Tag Archives: Clint Bryant

Augustus welcomed as new mascot for the Jaguar Nation

After a long rollout that included a series of videos chronicling the career-ending injury of former mascot Al E. Cat and the search for his replacement, Georgia Regents University’s new mascot, Augustus, was welcomed to Jaguar Nation Tuesday in an energy-filled ceremony at the Jaguar Student Activity Center.

“This is a very important day for Jaguar Nation,” said Athletic Director Clint Bryant, who followed his opening remarks by touching on the history of the Jaguar mascot.

Only four universities in the nation are known as the Jaguars, Bryant said: GRU, South Alabama University, Southern University and Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. And though the Summerville Campus has been the Jaguars since the 1930s, it wasn’t until 1992 that the school had its first mascot: Al E. Cat. The name, chosen from 250 entries, earned the winner $50.

President Brooks Keel, a graduate of both Augusta College and the Medical College of Georgia, noted the consolidation of the two schools while giving a nod to its binding traditions.

Al E. Cat
An early version of Al E. Cat

“I wasn’t here back in the 30s, but I was here back when it was Augusta College. And it was Jaguar then, it is Jaguar now, and it’s Jaguar even bigger than I could have ever imagined as an undergraduate student,” he said. “It’s bigger than I ever could have imagined as a graduate student of the Medical College of Georgia. It is now the combination of two of the greatest universities around into one university, one Georgia Regents University, and we are all one Jaguar Nation.”

Shortly after Keel spoke, Augustus made his big entrance.

Brian Marshall, a marketing specialist with the Division of Communications and Marketing, was instrumental in the creation of the new mascot, which was developed with the help of Weir/Stewart, an Augusta advertising firm. Having actually performed while wearing the innovative new suit, Marshall has a unique insight.

drawing2“The first thing you think about when you’re going to be a mascot is what the vision is like,” he said. “With this suit, there are actually two different places where you can look out. You’re not looking 20/20 out of the eye holes, but you’re able to see out of those two places, so you can get a better sense of what’s around you.”

Another unique aspect of the suit is the feet, which he said are worn like slippers.

“You’re not covering up your shoe; you’re actually putting your foot in there, so you don’t have to worry about your foot slipping off, because it’s built to keep it there,” he said. “I’ve run in it, I’ve jumped in it, I’ve danced in it – you name it.”

drawingAnd because many of the larger schools utilize multiple mascot suits, GRU actually has two Augustus suits.

“That way we can do recruiting off campus, but still have him available here for a game,” Marshall said. “However, because we want to make sure there’s only one Augustus, we have a strategy in place to make sure that if he’s going to be on live TV, he won’t be performing somewhere else at exactly the same time.”

While the design process was intense, it was fun and rewarding for all involved.

“We’re pretty proud of him and would like to thank everyone over at Georgia Regents University for trusting us to bring the new mascot for the Jaguar Nation to life,” said Alex Wier, creative director at Wier/Stewart. “Going from looking at the sketches to seeing a real Augustus pumping up the GRU faithful has been a very cool experience.”

The suit was delivered in late April, which was a little too late in the school year for a proper rollout, so the team decided to wait to officially welcome Augustus until the first week of the 2015-16 school year, though Augustus was busy over the summer filming videos and interacting with students during different orientation sessions.

Photo credit: Phil Jones

Photo credit: Kim Ratliff

Purdue University assistant coach to take first head coaching job with the Jaguars

Caroline Hegg was named head women’s golf coach at Georgia Regents University on Tuesday, Aug. 4 during an 11:00 a.m. press conference at the J. Fleming Norvell Golf House.

Hegg starts her first year as head coach of the GRU Augusta women’s golf team after serving as the assistant coach at Purdue University for the past five years.

“I’m honored and excited to lead the GRU women’s golf program,” Hegg said. “Between the facilities in the area and the incredible support in this community, there is no better place to play college golf than Augusta, Georgia. I look forward to meeting with the team very soon so that we can set our goals for the year and get to work.”

GRU Augusta Director of Athletics Clint Bryant introduced Hegg to a crowd of media and campus and community supporters at the Jaguar Golf facility. With her selection, Hegg became the sixth full-time head coach in the program’s history and replaced former coach Kory Henkes.

“Caroline brings a wealth of experience and an infectious enthusiasm from one of the most successful Division I women’s golf programs in the country,” Bryant said. “Her ability to lead, teach and relate, are attributes that should serve her well in her new role as head coach at GRU. We welcome her to Jaguar Nation and look forward to the continuing development and success of our women’s program both athletically and academically under her leadership.”

Hegg spent five seasons with the Boilermakers and helped coach the team to three top-10 showings at the NCAA Championships including a runner-up finish in 2011 and third place in 2013. Under Hegg and the Boilers staff, there individuals earned Big Ten Championships, while the team garnered the 2013 Big Ten Team Championship.

During her time in West Lafayette, Hegg coached five All-American selections, three Big Ten Players of the Year, and nine Academic All-American Scholar team recipients.

Prior to coaching, she played four seasons for Purdue from 2003 to 2007. The Culver, Ind., native graduated in May 2007, with a classical studies degree and a minor in philosophy. Hegg was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, an NGCA All-Scholar Team recipient and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society.

