Mike Merola, the captain of Georgia’s football team in 1950, has died. He was 81. The school announced that Merola died Monday after a lengthy illness.
A native of Newark, N.J., Merola enrolled at Georgia after World War II and caught the attention of the coaching staff during a pickup game. He was invited to spring practice, received a scholarship within a week and was a member of the 1948 Southeastern Conference championship team.
The following year, Merola became a starter at defensive end. As a senior, he was voted captain of the team that went 6-2-3 before losing to Texas A&M 40-20 in the Presidential Cup, a one-time-only bowl game played in College Park, Md.
Merola is survived by four daughters and four grandchildren.