Posted: Tuesday, March 5th 2013 at 4:16pm
Durward Pennington service Thurs.
By Ken Stanford Staff
GAINESVILLE - A memorial service for Durward Pennington, a Gainesville businessman, former high school football coach and member of the University of Georgia's 1959 SEC championship football team, will be held Thursday.
Pennington, 73, died Monday.
A native of Albany, he graduated from Albany High School where he was a four-sport letterman and is in the Albany Sports Hall of Fame. He went to the University of Georgia on a football scholarship and kicked the winning point to secure the SEC title for the Bulldogs in 1959. In 1961 he kicked a 52-yard field goal that was a UGA record for 13 years. After graduation Pennington was drafted by the Buffalo Bills and played two years for the Dallas Texans (now the Kansas City Chiefs).
In 1965 he came to Gainesville High School as an assistant football coach where he was affectionately known as “Coach P.” After eight years he left GHS for a business position with his father-in-law, Charles Thurmond, but never gave up coaching. He continued as a volunteer coach for GHS athletics throughout his life.
“Durward never turned his back on any athlete who needed words of encouragement or financial help," according to Wayne Vickery, longtime friend and Gainesville High Athletic Director.
Because of his dedication to young people Pennington received the Gainesville Kiwanis Club's Youth Service Award in 2002. He was also awarded an honorary diploma from Gainesville High School for his unwavering support through the years. Pennington continued to be a loyal University of Georgia supporter by endowing the Durward and Betsy Pennington Scholarship for football players.
The memorial service will be held Thursday at 4:00 at the Gainesville First United Methodist Church.
(A complete obituary can be found on the AccessNorthGa.com Obituaries Page.)
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