ATLANTA (Aug. 24, 2017) – This year’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between No. 25 Tennessee and Georgia Tech will celebrate legendary College Football Hall of Fame player and coach Bobby Dodd throughout the game on Monday, Sept. 4.
Dodd was an All-American quarterback at Tennessee (1928-1930) and coached at Georgia Tech (1931-1966), leading the Yellow Jackets to the program’s 1952 National Championship. He is currently one of only three people inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.
Georgia Tech’s football stadium, Bobby Dodd Stadium, and the most coveted college football coach of the year award, The Dodd Trophy, both honor his name. The Dodd Trophy celebrates the head coach of a team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity – the three pillars of Dodd’s philosophy.
“Bobby Dodd was one of the greatest football icons of our time,” said Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl CEO/President Gary Stokan. “Considering his deep connections to both Tennessee and Georgia Tech, along with our partnership with The Dodd Trophy, we knew we had to celebrate his legacy throughout the game.”
To celebrate the iconic college football figure and his ties to both programs, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will feature field logos and signage of The Dodd Trophy throughout Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Additionally, players from both teams will wear helmet stickers of The Dodd Trophy as part of their uniforms. Members of the Dodd family will also be recognized on the field during the second quarter of the game and a video tribute to Dodd will be played in front of the sold-out crowd.
“It will be an honor to see Bobby Dodd’s legacy live on throughout this game,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “It only adds to the excitement surrounding the first matchup between the programs in nearly three decades.”
The Tennessee-Georgia Tech game will be featured in prime time on Monday, Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. Tennessee and Georgia Tech have met 43 times, with the Volunteers holding a 24-17-2 series lead over the Yellow Jackets. One-time SEC rivals, this year’s meeting will mark the first between the programs in 30 years, when Tennessee defeated Georgia Tech 29-15 in Knoxville during the 1987 season.
This will be Tennessee’s second appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the first a 2012 win over N.C. State. Georgia Tech will be making its first appearance in the game.
The nation’s longest-running kickoff game, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game has now sold out 10 of its 13 matchups. The game averages 67,645 – higher than the attendance of 35 bowl games last year – and has an average payout of $4.7 million which is higher than 27 bowl games last year. Television viewership is also traditionally strong with more than 47.4 million viewers tuning in to the series since its inaugural series in 2008.
The teams will battle for The Old Leather Helmet Trophy, one of college football’s newest rivalry-style icons. Traditionally, winners of The Old Leather Helmet don the helmet on the field after the game, starting with the head coach and then rotating from player to player as the team celebrates its victory.
ABOUT THE CHICK-FIL-A KICKOFF GAME
Created in 2008 by Peach Bowl, Inc., the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is the preeminent bowl-style, neutral-site game featuring two elite football programs and has been nationally televised on the first Saturday of the college football season since its inception. The game has hosted teams with national rankings of No. 1 (twice), 2, 3, 5 (twice), 6, 7, 9, 14, 16, 18 (twice), 19, 22, 24 (twice) and 25 (three times). The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game boasts an average attendance of 67,645, has been watched on television by 47.4 million viewers, and has distributed $51.9 million in total team payouts. Since its inception in 2008, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game has featured seven national coaches of the year, 19 players who were recipients of national awards during their collegiate careers and a total of 48 first-round NFL Draft picks. For more information, visit WWW.CHICK-FIL-AKICKOFFGAME.COM.
ABOUT THE DODD TROPHY
The Dodd Trophy was established in 1976 to honor the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1A) head football coach whose program represents the highest ideals on and off the field. The award honors the coach of a team which enjoys a successful football season, while also stressing the importance of academic excellence and character, as did Coach Dodd’s teams during his 22 years as head football coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Coach Dodd remains one of college football’s legendary figures, both as a coach and a player. Coach Dodd was a native of Galax, Virginia, and played his college ball at the University of Tennessee where his team had 27 wins, one loss and two ties during the three years he played. Coach Dodd was selected to the National College Football Hall of Fame both as a coach and as a player. Additional information about the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation can be found at www.TheDoddTrophy.com. For news, updates and insider information, follow us on Twitter at @DoddTrophy or find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/DoddTrophy.