The artist who immortalized University of Georgia coaching icon Vince Dooley in a bronze sculpture has now paid tribute to another Bulldog great-former running back Hershel Walker.
As reported by the Athens Banner-Herald, Stan Mullis, accomplished sculptor and UGA graduate, displayed his 1,000-pound, eight-foot tall bronze statue of the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner for the first time on Friday.
The statue displaying Walker in a pose, which was lifted from a 1980 photograph of the tailback playing Auburn, was seen by the public on September 30,in front of The World Famous and on October 1, outside of the Athens Running Club.
Mullins completely self-funded the creation of the piece, describing the sculpture of one of his personal sports heroes as a “pet project.” Mullins has lofty goals for the statue’s future.
According to the AJC, he indicated the Walker piece is only the first in a planned series of sculptures of Georgia’s three Heisman-winning players, Walker, Frank Sinkwich and Charley Trippi, and longtime play-by-play announcer Larry Munson.
The fact the statue made its first appearance the weekend the Bulldogs played Tennessee, the team Walker made his debut against in 1980, is no coincidence.
“This weekend 36 years ago was Herschel’s breakout weekend,” Mullins told the Banner-Herald.
Mullins said he would like to see the piece find a home near Sanford Stadium, possibly at the Tate Student Center. Although he concedes he cannot be sure where his creation will end up.
“I can control what I can control and I can create what I can create,” Mullins said. “But at some point, it will take on a life of its own.”
An experienced artist, Mullins has created sculptures of Martin Luther King Jr., and the trio of Buffaloes unveiled at the athletic complex at Marshall University last month.
Although he said he enjoyed working on the project for Marshall, Mullins crafted the Walker statue in order to bring his artistic passion a little closer to home.
“I’m a UGA alumni and Athens is my hometown,” he said. “That’s important to me.”
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