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LOCAL PROFILE: Bryant Gantt continues to make mark on UGA Athletics | Community Spirit

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LOCAL PROFILE: Bryant Gantt continues to make mark on UGA Athletics
LOCAL PROFILE: Bryant Gantt continues to make mark on UGA Athletics

NORTHEAST METRO – The University of Georgia’s football office is home to prominent figures, great history and much heart. Along with all of those things and a number of tireless staff members, it’s also home to former UGA football standout Bryant Gantt and his, almost innate, dedication to the community of UGA football and Athens.  

Gantt, now a program coordinator and recruiting assistant at the school is one of the instrumental forces behind the team’s new mentorship program. Early last year, along with Gantt, Coach Van Halenger, Director of Athletics Greg McGarity and the Associate Athletic Director Carla Williams came together to create a program that paired current UGA football players with leaders in the Athens community for a “different type” of mentorship program. They aimed to connect the players with the Athens community.  

“There is no set dynamic for the athletes relationships, with their mentors, as long as they fall inside of the NCAA rules”, explained Gantt.

The program is comprised of about 37 mentors. Mentees, from the football team, are randomly selected and paired up with influential members of the community. Mentors represent a range of professions from law enforcement to aviation.

Gantt says they “look for people who are positive and can show them what life has to offer outside of football. We’re seeing success with the program. The feedback from the athletes is great. Although, they don’t have much time to spend with their mentors, they’re receiving positive communications from them. ”

Although this program is new, Gantt is no stranger to community service. The former player was “born, raised and educated” in Athens and went to work in the community “immediately after graduation”. Even as a child, selling Cokes and programs at UGA football games, he had a fascination with helping people, telling is childhood friends he wanted to grow up and become the President of the United States.

After graduating from UGA in 2001, with a bachelor’s degree in Economics, he went to work as a legal assistant at Cook, Noell, Tolley and Bates LLP. During his time there, he coordinated and executed relief efforts for the Albany floods, Hurricane Katrina and a hurricane in Miami.  

He seems fulfilled with his current position and says he always “wanted to be able to dedicate himself to help others and be able to sustain” and with the new program at UGA, he’s doing just that.   

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