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This Week's Program
John Eunice, Story of James Eunice and Coach Mark Richt

James received early acceptance to the University of Georgia on December 4, 2010. He told his head football coach, Rance Gillespie, that he wanted to try and walk on to the Georgia football team. On December 14, 2010, James was called out of class to go to Coach Gillespie's office. James called me later that afternoon, and said, "Dad, you'll never guess who I just met." I told him I didn't know. He said, "Coach Richt." He paused for a minute, and then he said, "And I was wearing a University of Florida tee shirt." Coach Richt was in town recruiting two of James' teammates and friends, Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell. James went missing January 15, 2011. Coach Richt and Coach Bobo followed the story during the 17 day search. We held James' service on February 5. James' coaches were the pallbearers, and his teammates attended. All wore their jerseys. During the service, Pastor David Rogers called Jay and Malcolm onto the stage and handed them a box. He read a letter from Coach Richt, which read, "This is the jersey I'm sure James would have earned. Oh yes, he made the team." When David finished reading, Jay and Malcolm opened the box and presented James' parents with a Georgia jersey with number 23 and Eunice across the back. Coach Richt was true to his word. James was on the opening day roster against Boise State, and Coach Richt kept him on the roster for all four years that James would have attended Georgia. Georgia honored James at the Georgia vs. South Carolina game in 2011 by wearing his number and initials on their helmets. On October 24, 2014, James' parents received a letter from Coach Richt inviting them to attend the Senior Gala in December. Coach Richt and the Georgia team honored James along with the rest of the seniors at the Senior Gala. Coach Richt closed the ceremonies that night introducing James with the words, "And one was missing."

Posted by Lauren Radford
April 16, 2018 12:00pm

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