By Tim Gardner
UGA Athletics Historian
Webster defines pre-eminent as: excelling above all others.
Pre-eminent aptly describes the University of Georgia’s Claude Felton.
Serving the UGA Athletics Association for more than 30 years, the legendary Felton is generally regarded by knowledgeable observers as the standard by which collegiate sports information directors are measured.
Aptly aided by a staff of full-time, part-time and student assistants, Felton’s primary responsibility is to chronicle and disseminate information about the UGA intercollegiate sports teams and student-athletes to media on local, state, regional, and national levels as well as Bulldogs fans and all others who request it. He is the consummate professional — well-organized, thorough at handling details and performing his job with an objective approach. Felton is quick to deflect any credit for his efforts while devoting his attention to getting out information about the Bulldogs’ newsworthy deeds.
Felton’s career has spanned the glory days of UGA Athletics. He has directed the overall publicity operation for thirty-plus national championship teams, including the school’s fifth national football championship, as well as numerous individual national champions. During his tenure, UGA Athletics highlights have also included the greatest play in Bulldogs Football history (the Buck Belue-to-Lindsay Scott 93-yard miracle touchdown pass that helped push UGA past hated Florida, 26-21 in 1980 and propelled the Bulldogs to the national title), running back Herschel Walker winning the 1982 Heisman Trophy and the men’s basketball team making its only appearance in the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four (1982-83 season).