Own the East: ‘Big Dawg’ Trent Woods
Editor’s Note: It may be time for the Georgia Bulldogs to take back the SEC East in 2017. We’ve featured the most important UGA players, coaches, fans and staff for the upcoming season in a 20-part video series, which you can binge-watch right here.
ATHENS – Fans who want Georgia to rule the East will have a new “Big Dawg” leading their cheers this season.
Trent Woods, 38, officially becomes “Big Dawg III” when UGA opens its season Sept. 2 against Appalachian State. Woods continues a family tradition that has become an inspiration for Georgia fans at all home games. He is the son of Mike Woods and the grandson of Lonnie Woods.
The late Mike Woods – he died in January – brought the family’s “Big Dawg” tradition into the public consciousness. On UGA game days, he would shave his head, and his wife Diane would paint a Georgia Bulldogs face on top.
One man’s way to honor the Bulldogs and his late father eventually became a DawgNation sensation and important tradition in Athens and for Georgia fans everywhere. His presence inspires players, too.
“Big Dawg” was easy to spot inside Sanford Stadium. The TV cameras loved him and the artwork atop his head as Woods craned his neck forward and hoisted the number one on his finger. His black overalls bedazzled with UGA pins of every sort; it didn’t take long for Big Dawg to become an attraction for Georgia fans.
Lonnie Woods started the family’s head-painting tradition in 1981. He drove the Georgia defense’s team bus. Lonnie Woods decided to paint his with a bulldog face on the day the Bulldogs played Notre Dame for the national championship game. Georgia won. The rest is history.
Lonnie Woods passed away in 1986, and Mike Woods waited until the 1990s to resurrect the tradition, really on a whim. But now it’s serious business.
Trent Woods had promised his father he would carry on the tradition.
He painted his head for the G-Day Game in April. He had his mother do the outline of a bulldog and fill it in with this message: “Family tradition to be con’t on 9/2/2017.”
Click here to see more of “Own the East,” our 2017 season preview of the Georgia Bulldogs in video form.