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Former coach Ray Goff in GA-FL Hall of Fame - The Red and Black : Sports

Former coach Ray Goff in GA-FL Hall of Fame

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2002 12:00 am

As a former player and head football coach for Georgia, Ray Goff was a big part of the Georgia-Florida rivalry. So it was only fitting that he will be inducted into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame.

Goff will be inducted in a Nov. 1 ceremony with Georgia kicker Bobby Etter as well as Florida receiver Ricky Nattiel and Norm Carlson, who was the sports information director there for an extended time.

Goff was an assistant for Georgia from 1981-1988 prior to taking the role of head coach from 1989-1995, compiling a 46-34-1 record.

He played for the Bulldogs from 1973-1976.

"I'm very appreciative of it," Goff said on receiving the honor. "There are a lot of other people out there that deserve it more than I do."

Originally, Goff thought heavily about playing for Georgia Tech growing up in the south Georgia farming community of Moultrie, thanks to local Yellow Jacket recruiter Dynamite Goodlow.

"Growing up, I really didn't know much about college football," Goff said. "I hate to admit it, but I followed Georgia Tech."

Luckily for the Bulldogs, Goff wound up in Athens and became one of the greatest to ever play quarterback for the Bulldogs.

In 1976, Goff led Georgia to the SEC title and a berth in the Sugar Bowl. He was named SEC Player of the Year as the Bulldogs went 10-1.

"On the football field, everyone came together," Goff said. "We were a very close knit group."

Part of that championship season came in Jacksonville against the Gators where he led a comeback from a 27-13 halftime deficit to a 41-27 win, throwing two touchdown passes and running in three more.

"The surroundings make the game bigger than it really is," Goff said. "It's a very important game, but some of the other games are just as important.

"We were very fortunate to catch Florida at a good time. We usually played a non-conference game the week before and Florida had Auburn. They used up a lot of emotion (against Auburn). But the week after Florida, we would have to play Auburn."

Not to be overlooked was the early season home date with Alabama where Georgia beat the defending SEC champions 21-0.

"In all of my years at Georgia I've never seen the town get as excited as it was that week in 1976 with all the buildup," Goff said. "I've never seen anything like it since."

Goff has traded the whistle and clipboard in for the business world.

Goff has a farm in Watkinsville where he is involved in several businesses and is enjoying watching his two daughters grow up.

Goff is involved in the real estate business and is raising some Black Angus cows. He also has part in a company that stores up lumber that is converted into flooring in addition to being part of a joint partnership with brother Bucky and Lonnie Copper in owning multiple Zaxby's Chicken restaurants in south Georgia.

"I've been very fortunate to be able to do some things that I enjoy," Goff said.

Though being near campus, Goff doesn't have a desire to hinder the workings of the current coaching staff.

"The worst thing you can have is a couple of ex-head coaches hanging around and telling how it should be done," Goff said. "I spent 21 years there and was very fortunate to be around. Coach Richt knows what he's doing."

And Goff is content with his current way of living and has no plans to get back into coaching.

"I love what I do. I love watching my daughters. They ride in horse shows on weekends and watching them is one of the greatest blessings in the world," Goff said. "There's not enough money in the world to replace watching them compete."

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