By: Thomas Touchstone
Hap Hines was a member of the Georgia Football team from 1996-1999 and was a special teams starter for his entire career.
Former UGA kicker, Hap Hines, teaches health at Newnan High School. Over his collegiate career, he learned many lessons that can be taught to his students for their future lives and works to prepare students for their futures using his experiences both on and off the football field.
Prior to going to college, Hines developed many skills that helped him prepare to be a successful kicker at such a high level.
Hines said that he was able to be a successful college kicker because of his prior experiences with the game of soccer.
Many the elite NFL kickers have experience with soccer, so Hines was following in the right footsteps.
He said that playing for Georgia “was awesome.” He said he “had the best teammates in the world” and “A lot of us still keep in touch.”
Over his career at UGA, Hines managed to accumulate 222 individual points. His senior season was his best, which saw him make over 70 percent of his field goals and all 36 extra points that he attempted.
Hines believes his greatest accomplishment was off the field. He is the most proud of “convincing my wife, Kelly, to go out with me.”
Now married with two children, Edie and Harris, his proudest accomplishment has grown into a family with children.
Hines added that he moved to Newnan because his wife is originally from the Newnan area and had a job lined up after college. Moving to Newnan he found a new home to live and work in. He explained, “there is something very special about a court square community and its school system.”
Many people who keep up with college sports do not consider how hard the life of a student-athlete truly is.
Hines personified what it meant to be a successful student-athlete on and off the field. Hines had to make perfect use of all of his time in order to be successful as a scholar and a kicker.
“In order to make good grades, I had to study hard. If I wanted to be the kicker for the football team, I had to practice and work out all the time,” Hines said. “UGA taught me that to be successful you have to work.”
A student-athlete has almost zero time to relax, so Hines had to always make sure that he was focused on the task at hand.
In order to be a good student-athlete, Hines said “you have to balance a lot of things. It is very demanding. But it was a great experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
In addition to his triumphs off the field, Hines made many memories on the field that will be with him forever. His favorite kick of his career was a 48-yard field goal in 1999 to defeat the Ole Miss Rebels.
Hines added that his favorite in-game memory was when Georgia defeated rival Auburn in four overtimes in 1996.
While at UGA, Hines majored in education and still uses his degree everyday to help today’s youth be more prepared for life and personal success after high school.
The transition from college kicker to teacher was one he readily embraced with enthusiasm. “I get to be around and help kids all day.” Hines commented.
Hines hopes to have a large influence on his students, so they can be well-prepared for whatever life may throw at them in the years ahead, specifically the importance of making safe choices.
“Teaching health, I want students to realize how fragile life is, and to make wise choices so they can be safe. I don’t want anything bad or harmful to happen to any of our students. Teenagers have a lot going in their lives at this stage of life and need to be careful,” Hines explained.
As a college kicker, Hines learned many lessons he has been able to apply to his own life that he tries to pass on to each and every student.
He says that kicking taught him a lot about life. You have to always try your best, and if you happen to miss, pick yourself right back up so you will be ready for the next one.