E. Jones
March 17, 2006
Rest in peace and may your family be spared anymore sorrow
ronald daitch
March 17, 2006
Thank you so much for all you and your family gave to UGA. You were great as a player and coach.Your son, Bill Hartman III, is very special also. God bless you and the Hartman family. If the GOOD Lord has a team in Heaven, I know you will be All S.E.C HEAVEN. We love you Man!!!!!
James W Waddell,Sr
March 17, 2006
Great guy, great family, great coach. Ever loyal to the University, his friends and neighbors. And the best storyteller on the planet. I'll miss him tremendously.
Douglas Teague
March 17, 2006
May God bless you and keep you! You are a great example of how we should all live our lives and anyone who knows you knows that you have touched their lives as well. Go meet up with all those great DAWGS who have gone before you and save all of us DAWGS on earth a place at that great tailgate party in the sky.
Bob Goodwin
March 17, 2006
What a great lose. One of the best Dawgs there has been or ever will be. I was a kicker for UGA 89-1991 and played under Coach Hartman...what a great mentor and story teller. We will all miss him.

Letterman
Stuart Saussy
March 17, 2006
Rest in Peace, Coach Hartman. Everyone knows you deserve it. Our prayers go out to the Hartman family and all their friends.
Billy Lee '00
March 17, 2006
We always liked to see Coach Hartman check the wind for his kickers before the game. He will be missed.
Matthew Arthur
March 17, 2006
One of the greatest Dawgs of all time! Will be greatly missed.
Eddie & Anna Traylor
March 17, 2006
My deepest sympathy. I share your loss. I can not imagine life without Coach Hartman. What a great legacy is yours... He was brillant, so dedicated to UGA - a great personal friend. You are in my prayers.
Claude McBride
March 17, 2006
Coach Hartman is a fine example of what college athletics should be, and could be. He was a student, an athlete, and a true role-model who put his university, his team and his players ahead of self-interest.
Tad David
March 17, 2006
A great legend has passed on. We will miss a great Southern Bulldog. Loved to listen to him coach. What a great man!
Rick Dorminy
March 17, 2006
Bill, Sis and I will never forget how much your Dad cared about people especially young people all the way from our time at UGA to him sending kicking drills to our son 25 years later. He touched us and many others. God Bless
John Hargrove
March 17, 2006
Thanks for everything. I watched all of your kickers. You will be missed.
Charlie Sticher
March 17, 2006
Great Man. Great leader and teacher.The Bulldawg nation misses him but will also remember him. Godspeed.
Jeffery Bowen
March 17, 2006
LEGENDS NEVER DIE-THEY JUST MOVE UP TO A HIGHER LEVEL--THANKS FOR BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR SO MANY TO STAND ON COACH
RICK FOSTER
March 17, 2006
this man should be laid to rest on the 50 yardline at sanford stad,that way he could always watch his beloved dogs play,and watch over the bulldog nation like he always did.
pat pello
March 17, 2006
When I offer guidance to my five children in an attempt to prepare them for their future, I often think of Bill Hartman as an example of things they should try to emulate. What a wonderful man to represent UGA and how a man should live his life.
Bill Johnson
March 17, 2006
Bill, Barbara, & Laura: Your Dad was a true Southern gentleman, and you should be proud of his legacy. I can still hear him on the practice field in the early 80s barking out the hang time of the punters. He always had a kind word and a story to tell. My prayers are with you.
David Chandley
March 17, 2006
Coach Hartman was a great guy, a great coach, a great Bulldog and a legend. He will be missed but not forgotten.
Clay Hulsey
March 17, 2006
It was a true honor and pleasure for me to be able to call Coach Hartman my coach. He taught so many of us about the importance of the kicking game; however, he will be best remembered and loved for teaching us how to conduct ourselves on and off of the field. There has never been a finer "Southern Gentleman". Thank you for making UGA and this world a better place.
Randy James
March 17, 2006
One of the great Dawgs! He'll be missed. Sincere condolences to his family and multitude of friends.
david Cunard
March 17, 2006
COach Hartman loved The University, UGA Athletics and football and gave selflessly for a lifetime. Georgia has benefitted from his contributions greatly. We will all miss him and will remember his legacy.
