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Virginia Football Set To Send Off Head Coach

Dec. 24, 2000

Associated Press Writer

HONOLULU - Virginia's George Welsh and Georgia's Jim Donnan will coach their teams for the last time in the Oahu Bowl on Sunday.

Welsh, 67, is retiring after a 19-year career at Virginia because of health concerns.

"This isn't a game where they should win one for the Gipper," Welsh said. "They should be just thinking about their assignments and trying to beat the guy across from them."

Donnan, who was fired after the Bulldogs finished the season poorly against its biggest rivals, is voicing the same sentiment to his players.

"I'm not one of those coaches who will stand up and give a speech about winning the game for me," said Donnan, who is 39-19 in five seasons at Georgia. "We're a team together. We want to win it for the Georgia Bulldogs. That's how it should be."

Players haven't paid much attention their coaches' wishes and are promising an emotional and physical battle on the field in hopes of a win.

No. 24 Georgia (7-4) is trying to win its fourth consecutive bowl, something the program has never accomplished.

The Bulldogs started the season winning six of their first seven games. They stumbled when quarterback Quincy Carter tore a ligament in his throwing hand and missed the last month of the season. The team lost three of its last four games.

Cory Phillips will start the bowl game in place of Carter. Phillips appeared in nine games this year, throwing for 1,093 yards, eight touchdowns and six interceptions.

Virginia is led by running back Antwoine Womack, who has rushed for 1,028 yards and nine touchdowns this season.

The Oahu Bowl will be the Georgia's third bowl matchup with Virginia (6-5) in six seasons. The Cavaliers won 34-27 in the 1995 Peach Bowl, but the Bulldogs prevailed 35-33 in the same bowl in 1998.

While the Bulldogs ride a three-bowl winning streak, the Cavaliers have lost three straight bowl games since the victory in 1995.

When Welsh took over the team in 1982, the Cavaliers had only two winning seasons in 30 years. He has transformed the program to a perennial bowl contender with 10 appearances in the last 12 years.

Welsh downplayed his final football practice on Saturday.

"It's just another practice," he said. "The only thing I'm going to do is save the last practice schedule... I may put that in a frame.

"I figured out I made over 2,000 (of them) in my coaching career."




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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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