Back to search

Wally Butts


James Wallace Butts

Inducted 1997

Date of Birth



Milledgeville, GA


University of Georgia (1939-1960)


Wally Butts grew up in Milledgeville, Georgia, attended a prep school at Georgia Military, and was captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams. He enrolled at Mercer University and was active in five sports - football, basketball, baseball, boxing, and wrestling. He was only 5-6 in height, 155 pounds in weight, but he was a star. His football coach was Hall of Famer Bernie Moore. Moore said Butts was "the best blocking end I ever coached." Wally graduated from Mercer in 1928 and for ten years, 1928-37, coached high school football at Madison Prep, Georgia Military, and Male High of Louisville, Kentucky. In those ten years he lost ten games. Georgia named him assistant coach in 1938 and head coach a year later. He held the job 22 years, through 1960, and was Georgia director of athletics through 1964. After that he operated an insurance agency in Athens, Georgia. His record at Georgia, 140-86-9, gave him a .615 win percentage. His best teams were 1941 (9-1-1), 1942 (11-1), 1946 (11-0) and 1959 (10-1). The 1941 team beat Texas Christian 40-26 in the Orange Bowl, and the 1942 team beat UCLA 9-0 in the Rose Bowl. Some polls named Georgia national champs in 1942. Frank Leahy called him "football's finest passing coach." Fran Tarkenton said Butts "knew more football than any other man I ever met." His stars included Frank Sinkwich, Charlie Trippi, John Rauch, and Zeke Bratkowski. Sinkwich said, "He made a man of me." The main athletic building on the Georgia campus is named for him.


Wins 140

Losses 86

Ties 9

Icon Tickets

Secure your tickets now and be apart of the legacy. Don’t miss the chance to experience greatness firsthand!

Icon Membership

Unlock exclusive access and be part of something legendary. Join our community and enjoy premium benefits today!

Icon Shop

Take a piece of greatness home. Shop our exclusive collection of themed items and preserve the legacy in your own way!