Eagle Love Story

Southern Sweethearts Marry 59 Years Later

Wanda Brantley Parrish and Dennard Scoggins met for the first time in an English classroom at Georgia Southern in the 1960s. Scoggins said she was the prettiest girl he saw in English 101.

Dennard proposing to Wanda in the middle of the football stadium

“She looked smart, too, and I needed help so I made it a point to sit behind her,” he said. “Admiration at first sight became love at first sight.”

reunited couple standing in front of the Marvin Pittman building
Reunited Couple Marry on Sweetheart Circle

They dated for about two years, but the romance didn’t last. Both moved on and lived separate lives, occasionally crossing paths at Georgia Southern events. Both had long happy marriages to others. Wanda married Dan Parrish Jr. and Dennard married Pat Griffin. Three years ago after their spouses had passed, they reconnected over their love for Georgia Southern football.

During the home opener for the 2019 Georgia Southern football season, Scoggins, a retired high school educator and very successful football and track coach, proposed to Parrish, the first woman to serve as chair of the Georgia Southern Athletic Foundation. The love story between these Southern Sweethearts came full circle when they tied the knot in October just before homecoming week. Parrish says the ceremony on Sweetheart Circle was the perfect setting for their wedding.

“That was the scene of so many wonderful days at Georgia Southern in courting and in academics,” she said. “It was the center of life back then.”

Parrish, the original secretary for the Southern Boosters, was inducted into the Georgia Southern Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016. Scoggins was head coach for two football state championships at Tiftarea Academy in Tifton, Georgia, and retired as an administrator with Bibb County Public Schools.

— Sandra Bennett