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Georgia Football

Top 50 UGA Players of All Time - No. 48 - John Rauch

May 9, 2019

Dawg Post is counting down the Top 50 UGA players of all time through the summer. Keep checking back each weekday to see who we have next…

No. 48 - John Rauch, ATH from Philadelphia

Johnny Rauch started 45 consecutive games at QB from 1945-48, including four straight bowl games. Rauch led Coach Wallace Butts’ Bulldogs to a 36-8-1 record during that four year span. As a senior, he was selected as the SEC Player of the Year. After his playing career, Rauch embarked on an ultra-successful coaching career. He became head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 1966 and led the team to the Super Bowl in 1967. In three seasons under Rauch’s leadership the Raiders posted a record of 33-8-1. He was inducted into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1979.

There might not be a more under appreciated player in Georgia history than the great John Rauch. The Philadelphia born athlete played for the Bulldogs from 1945-1948 and won a total of 36 games. Rauch won the starting quarterback job as a freshman in the ’45 season, leading the Bulldogs to a 9-2 record and finished the season ranked number 18 in the final AP poll.

As a sophomore, Rauch led the Bulldogs to an undefeated 11-0 season and a national championship. Rauch and the Bulldogs capped that season off with a 20-10 win over North Carolina in the Sugar Bowl.

The Bulldogs went 7-4 during his junior season in 1947, but as a senior in 1948, Rauch led the Bulldogs to and 9-2 record and another SEC title. Rauch was named first-team All-American after the 1948 season and finished his career as college football’s all-time leading passer with 4,044 career passing yards. Rauch was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003 and was also inducted to the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame. 

Rauch was selected 2nd overall in the 1949 NFL Draft to the Detroit Lions. After a short stint as a professional player, Rauch began his coaching career and became the University of Florida quarterbacks coach in 1952. In 1955, Rauch came back to Athens and was an assistant coach for the Bulldogs from 1955-1958. After short stints with Army and Tulane, Rauch joined the Oakland Raiders as an assistant in 1963. In 1966, Rauch became the head coach of the Raiders where he coached until the 1968. 

In 1969, Rauch became the head coach of the Buffalo Bills but it wasn’t for long. Shortly after, Rauch made his way through the NFL, making stops in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Tampa Bay.

More than 70 years later, Johnny Rauch is still in the top ten all time at UGA in passing yards - an amazing accomplishment for a player who played for the Dawgs in an era that didn’t feature passing. His 18.41 yards per completion is still No. 2 all time in Athens.

Top 50 UGA Players of All Time:

No. 50 - Marcus Stroud

No. 49 - Bacarri Rambo

No. 48 - John Rauch

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