Dennis a fixture in college athletics

sports@macon.comNovember 18, 2013 

Steve Dennis played football at Georgia in the late 1970s, and during his time in Athens he and his Bulldogs teammates defeated Georgia Tech in three of five games, he served as defensive captain of the 1978 team, and he was on Ray Goff’s Bulldogs coaching staff in 1994 and 1995.

But when the Bulldogs travel to Atlanta at the end of this month for the annual “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” game between Georgia and Georgia Tech, the former Central standout will be wearing Yellow Jackets gold and white.

It just goes to prove blood is thicker than the color of a jersey. Steve’s youngest son, Corey, is a junior wide receiver for the Yellow Jackets.

As a true freshman in 2011, the 6-foot-2, 201-pound Dennis was on Georgia Tech special teams and also played defensive back. In 2012, he moved to offense as a wide receiver while also continuing to play on special teams.

Corey Dennis came to Georgia Tech from Charles Henderson in Troy, Ala., after starting at quarterback his senior season. He had played wide receiver as a sophomore and junior. He spent his early years in Auburn, Ala., when Steve was on the Tigers’ staff, landed in Troy after Steve took over as athletics director at Troy in 2005 and stayed there until 2012.

Leading the Trojans’ athletics program was just one stop for the elder Dennis in a lifetime in athletics. He had his first coaching job at Windsor, and after just one season in Macon he moved on to the college ranks, spending the next four years at Chattanooga working for Bill Oliver for three seasons and for Buddy Nix for one year. Nix went to become general manager of the Buffalo Bills in the NFL, and Steve still has a close relationship with him.

In 1985, Steve Dennis joined Pat Dye’s staff at Auburn and remained on the Plains until Dye’s retirement in 1992. Interestingly, Dennis grew up an Auburn fan as his dad, Rayford, went to school there. He was recruited out of high school by Auburn head coach Shug Jordan, but it came as Jordan was entering his final year before retiring, and Dennis decided against going there.

Steve went into private business in 1993 but was back coaching the next two seasons at Georgia on Goff’s staff. He was in private business from 1996 until 2002 when he joined Tommy Tuberville’s staff for one season. The next two years, he worked for Tigers Unlimited as a part of Auburn’s athletics administration.

In 2005 he was hired as AD at Troy. Today he work as strategic partnership manager with CoachComm, an athletics sideline communications firm located in Auburn.

In high school, Steve led Central to the GHSA Class AAA semifinals in 1973, when they lost to William Andrews and Thomasville High School 6-0 at Porter Stadium. Central finished that season with an 11-1 record, and Dennis was named the Class AAA back of the year. Dennis played just one season at quarterback after spending time as a defensive back and linebacker in his previous seasons with the Chargers.

Steve Dennis chose Georgia over Alabama, with all intentions of being a quarterback for the Bulldogs. He was a backup as a freshman, and following a redshirt season relocated to defense after being asked by the legendary Erk Russell to move to that side of the ball. A knee injury sidelined Dennis his third season in Athens before he returned to action as a strong-side linebacker.

I’ve known Steve since his high school days, and he is just one of those many great people you meet in the athletics world. He was an outstanding athletics director at Troy and would be a great candidate to take on that position again when a college has a vacancy.

Bobby Pope hosts the Saturday Scoreboard on Fox Sports 1670 each Saturday during the football season.

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