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Georgia Tech Unveils Homer Rice Statue

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech athletics unveiled a statue of legendary director of athletics Homer Rice on Friday. The statue is located on Callaway Plaza, just outside of Bobby Dodd Stadium, and steps from the entrance to Georgia Tech’s Homer Rice Center for Sports Performance.

Rice’s statue is the third to be dedicated on Callaway Plaza, joining sculptures of John Heisman and Bobby Dodd. In addition to being legendary coaches at Georgia Tech, Heisman and Dodd also served as Tech’s director of athletics during their time on The Flats. The most prominent national awards for college football’s player of the year (Heisman), coach of the year (Dodd) and athletics director of the year (Rice) are named in their honor.

Rice was the Yellow Jackets’ athletics director from 1980-97. Under his leadership, Georgia Tech revitalized its athletics program, highlighted by winning its fourth football national championship in 1990. Tech also made its first men’s basketball Final Four appearance (1990) and advanced to the baseball College World Series for the first time (1994) with Rice at the helm.

However, perhaps Rice’s biggest legacy is the Total Person Program, which he developed and implemented at Tech and went on to be the model for the NCAA Life Skills Program that is now practiced across college athletics. Rice, 94, continues to teach a leadership class at Georgia Tech.

The Rice statue on Callaway Plaza is a 7-foot tall bronze sculpture designed by internationally renowned sculptors Don Haugen and Teena Stern Haugen. Current Georgia Tech director of athletics Todd Stansbury, former Tech football coach Bill Curry and Rice all spoke during Friday’s unveiling.

Homer Rice Statue Unveiling

November 12, 2021 - Callaway Plaza

Prior to his arrival at Tech, Rice began his career as a high school football coach before becoming an assistant coach at Kentucky (1962-65) and Oklahoma (1966). In 1967, he was named head coach at Cincinnati (1967-68), but left after two seasons to become athletics director at North Carolina. He served six years as A.D. at UNC (1969-75), before going to Rice, where he served as A.D. and head football coach for two years (1976-77). He then made the move to the National Football League, serving as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1978 and ’79 before being named A.D. at Georgia Tech in 1980.

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

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