Georgia sports figures Leo Costa, Clisby Clarke Die

Two University of Georgia sports figures died over the weekend. Leo Costa, Georgia’s first great placekicker, died Sunday while
Clisby Clarke, author of the song “Bulldog Bite,” passed away Saturday night.

Costa lettered for the Bulldogs in 1940-42, scoring at least one point in every game in which he played including Georgia¹s 9-0 victory over UCLA in the Jan. 1, 1943 Rose Bowl. An Athens native, Costa was instructed by kicking coach J. B. Whitworth to reach down and pick up an imaginary silver dollar to keep him from looking up on his kicks. Costa and Charley Trippi, MVP of the Rose Bowl, were the sole survivors of that Rose Bowl team.

Clarke, of Highlands, N.C., was an advertising executive with McCann-Erickson in 1980. He wrote the song that became one of the fan highlights of the National Championship season, “Bulldog Bite.”

His popular record sold in the thousands and was a fan favorite at tailgate sites on Fall Saturdays. It became the theme song of the 1980 National Championship season.

He was a retired executive vice president and general manager of McCann Erickson and chairman of Fitzgerald+CO in Atlanta.

Courtesy of UGA Sports Communications

View Comments (2)


  1. Hill Dawg

    May 12, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Leo was a good man. He will be missed.

  2. jim

    May 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Ray Bolger, upon learning of the death of Jack Haley Jr., leaving Bolger the last living of the Yellow Brick road companions said: “How lonely it will be now down that yellow brick road.” I guess Charlie Trippi could say the same but change the color to red and black.

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