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Former Georgia Coach Dies at 78

April 29, 2003

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) _ Johnny Griffith, who was the Georgia football coach between the tenures of Wally Butts and Vince Dooley, died Monday in Duluth. He was 78.

Griffith had been hospitalized with heart problems in recent years.

He played on Georgia’s undefeated 1946 team and was an assistant coach under Butts from 1956-60. He took over the program in 1961 and was succeeded by Dooley three years later.

``When I replaced coach Griffith as head coach, I will never forget he went the extra mile to help and cooperate during the transition period,″ said Dooley, Georgia’s athletic director.

As head coach, Griffith had a record of 10-16-4.

``When he was let go, and Vince Dooley came in, he went recruiting with Vince,″ said Loran Smith, a longtime friend. ``Johnny handled it about as well as anyone could have.″

Griffith is survived by his wife, Wanda; sons John and Robert Griffith; and daughters Susan Bond, Georgia Griffith and Ginger Summerville.

The funeral is Wednesday.

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