Scott Young
March 17, 2006
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hartman family. You have some wonderful memories to console you.
Cheryl Gasaway
March 17, 2006
Glory, glory ....nothing better than a life of dedication to making fine young men even better. I remember meeting Coach Hartman as a young boy. He was warm and friendly . He radiated a love for life that I am sure touched everyone with whom shared this life...Glory , Glory !
Frank Davis
March 17, 2006
" A TEAM WITHOUT ITS KICKER/PASSER/FULLBACK/AMBASSADOR/ COACH AND BEST SCHOOL SUPPORTER... IS LIKE A STAR WITHOUT ITS GLIMER!" MR. BILL HARTMAN...YOU WILL ALWAYS BE MR. BULLDOG (UGA'S AND MY SHINING STAR) FOR NOW AND FOREVER...MAY GOD REST YOUR SOUL.
bob gershon
March 17, 2006
After such a full life of kindess and giving, Coach Hartman will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. His family and loved ones are on our minds today.
Will Kiser
March 17, 2006
The University of Georgia and Athens have lost a great ambassador that will be missed greatly. Condolences to the Hartman family.
Dan Storey
March 17, 2006
The entire dawg nation will cast their eyes toward heaven. Thanks coach.
Norwood Pearce
March 17, 2006
Bill III and I worked together at radio station WRFC while we were both in college. I remember stories of Coach Hartman even then (1969-1971). He is a legend that will be sorely missed. Capt T M Cordell DeKalb Fire and Rescue.
Tom Cordell
March 17, 2006
Just a wonderful human being. A top dawg and benefactor to the Boy Scouts of America, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Ducks Unlimited.
Mack Van Gorder
March 17, 2006
All of us, our sons and grandsons-- can only hope to live as good a life as Bulldog Bill. He was a man among men and a great Bulldog!
Lew Hege
March 17, 2006
Barbara,
Sorry about the loss of your Dad. He lived a long and successful life, but I know you'll miss him. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Brian Foster
March 17, 2006
The Dawg nation will never have another one like him. He was the best ever. May he rest in peace.
William Hurt
March 17, 2006
God Bless the Hartman Family and may his dedicated spirit live on in future generations of those who bleed Red & Black!
Corey Grooms
March 17, 2006
God Bless you Bill and your family. As Bob Hope put it: "Thanks for the Memories". A Great DAWG that will always hold a special place in all Dawg fans hearts.
Jeff Corban
March 17, 2006
One of the great MEN of all time, we will miss him dearly, but his legacy of caring and giving will live on with us in our hearts forever.
Robert McWhorter Winton
March 17, 2006
Thoughts and prayers to a great family who has seen the great influence from a great person....THE Kentucky Fans
John Carman
March 17, 2006
The greatest most selfless Dawg of all time bar none.
Keith Law
March 17, 2006
Our family, as part of the Georgia Bulldog family, feel a great loss. We remember all of the positive influences Bill Hartman had on our two sons Buck and Blake and many many other young men.
Ben Belue
March 17, 2006
I met Coach Hartman at UGA football camp in 1990. He was a nice man and will be missed.
Bryan Burruss
March 17, 2006
Bill, I'm very sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. The University family's loss is second to your own.
Larry Torrence
March 17, 2006
Heaven's football team just got a little stonger & the Bulldog Nation mourns a legend.
Ken Adamcik
March 17, 2006
We've lost a great Dawg. We're blessed that a man of his character was so dedicated to our University.
Chet Morris
March 17, 2006
We will miss you Bill; and as we all say "Once a Dawg, always a Dawg".
Jackie & Walter White
March 17, 2006
UGA athletics has never had anyone serve in so many ways in a more selfless manner. God bless the Hartman family.
Ken Ray
March 17, 2006
Bill Hartman made me proud to be a Dawg. Thank you Mr. Hartman.
Matthew Young
March 17, 2006
To the family,
Thank you so much for allowing Mr. Hartman to teach me as a young fan of what it truly means to be a Georgia Bulldog. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
God Bless
Brian Wiley
March 17, 2006
To Bill & his Family,
No man has ever loved Georgia more. A Damn Good DAWG! May God bless him.
