Uga VI, the winningest mascot in the University of Georgia's history, died on Friday evening from congestive heart failure in his hometown of Savannah, Ga., owner Frank W. "Sonny" Seiler announced. "He was a good one," Seiler said. "What can I say? He had a marvelous record. He was a very strong and healthy dog. He was the biggest of all the dogs, and he had the biggest heart. It just played out."
Seiler noticed Uga VI was breathing heavily shortly after arriving home from work on Friday evening. He was taken to Dr. Stanley Lester, the family's veterinarian, who consulted with Dr. Bruce Hollett at the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine before Uga VI passed away.
"I noticed he had a little congestion in his throat, which usually is not cause for alarm," Seiler said. "I gave him a bath, which he always loved, to cool him off. After that, I called Dr. Lester, whose office is about a four-minute drive from our house. His heart just played out. He suffered no pain and died peacefully."
A successor to Uga VI will be announced by the Seilers and the Athletic Association at a later date; however, the Seilers stated that the lineage is secure.
Uga VI, who would have turned 10 on July 22, will be buried in a marble vault in the Southwest corner of Sanford Stadium with his predecessors. The private ceremonies are expected to be held early next week.
"This is a very sad day for the entire Bulldog Nation," Director of Athletics Damon Evans said. "Uga has always been such a strong figure associated the University of Georgia nationwide. Uga VI was a damn good mascot and a damn good dog. He was an outstanding representative of our fine institution. While this is a sad day for all Bulldog fans, our condolences especially go out to the Seiler family."
"UGA VI served with extraordinary courage and heart as a beloved University of Georgia mascot," University of Georgia President Dr. Michael F. Adams said. "He was a true symbol of the toughness and competitiveness of our athletic teams, and was a rallying figure for the entire Bulldog Nation. We extend sympathy to the Seilers for the loss of a dear family pet and a great campus mascot who will be missed and remembered by UGA alumni and friends everywhere."
The Georgia football teams compiled an 87-27 record during Uga VI's tenure, which officially began in 1999 with pre-game ceremonies prior to the South Carolina game in Athens. The Bulldogs captured both the 2002 and 2005 SEC Championships and won six of eight bowl games over that span. Uga VI's record surpassed the mark of 77-24-4 of Uga IV.
All of Georgia's athletic teams enjoyed remarkable success during Uga VI's reign. All told, 19 of Georgia's 35 national championships have been secured under Uga VI. Bulldog athletic teams also have won 35 SEC Championships. In addition, Georgia has recorded six top-10 finishes in the Director's Cup, the annual all-sports competition ranking the nation's top athletic programs.
Uga VI also was featured in countless national publications and television shows. Most recently, a documentary on the Uga lineage was produced for CSS TV by Jeff Eldridge.
Uga VI, who was only one year old at the time of his coronation, was the biggest of all the mascots weighing in at 65 pounds – more than 20 pounds heavier than his father – and like his forefathers was a solid white English bulldog. His registered name was "Uga V's Whatchagot Loran?" – a reference to the famous question of Georgia radio play-by-play announcer Larry Munson when communicating with sideline reporter Loran Smith.