O Brother, Where Art Thou?

After his playing days were over, David Perno returned to Athens and became the head coach for Georgia's baseball team in 2002 and has done a great job. Not to be outdone, David's older brother Donn has done a great job after his playing days were over as well. Recently he sat down with me and this is what he had to say...


Dave McMahon -- What are you doing now?

Donn Perno -- I am working in the golf world now. I am a teaching pro at Capital City Country Club.

DM -- How long have you been doing that?

DP -- Since 1990, I have been here on-again, off-again for the last 6 years.

DM -- Let's backtrack a little, growing up in Athens, did you always want to be a Bulldog?

DP -- Yes, but after a graduated from Clarke Central I played baseball at Middle Georgia and after my sophomore season I wanted to go somewhere where I could play baseball for a good team. I looked at Georgia's roster and saw such young stars as Derek Lilliquist and Cris Carpenter... right away I knew I wanted to go there.

DM -- You were a part of the first College World Series team that Georgia has ever had... What memories do you have of 1987?

DP -- I remember how great it was beating Tech at the regional on their home field. We also defeated Jim Abbott and a tough Michigan team there as well. I also remember that the trip to Omaha was one of the best trips ever, but the ride home was one the worst. We should have done much better out there.

DM -- Did you always dream about playing in the Major Leagues?

DP -- I always wanted to play 2nd base for the Dodgers. After college I got drafted by their rivals, the Giants, that was ok, too.

DM -- Any memories of minor league ball?

DP -- My first game my team played against Ken Griffey Jr.'s team. It was his first game, too. Not too much long after that he was promoted. Former Brave Mike Remlinger was our starting pitcher.

DM -- Where were you when your brother David and the 1990 team won the National Championship?

DP -- I was at home watching every minute of it. I was really happy for Stan Payne, a Clarke Central graduate, that he won the deciding game.

DM -- How often to you get back to Athens to watch the Diamond Dawgs?

DP -- We usually come up for Saturday's SEC games. If not I like to listen to Jeff Dantzler and David Johnston call the games.

DM -- Did you play much golf while you were at Georgia?

DP -- Not really.

DM -- You have qualified and played at the BellSouth Classic twice. What was that like?

DP -- The first time I played in the tournament I didn't do so well, the second time I struggled in the beginning but played well towards the end. The last 27 holes I played even par, but it wasn't good enough to make the cut.

DM -- Any good stories?

DP -- My playing partners for the tournament were Kent Jones and Michael Long. We had a great time, although they kept on calling me "Donnnnnnnnn." I guess they thought it was funny that I had two N's at the end of my name, so they over-emphasized it. Anyway on one of the holes I was 210 yards out and I didn't hit the ball too far, but with the roll, the ball kept going and landed right near the hole. The pro's told me it was a good shot, but they wouldn't recommend hitting that way again.

DM -- With the BellSouth going on this week, who is going to win?

DP -- Mickelson, he's a long hitter and this course plays well for them.

DM -- What about next week, who will win the Masters?

DP -- It's hard to pick against Tiger, but if not him, maybe Darren Clarke or Ernie Els.

DM -- Have you ever played at Augusta National?

DP -- My brother and I both played it. I was was -4 through 14 holes, but finished at even par. David scored a little bit higher.

DM -- What has more pressure... getting a hit in the College World Series or sinking a putt during a PGA Tour event?

DP -- Has to be golf. Baseball is all reactionary, plus you have teammates there in case you mess up.

DM -- Thank you so much for your time and your answers.

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