Madam Speaker, I rise today in honor of Mr. Bobby Pope, of Macon, Georgia, who is retiring after a long and illustrious tenure as Athletic Director of Mercer University. I rise to thank Bobby for his extraordinary commitment to Mercer Athletics, his promotion of academic and athletic excellence within the Atlantic Sun Conference, and his overall contributions to the local community.
Madam Speaker, for over 20 years Bobby Pope, Dean of the Atlantic Sun Conference, has served as the Athletic Director for Mercer University. During his tenure, Mercer athletics have thrived, and its student-athletes have achieved impressive success both on and off the field. The program now includes 14 NCAA Division I teams plus the addition of the first-ever fulltime coaches for men's and women's golf, tennis, and cross country. Largely thanks to Bobby, Mercer University will field Georgia's first NCAA Division I men's and women's lacrosse teams in the upcoming year. Bobby Pope's commitment to building and strengthening Mercer athletics can further be seen in the recent renovations of existing fields and the construction of a state-of-the-art facility for student-athletes and coaches.
With Bobby Pope at the helm, Mercer University has twice won the Atlantic Sun Conference's All-Academic Trophy. Since its inception in 2007, the Atlantic Sun Conference post-graduate scholarship recognizing excellence and integrity has been awarded to a Mercer student-athlete. During Bobby's tenure, the cumulative grade point average for Mercer Bear student-athletes never fell below 3.0--a testament to his commitment to academic excellence.
Madam Speaker, Bobby Pope's passion and commitment to athletics and promoting sportsmanship extend beyond Mercer University. He has been very active in the Atlantic Sun Conference--twice serving as Conference President, as well as serving as a member on numerous Conference committees. Bobby has also made innumerable contributions to the local community as treasurer of the Macon Touchdown Club and through his service on the Mayor's Recreation Master Plan Committee, as well as the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Authority. Indeed, he was recognized for his lifelong contributions to Middle Georgia Athletics when he was inducted into the Macon Sports Hall of Fame on April 28, 2006. Also, for over 35 years, his broadcast of local sports news on the ``Saturday Scoreboard'' gave us the good, the bad, and the ugly about our Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and other middle Georgia sports teams.
Also, for over 35 years, his broadcast of local sports news on the Saturday Scoreboard gave us the good, the bad, and the ugly about our Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and other Middle Georgia sports teams.
Madam Speaker, it is fitting for the Congressional Record to include this brief acknowledgement of the accomplishments of Bobby Pope as Athletic Director of Mercer University. As he assumes his new role as the Executive Director for the Mercer Athletic Foundation, Bobby will undoubtedly continue to contribute to the success and accomplishments of Mercer Athletics. Few leave such enduringly positive legacies.
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