Former USM standout Garry dead

Published 9:09 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Funeral services for Ben “Go-Go” Garry, Southern Miss’ all-time leading rusher, have been scheduled for Saturday in Moss Point.

Garry, 50, was killed over this past weekend in an automobile accident in Mobile, Ala.

Services are noon Saturday at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Moss Point.

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The former Pascagoula High School star ran for 3,595 yards during a Golden Eagle career spanning 1974-77.

He played two years with the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League before returning to his hometown of Moss Point.

Garry, a potent blend of power and speed, is considered by many to be the Golden Eagles’ first great running back of the modern era. He was inducted into the M-Club Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.

In his last football campaign with the Golden Eagles in 1977, Garry helped lead the school to upset victories over Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

At the end of that season he was named Honorable Mention All-American and was a First Team All-South Independent selection; was selected to play in the Senior Bowl; and was drafted by the National Football Leagues’ Baltimore Colts.

Garry was retired from International Paper of Moss Point.

He always said one of the greatest things he did was play football for USM,” said his daughter, Angela Magee of Moss Point. “He would always share his football stories with the family. He loved it at USM, and that’s why I went to school there, because my dad went to school there. He will be missed.”

Garry’s coach at Southern Miss, Bobby Collins, said he was saddened to learn of his former player’s death.

“He was one of my all-time favorites,” said Collins, who was head coach of the Golden Eagles from 1975 to 1981. “You could all ways depend on him – he worked really hard and was a real team player. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Southern Miss head football coach Jeff Bower, who played alongside Garry in the 1975 season, said his late teammate was “a heck of a player.”

“He was very talented, no ego – I don’t think he realized how good he was,” Bower said. “He was just a great guy, everybody liked him. I never saw him mad. He was always fun to be around.”