| Wins against Kentucky - 0 | Losses against Kentucky - 15 |
Alma Mater: Auburn 
Hometown: Nelson, GA
Date Born: December 17, 1911
Date Died: May 22, 1981
Overall Record: 112-241 [14 Seasons]
|2/1/1965||Georgia at Kentucky||W||96 - 64||-|
|1/25/1965||Kentucky at Georgia||W||102 - 82||-|
|2/3/1964||Kentucky at Georgia||W||103 - 83||-|
|1/31/1963||Georgia at Kentucky||W||74 - 67||-|
|1/31/1962||Kentucky vs. Georgia||W||86 - 59||(at Atlanta, GA)|
|2/7/1961||Georgia at Kentucky||W||74 - 67||-|
|1/27/1960||Kentucky vs. Georgia||W||84 - 60||(at Columbus, GA)|
|1/29/1959||Georgia at Kentucky||W||108 - 55||-|
|1/29/1958||Kentucky vs. Georgia||W||74 - 55||(at Atlanta, GA)|
|1/30/1957||Georgia at Kentucky||W||84 - 53||-|
|2/27/1956||Kentucky vs. Georgia||W||143 - 66||(at Louisville, KY)|
|2/9/1955||Georgia at Kentucky||W||86 - 40||-|
|2/6/1954||Kentucky vs. Georgia||W||100 - 68||(at Owensboro, KY)|
|2/4/1954||Georgia at Kentucky||W||106 - 55||-|
|1/14/1952||Kentucky vs. Georgia||W||95 - 55||(at Louisville, KY)|
Obituary - Atlanta Constitution (May 23, 1981)
Ex-Georgia Coach Lawson Dies of Heart Attack At 69
ATHENS - Services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday for Harbin "Red" Lawson, popular but seldom winning basketball at the University of Georgia from 1951 until 1965.
The 69-year old Lawson died Friday in St. Mary's Hospital, two days after suffering a heart attack.
Services will be held in Bernstein Funeral Home, with burial to follow at Evergreen Memorial Park in Athens.
Lawson's record as Georgia basketball coach was 102-239, but former player Zippy Morocco put that in perspective.
"It was a shame what he had to work with," said Morocco, who starred in both football and basketball during the early 1950s. "With the personnel he had, he did a super job."
Lawson, a physical education instructor who had served two years as Georgia' freshman basketball coach, took over as varsity coach in 1951 when Jim Whatley, who was also Georgia's baseball coach, gave up the basketball post after less than two seasons.
"Red was never actually employed by the Georgia Athletic Department," said Whatley. "He continued his physical education classes and Wally Butts (then Georgia's athletic director) paid him a little something extra to coach basketball as well."
The closest Lawson came to a winning season as Georgia coach was in 1959-60 when a 95-82 loss to Florida State in the final game gave Georgia a 12-13 record. His first team (1951-52) posted Georgia's worst record, 3-22, and his 1955-56 team fared almost as badly, going 3-21.
The late Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp, who used to beat Lawson by such scores as 106-55 in 1954, 143-66 in 1956 and 108-55 in 1959, said "beating Georgia is like kissing your sister."
Famed for his wit, Lawson used to joke that the only reason Woodruff Hall was still sanding "is because the termites hold hands" and that Woodruff Hall "Is the only indoor basketball arena in the nation where weather is factor in the outcome of the game."
But Lawson never gave up his dream of having a winner at Georgia. He was convinced that if the school would move away from dilapidated, 2,500-seat Woodruff Hall and give him more recruiting help, he could attract the players he needed to compete in the Southeastern Conference.
Lawson's situation was looking up when the Georgia Coliseum was dedicated Feb. 22, 1964, as Georgia beat Georgia Tech 81-68 before more than 13,000 persons, largest crowd in Bulldog basketball history.
That 1963-64 team went on to finish tied for fourth in the SEC, best Georgia finish in 20 years.
The nucleus of that team returned in 1964-65 and Lawson even got an assistant coach. But after the Bulldogs upset nationally ranked North Carolina and won three of their first four games the dream came to abrupt end. Several players were injured, the team began to lose, and Lawson was hospitalized for chest and stomach pains.
Lawson returned to work a week later, but after two more games, he suffered a relapse.
He "retired on the advice of doctors" at the end of that season, although he later insisted he was forced out by then Athletic Director Joel Eaves, who turned the basketball program over to Ken Rosemond.
"It was tough on him," Morocco said. "When they built the coliseum, he thought, 'Oh, boy, this is it.' And they took it out from under him."
Lawson continued as a physical education teacher until his retirement in 1978, but never watched a game at the coliseum again and visited it only twice.
Lawson, a native of Nelson, Ga., was a graduate of Auburn University, where he was a graduate of Auburn University, where he was a varsity guard on the basketball team for three years.
He began his coaching career at Grove Hill, Ala., High School and also coached Snead Junior College in Alabama before service in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He coached at Palmetto, Fla., 1949-1950, then joined Georgia's physical education department.
At Snead Junior College in Boax, Ala., Lawson's teams won a state football championship in 1936 and five straight state basketball championships between 1936 and 1941.
Lawson is survived by his wife, Ernestine; one daughter, Mrs. Sandra Bosworth of Atlanta, and two sons, Terry Lawson of Macon and Hugh Lawson of Athens.
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