John Magan loved UGA tennis because Dan Magill made it special

John Mangan during action for the Georgia Tennis Team

CHARLOTTE – Recently, at a downtown hotel, a ceremony was held to recognize a segment of the NASCAR racing industry that has attracted such recognizable stock car personalities as Joe Gibbs, a football coach-turned-owner a car, and Darrell Waltrip, a former driver.

There were a number of autograph collectors who met them, with pen and paper, when a tall, smiling businessman casually passed their corner of the lobby without a fuss about his presence.

Although John Mangan may not catch the eye of NASCAR fans, he has a resume that is turning heads, especially those familiar with the history of University of Georgia tennis under Dan Magill and who know a former passionate student who can’t do enough for his alma mater.

Loran Smith

Mangan’s story is one that champions “alma mater love” at the highest level. He was an unlikely candidate for listing 848 miles south of his home in Rye, NY, just 30 miles north of Manhattan, except that Magill’s daughter prompted him to consider s enroll in Athens.

The coach sent the prospect a plane ticket that introduced Mangan to a vibrant new part of the country and a man who was a colorful character with a deep and abiding love for his favorite institution. Dan Magill couldn’t do enough for the University of Georgia and inspired his legion of tennis players to emphasize loyalty to UGA when their playing days were over.