Before Purdue, Hegg served as a staff professional at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill in Prattville, Ala. Her career began in June of 2008 at the Randall Oaks Golf Course in Dundee, Ill., where she served as the golf professional.

Hegg won the Indiana State Open the summer of her sophomore year at Purdue. She was the Indiana state high school golf champion in 2001, runner up in 2000 and earned all-state honors all four years at the Culver Academy. Hegg spent the first year after graduation from Purdue as a faculty intern at her high school alma mater.

Formerly Caroline Haase, she married Stefan Hegg in the summer of 2013.

Watch: One year after NCAA D2 military partnership

In 2014, Georgia Regents University made history alongside the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II,  the Peach Belt Conference and Fort Gordon by becoming part of a unique joint-venture focused on strengthening the Augusta community. To date, the project – designed to inspire a sense of camaraderie and support between rising leaders in both the collegiate and military communities – has been a tremendous success.

Clint Bryant, GRU Augusta Director of Athletics, was chosen to chair the Division II Military Project Team shortly after the NCAA and local U.S. military leaders agreed to form the project in December 2013.

“[The project] becomes a part of the culture, it becomes a part of the community fabric,” said Bryant, describing the partnership. “And if we, as colleges and universities, can play a role in bringing that type of relationship together, that’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s our purpose.”

To see the entire Year One Recap, please view the video below.

Clint Bryant Named Keynote Speaker for NAFCED Membership Dinner

Georgia Regents University Director of Athletics Clint Bryant has been invited to be the keynote speaker at the 2015 National Association for Coaching Equity and Development (NAFCED) membership dinner on Friday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Atlanta Airport Marriott Hotel.

Clint Bryant will speak at the membership dinner during the NAFCED National Meeting from May 21-23 in Atlanta, Ga. The event kicks off on Thursday, May 21 with an opening reception from 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. After an opening session, luncheon, and organizational meeting, Bryant will speak at the dinner scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

NAFCED is an organization created by coaches, governed by coaches, for the benefit of racial and ethnic minority coaches. Its primary purpose is the formation of a cohesive organization to address the issues most prevalent in the profession which adversely affect its Membership and to promote the growth, development and long-term success of racial and ethnic minorities in the coaching profession, at all levels. NAFCED will provide an array of Membership services which will enhance the careers and employment opportunities of current and future coaches.

To view the NAFCED primary objectives click here

Entering his 28th year of providing commitment and care for Georgia Regents University as the Director of Athletics, Clint Bryant has firmly established himself as one of the most reputable administrators and leaders for equality in the state of Georgia, the Southeast and in the nation.

He oversees a 13-sport athletics department that has steadily fought for conference and regional honors. Under Bryant’s leadership, Jaguar programs have enjoyed success on and off the playing fields and courts.

In the 2014-15 seasons, just the second full year of competing as GRU, Bryant saw 11 of his 13 teams reach the NCAA postseason, while piloting the Jaguar Military Alliance with Fort Gordon. Bryant was chosen by the NCAA to chair the Division II Military Pilot Project Team after the NCAA and local U.S. military leaders agreed on the formation of the project in December.

A three-year pilot program, the military initiative with Fort Gordon kicked off in 2014-15 with three phases. GRU hosted their annual athletics retreat at Fort Gordon’s Pointes West Army Resort Augusta 6-7, they hosted the JAG R.A.I.D. (Run Army Initiative Day) on the Fort Gordon Military base – housing the Peach Belt Conference Cross Championships and local 5K Turkey Trot for the community. Year one’s activities wrapped up with the JAG M.A.W. (Military Appreciation Week) – which was highlighted by the homecoming basketball game that was nationally-televised by CBS Sports Network in 100 million homes throughout the nation.

Employee Advisory Council presents Employee Awards

On a busy Friday that saw the groundbreaking of the new, 724-bed student housing complex, the State of the Medical College of Georgia address and the Presidential Farewell Ice Cream Social, the Employee Advisory Council held its inaugural Employee Awards Program.

The awards celebrate individuals, teams, and departments for their “outstanding and meritorious work.”

Vice President for Human Resources Susan Norton opened the two-hour program, followed by a welcome by President Ricardo Azziz.

The Teamwork Award, presented by Coach Clint Bryant, went to the ED Respiratory Therapy Team as well as the staff of the Child Care Center.

Norton presented the Service Excellence Award, which went to Alexis Rossi, Melissa Bold, Elizabeth D. Jones, Sandra Oglesy, and Victoria Worsham.

The Golden Pen Award, which recognizes staff that have reached a significant level of achievement and excellence in both their career and in their contributions to the growth and development of GRU, was presented by Medical College of Georgia Dean Peter Buckley.

Of the six nominees, Drs. Jack Chungkai Yu, Nhuan Nguyen, and Christina DeRemer received the award.

For photos of the winners, click here.

‘Amen Corner’ proposal goes viral

By now it’s no secret that the story of GRU sports information director Taylor Lamb’s proposal to his fiancé, Alyson Dukes, at “Amen Corner” during Monday’s practice round at the Masters has become an Internet sensation.