Robert Williams,DVM
Robert Williams
March 17, 2006
I tried out as a walk on kicker for UGA in Spring 1987. Coach Hartman has been a fond memory of mine ever since.
Christopher Daniel
March 17, 2006
Thanks for the tireless years of diligent service to our wonderful University. May the grace of god be with you and your family.
Wayne Fossette
March 17, 2006
A true Damn Good Dawg! Thank you
J. Durham
March 17, 2006
Thanks for all you did for UGA. May God bless and keep you.
Tom O'Neal;
March 17, 2006
The loss of Coach Hartman leaves a huge hole in the lives of many. He was a real class act and a remarkable gentleman.
John Futch
March 16, 2006
WELL DONE COACH. GOD'S GRACE AND POWER COVER THE HARTMAN'S FAMILY.
ANTONIO RENDER
March 16, 2006
I never had the chance to know Mr. Hartman but I have for sure heard about him and the great things he did for Ga. I know he's in a better place. To his family, a prayer for you.
price cochran
March 16, 2006
I had the pleasure of meeting Coach Hartman at UGA in 1977 as a walk on kicker for the Bulldogs. I remember him as such a kind man, taking time to work with me even though he knew UGA had a future all American kicker in Rex Robinson and that I would most likely never kick for the Bulldogs. That didn't matter to Coach Hartman. He still took the time to work with me, was kind, patient and made quite an impression on me. My heart goes out to the Hartman family.
Cary Silverman
March 16, 2006
To my friend Bill and family, condolences on the loss of your father. It sounds as though he was beloved by all. I'm sure those memories will continue to sustain you. God bless.
Patty Rasmussen
March 16, 2006
My father,Lea Richards ,played football [and basketball and baseball]for UGA in '36 & '37 . At various events ,games ,etc had the oportunity to meet Coach Hartman as he and my dad would cajole. He was always very polite , friendly ,and never bragged . They shared many great stories. He was truely a Dawg thru and thru !
Ned Richards
March 16, 2006
Bill,

What a wonderful and amazing father you had! Still, I understand that makes it even harder to lose him. You and your family are in my constant thoughts and prayers. Anything you need, just ask.

Love,

Kellie
Kellie Burkett
March 16, 2006
The Bulldog nation will miss Coach Hartman.
Keith Langley
March 16, 2006
Well done thy good and faithful DAWG.
Ron Willard
March 16, 2006
To the Hartman family we send our prayers. I can hear Mr Hartman now....put me in coach I am ready.
Kirk Nixon
March 16, 2006
Well another uga legend is gone. So may your soul rest in peace in that big football field in the sky.
Gene Conner
March 16, 2006
My great-uncle Marvin Gillespie was a teammate of Coach Bill. He always spoke highly of Bill and respected him as a friend and teammate. Coach Bill, the Bulldog Nation will greatly miss you. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Bill's family.
Tom Gillespie, Jr.
March 16, 2006
Loyalty, enthusiasm and a family history at UGA. We can only hope that future coaches/alumni have so much heart. Thank you coach, you will be missed.
Ron May
March 16, 2006
Coach Hartman's legendary contributions to the UGA football program spanned many decades and were very instrumental in the success we have had. Condolences to the Hartman family.
Jack Bartlett '63
March 16, 2006
I had the pleasure of working with Coach Hartman's daughter, Laura, at the UGA Foundation when I was in college in the 90's. He, and his family, are tribute to the Bulldawg legacy. Thank you, Coach Hartman!
Susan Garrett Cato
March 16, 2006
To the Hartman family our prayers are with you at this difficult time. The Bulldawg Nation lost one of its biggest supporters and he will be missed by all. Coach is in a better place now rehashing stories with Lewis Grizzard.
Bill Brittian
March 16, 2006
Rest in peace. God bless you and your family, coach! DGD - GATA!!!
Jim Martell
March 16, 2006
We Bulldogs will miss you Coach Hartman and prayers go out your family.
Jerry Stowers
March 16, 2006
Thank you coach. You are Mr. Bulldawg.
Danny Gossett
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