Every year, Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt impresses and inspires his team by completing a full backflip high dive. In a new College GameDay Built by The Home Depot commercial, GameDay’s Lee Corso shows Richt a dive of his own — the “sugar plum belly flop.”
(Rodney Dangerfield had nothing on Corso!)
As you might have guessed, Corso had some help with his high dive. Nic Bartolotta, a physical therapist from California, served as Corso’s stunt double and completed the forward, two and one half somersault pike on Corso’s behalf.
ESPN Front Row chatted with Bartolotta about his diving experience and the GameDay shoot.
Tell us about your diving career and how GameDay selected you for this?
I began practicing gymnastics as a child and picked up diving in high school. I was a collegiate athlete at UC-Berkley, but befriended UCLA’s women’s diving coach, Tom Stebbins, who let me know about the audition.
How did the audition go?
I was rusty, so I was surprised that I got the call the next morning. I really wanted to show them a couple of different things. The two and a half forward somersault pike is a very graceful, quintessential dive. I also showed them my clown dive where I totally lose control.
What can you tell us about the experience of filming the spot?
We did 20-30 takes of those dives. It was pretty strenuous. I was tired and sore but I really enjoyed it. The GameDay guys were super nice and down to earth. It was cool to see them in person. And Lee Corso was a class act. He made it a point to come over, say hello and take a picture.
No. 5 Georgia travels to No. 6 South Carolina this Saturday and College GameDay will be there. Kickoff for the SEC battle on ESPN is at 7 p.m. ET.