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Georgia Coach Dies


Pat Watson, an offensive line coach for 11th-ranked Georgia, died Saturday night, apparently of a heart attack.

Watson, 56, died a few hours after Georgia's 24-23 victory over Central Florida.

Watson experienced discomfort at home after the game and was taken to St. Mary's Hospital, where he died Saturday night, according to Claude Felton, Georgia's associate athletic director.

Georgia coach Jim Donnan told The Athens Banner-Herald he would reserve comment. He spent Saturday night and early Sunday trying to track down his players and Watson's friends.

Georgia cornerback Jeff Harris told the paper he first heard of Watson's death from a teammate.

"I'm not sure what happened," Harris said. "It's kind of a shock. We've just been calling each other and telling each person on the team the news. It's really sad. Not only was he a good coach that always thought of the team, but he was a good person. It hurts to lose such a guy."

This was Wastson's second season with the team. He joined the staff in 1998 as a defensive ends coach. Watson moved over to the offensive line this year when Chris Scelfo left for Tulane.

Watson, a coach for 32 years, was a graduate assistant at North Carolina in 1967 and was also an assistant at Furman (1969), Mississippi State (1970-71), North Carolina (1972-77), Virginia Tech (1978-86), Georgia Tech (1987-91 and 1995-96) and Texas (1992-94).

Watson, a native of Meridian, Miss., was a lineman at Mississippi State from 1961-64 and then played two years in the CFL.

Watson is survived by his wife, Freddie, and children, Jane and Cal.

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