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‘Another reason to ring’ the bell: Johns Creek man proposes to girlfriend during UGA National Championship celebration
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Bryan Koblitz and Amanda Schwartz ring the UGA Chapel bell after getting engaged during the UGA National Championship celebration in Athens on Jan. 15. - photo by Jeremy Coleman

Bryan Koblitz and Amanda Schwartz couldn’t believe it when the Georgia Bulldogs won their first national championship since 1980.

They have always been Bulldog fans, even more so after graduating from the University of Georgia in 2018, and they always try to attend all the team’s games.

While Amanda had to stay home, Bryan was able to go to the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Jan. 10 to watch as cornerback Kelee Ringo intercepted a pass and returned it for the final touchdown, winning the game for Georgia 33 to 18 over the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Bryan immediately called Amanda to tell her the news.

The win was special for them both, so they decided they had to go to the celebration and parade in Athens on Jan. 15.

That was when Bryan remembered he had an engagement ring for Amanda at his parents’ home in South Carolina. He had been waiting for two weeks for the perfect moment to pop the question.

This celebration on their old college campus could be that moment.

“Once I knew we were going to go up to Athens for the day, I thought I need to figure out a good plan to pull this off,” Bryan said.

He had purchased the engagement ring just a few weeks earlier, deciding he was going to pop the question after three years of being together and sharing an even longer friendship.

Amanda and Bryan said they grew up just down the road from each other in Johns Creek, but never actually met until Amanda moved from private school to Centennial High School in Roswell where they both ended up in the same social circles.

They became fast friends, and they eventually headed to UGA for college.

While they didn’t start dating until after graduation, their time spent together at UGA was always special to them, and the time spent at Georgia football games years later serves as a reminder of their time together.

“We love Georgia football,” Bryan said. “We were down together in Miami for the Orange Bowl this year. We enjoy traveling together, and when Georgia is involved playing a football game, it makes it even better.”

Therefore Bryan knew UGA’s campus, coupled with the National Championship win, would be the perfect spot for a proposal.

After making the decision to spend the day in Athens, Bryan reached out to one of Amanda’s best friends to start making plans. Together, they were able to make sure her close friends, mom and brother were all there to help celebrate the engagement without drawing any suspicion.

But while they got those plans underway, he knew he also needed to get his hands on the engagement ring.

“[My parents] had the ring, so I had to figure out a way to meet up with them Saturday morning when we were in Athens,” Bryan said. “So I just kind of told Amanda, ‘Oh, my parents decided to come in because they wanted to go to the parade, too.’ She didn’t really think anything of that because my parents are always traveling for all sorts of sports events.”

That morning, the two met up with Bryan’s parents before they started to walk around Athens to find a good spot for the parade, and he was able to quietly get the ring from them without Amanda seeing.

Pretty soon, they were near the UGA Chapel bell. Bryan stopped Amanda and insisted they had to ring it in celebration of the National Championship win.

“I kind of had to convince her to wait in line and say, ‘We have to ring the bell because Georgia won the National Championship. It’s tradition. We have to do it,’” Bryan said, laughing. “On any other given day, if I didn’t have this plan, I probably would have never waited in that line to ring the bell.”

She agreed to stand in line and ring the bell with him. She didn’t know, though, that her friends and family were hiding in bushes around the bell, waiting for the big surprise.

“Finally, when we got up there, I gave my phone to my dad and said, ‘Take a video of us ringing the bell,’” Bryan said. “They obviously knew what was happening.”

Bryan turned to Amanda and said, “Wait, before we ring the bell, there may be another reason to ring it.”

Then, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.

After getting over some of the surprise and tears, she gave him a big, resounding, “Yes!” before her friends and family jumped out of the bushes and rushed in to congratulate the two.

Amanda said she was completely caught off guard, but it turned out to be the perfect engagement for them both.

Now about a month later, Bryan and Amanda said they have already chosen their wedding venue and date, and while they have a lot more planning to do, they are excited to have this huge celebration with their friends and family.

“It worked out really well,” Bryan said.