Everyone loves a good proposal story, and that photo of Lamb down on one knee while Dukes tries to contain her emotions was golden even if it didn’t have one of the most famous views in all of golf as a backdrop.

But it did, and that made all the difference.

“Honestly, I had thought that if I did it on a Monday and there wasn’t any crazy news that happened that day at the Masters, it might get some coverage,” Lamb said. “I figured the Chronicle might publish the photo, and I thought it would be awesome to have a published article of it.”

He got the Chronicle story, of course, and a whole lot more.

USA Today. SB Nation. The Golf Channel. The Washington Post.

By the time they left the course, their phones were filled with congratulatory voicemails and texts. And that photo was everywhere.

“I had talked to the Chronicle people ahead of time,” Lamb said. “They showed up on cue, and my girlfriend didn’t know what was happening – I went up to talk with them, and she thought I was just talking with friends.”

After a few minutes, he went back to Dukes, but the photographer, Jon-Michael Sullivan, kept motioning for them to go to the corner so he could take a picture of them. Eventually, he finally just told them what to do.

“He basically just orchestrated the last part of it,” Lamb said. “I was like, all right – this is my window.”

Why the Masters? When Lamb moved to the area to take the job at GRU, Dukes, who grew up in Grovetown, took him to the tournament.

“That was one of my first strong memories of Augusta,” he said. “So when I knew I wanted to do it, I knew I wanted to do it at the Masters.”

However, the entire plan nearly fell apart when the tickets he was relying on didn’t come through. If not for the last minute heroics of Athletic Director Clint Bryant, who managed to produce the needed tickets, Lamb would have had to rely on Plan B.

Luckily, Bryant stepped in, because according to Lamb, there was no Plan B.

CBS Sports to air men’s basketball game

CBS Sports Network will televise the Georgia Regents University men’s basketball game against Lander University at noon Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 from GRU’s Christenberry Fieldhouse.

“We are grateful to CBS Sports Network for allowing us to be a part of their television schedule this year,” said GRU Athletic Director Clint Bryant. “We have great student athletes and this televised event will give national exposure to our program, athletic department, and university.”

Bryant says this game is also a part of GRU’s Military Appreciation Day in which the university honors members of the United States Armed Forces for their service to our country. He is expecting hundreds of active and retired military personnel to attend.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association will live stream the game on NCAA.com and the NCAA Sports mobile app. For more information, contact Taylor Lamb, Media Relations Director in GRU Athletics,  at 706-731-7925.

Big names unveiled for Roast & Toast

The four celebrity roasters for the annual Roast & Toast celebration – honoring Georgia Regents University Director of Athletics, Clint Bryant, were announced Wednesday afternoon at a press conference at the Augusta Mini Theatre.
 
Sponsored by the Mini Theater, the 2014 Roast & Toast will feature legendary NCAA men’s basketball coaches Tubby Smith and Roy Williams and local businessmen Clay Boardman and Curtis B. Carter.
 
The Roast & Toast will take place on Thursday July 17th at the Tabernacle Family Life Center on Laney-Walker Blvd with all proceeds going to the Mariah McKie Butler Memorial College Book Scholarship Fund.
 
Tickets for the Roast & Toast are $50 and tables are offered for $400 for a party of eight. To purchase tickets or a table, call 706-722-0598 or visit www.AugustaMiniTheatre.com.
 
2014 Roast & Toast – Celebrity Roasters
  • Clay Boardman – A native Augustan, Clay is a Principal and Senior Vice President of Development for Hull Storey Gibson Companies, LLC. Boardman has served on the board or been board chair for local associations including the Community Foundation for the CSRA, Georgia Health Sciences Foundation, Augusta Preparatory Day School, Augusta Warrior Project, Turn Back the Block, Augusta Tomorrow, FORE Augusta Foundation, Paine College, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Augusta, Georgia Cities Foundation and many others.
 
  • Curtis B. Carter – A native of Winnsboro, S.C., and one of Clint Bryant’s longtime friends and former teammates at Belmont Abbey College, Curtis B. Carter has been with the (SCBT) South Carolina Bank and Trust in Orangeburg, S.C., for the past ten years and has been in the financial profession for over thirty years.
 
  • Tubby Smith – Legendary head coach Tubby Smith is now the head men’s basketball coach for Texas Tech University. Prior to that he was the head coach at University of Tulsa, the University of Georgia, and the University of Kentucky, where he coached the Wildcats to the 1998 NCAA championship. Smith has been a part of 744 collegiate wins and made 23 trips to the NCAA tournament.
 
  • Roy Williams – The head man of UNC Tar Heel Basketball, Roy Williams reached 700 career wins as an NCAA coach in fewer seasons than any coach in history. He has a .792 winning percentage and has made seven Final Four appearances. Williams is currently tied with DePaul’s Ray Meyer for 19th place all-time in wins (724).
 
Fans of Jaguar Athletics can subscribe to the email listserve by clicking here. Fans can follow GRU Athletics at www.jaguarsroar.com and receive short updates on Facebook at GRU_Jaguars and on Twitter at @GRU_Jaguars.