Rufus B. Nalley
Biographical details
Born(1870-12-27)December 27, 1870
Villa Rica, Georgia
DiedNovember 28, 1902(1902-11-28) (aged 31)
Atlanta, Georgia
Playing career
Position(s)Tackle, center, halfback
Head coaching record
College Football Data Warehouse

Rufus Benajamin "Cow" Nalley (December 27, 1870 – November 28, 1902) was a three sport participant at the University of Georgia, playing football and baseball and participating in track and field. He was described as being of average height and weighing around 200 pounds.

Nalley is the only five-year letterman in the history of Georgia Bulldogs football, lettering each year from 1892 to 1896. In Georgia's inaugural season in 1892, Nalley played tackle. During the next two seasons (1893 and 1894), Nalley played center. When Pop Warner came to coach Georgia football for the 1895 and 1896 seasons, Nalley was moved to halfback. Cow Nalley was the captain of the 1896 team, the first undefeated football team at Georgia.

Nalley was a three-year letterman in baseball, earning letters in 1894, 1895 and 1896. He also threw the hammer and the shot put when participating in track and field events at Georgia.

After his playing career, Nalley joined Georgia as an assistant coach for the 1897 and 1898 seasons.[1] In 1899, Nalley was named head coach for Georgia Tech, but finished the year with no wins and just one tie in seven games.[2][3]

He died on November 28, 1902, in Atlanta, Georgia, after a short, serious illness.[4] According to some, the last thing that he heard before losing consciousness on November 27, 1902, was that Georgia had beaten its rival Auburn earlier that day, news that caused him to smile. It was the first victory for Georgia in the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry since the championship season of 1896 for which Nalley played.[5]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Georgia Tech (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1899)
1899 Georgia Tech 0–6–1 0–5 T–15th
Georgia Tech: 0–6–1 0–5
Total: 0–6–1
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. "Nally Will be Coach for Tech". The Atlanta Constitution. September 9, 1899. pp. 7.
  2. "Georgia Tech Football History Database". Retrieved 2009-12-18.
  3. "Football Tenure". Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Spring 2000. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
  4. "Ben Nalley Goes to Rest". The Atlanta Constitution. November 29, 1902. pp. 8.
  5. "Brown Calls Vanderbilt '06 Best Eleven South Ever Had". Atlanta Constitution: p. 52. February 19, 1911. Retrieved 2015-03-08. open access

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