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HomeNewsVince Dooley, longtime Georgia football coach, dies at 90

Vince Dooley, longtime Georgia football coach, dies at 90

ATLANTA — Vince Dooley, the soccer coach who carried himself like a professor and guided Georgia for a quarter-century of success that included the 1980 nationwide championship, died Friday. He was 90.

The college introduced that Dooley died peacefully at his Athens residence within the presence of his spouse, Barbara, and their 4 youngsters, together with former Tennessee coach Derek Dooley. No reason for dying was given.

Dooley was hospitalized this month for what was described as a light case of Covid-19, however he pronounced himself absolutely recovered and able to attend his common book-signing session on the campus bookstore earlier than an Oct. 15 sport towards Vanderbilt.

Dooley had a profession report of 201-77-10 whereas teaching the Bulldogs from 1964 to 1988, a stretch that included six Southeastern Convention titles, 20 bowl video games and only one dropping season.

“Our household is heartbroken by the dying of Coach Dooley. He was one in every of a form with an unmatched love for UGA!” current Georgia coach Kirby Smart wrote on Twitter.

Dooley is the fourth-winningest coach in SEC historical past, trailing solely Bear Bryant, Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier.

“Vince Dooley was one in every of my favourite individuals on this planet,” Saban stated. “Vince represented the College of Georgia and all of faculty soccer with super integrity and sophistication as each a coach and athletics director.”

After retiring from teaching, Dooley continued as the varsity’s athletic director, a job he held from 1979 till 2004. The sector at Sanford Stadium was devoted in his honor through the 2019 soccer season.

Josh Brooks, the varsity’s present athletic director, stated the big-money program he now guides “is what it’s at this time due to Vince Dooley.”

Dooley was the second outstanding member of Georgia’s storied soccer historical past to die prior to now two weeks.

Charley Trippi, who starred at Georgia within the Nineteen Forties and went on to assert an NFL championship with the Chicago Cardinals, died on Oct. 19 on the age of 100.

Dooley’s dying got here simply in the future earlier than Georgia, the defending nationwide champion and ranked No. 1 within the nation, faces one in every of its greatest rivals, the Florida Gators, within the annual “Cocktail Get together” sport at Jacksonville, Florida.

Dooley dominated that sequence throughout his teaching profession, going 17-7-1 towards the Gators. Probably the most well-known victory got here in 1980, when Lindsay Scott hauled in a 93-yard landing cross from Buck Belue within the closing minute.

The inconceivable 26-21 triumph propelled Georgia to an ideal season and their first consensus nationwide title.

Dooley lived lengthy sufficient to see one other championship. When the Bulldogs defeated Alabama in final season’s nationwide title sport, the previous coach was in Indianapolis to cheer them on.

Dooley withstood the stress of profitable at a football-mad SEC college throughout an period when Bryant ran a powerhouse program at Alabama. Dooley received over skeptics early on, utilizing a trick play to upset the defending nationwide champion Crimson Tide 18-17 within the 1965 season opener.

The next 12 months, Georgia received the primary of his SEC titles. By the point Dooley stepped down from teaching at age 56, he was one in every of solely 10 NCAA Division I-A coaches to win 200 video games.

Stoic in his demeanor and chic with phrases delivered in a Southern drawl, a renaissance man who dabbled in horticulture, studied Civil Struggle historical past and wrote quite a few books, Dooley had his biggest run of success after touchdown a operating again from tiny Wrightsville, Georgia.

Hershel Walker.

Throughout Walker’s three years between the hedges, the Bulldogs went 33-3, received three straight SEC titles, captured their solely undisputed nationwide title and practically received one other in 1982.

Dooley was a graduate of Auburn, one in every of Georgia’s most hated rivals, and had no head teaching expertise when he was employed by the Bulldogs on the age of 32.

It was not a well-liked rent, as Dooley typically famous by means of the years.

“My {qualifications} had been such there’s no approach I’d’ve employed myself,” Dooley conceded in a 2014 interview with the varsity newspaper, The Pink & Black.

Nobody was complaining by the tip of his reign.

Dooley as soon as described teaching as a “sequence of crises,” including that he might draw upon loads of experiences on and off the sector.

There have been low moments, to make sure.

Close to the tip of his reign as athletic director, the boys’s basketball program was caught up in a scandal that led to the resignation of coach Jim Harrick and resulted within the Bulldogs eradicating themselves from the SEC and NCAA tournaments.

Dooley’s four-decade keep ended unceremoniously. He was compelled into retirement after a nasty spat with then-university President Michael Adams in 2004.

Dooley by no means left Athens and remained a fixture across the soccer program, typically sitting in on information conferences carried out by the final coach he employed, Mark Richt, and Good.

Teaching ran within the Dooley blood, for positive.

Vince’s youthful brother, Invoice, was the pinnacle coach at North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Derek held the highest jobs at each Louisiana Tech and SEC rival Tennessee.

When Derek returned to Athens because the Volunteers’ coach in 2010, Vince knew he couldn’t pull towards his son, however he didn’t wish to be seen rooting towards the Bulldogs in their very own stadium.

So he stayed at residence, watching the sport on tv as Georgia romped to a 41-14 victory.

“In an ideal world, I’d somewhat him be farther away and never in the identical convention,” Vince stated.

At Georgia, Dooley coached a plethora of standout gamers — from Invoice Stanfill to Scott Woerner to Rodney Hampton. However his most well-known recruit was undoubtedly Walker, a operating again who possessed an virtually supernatural mixture of bruising energy and sprinter’s pace.

Walker made his mark in his very first school sport, operating proper over Tennessee defensive again Invoice Bates for a landing that helped the Bulldogs rally for a 16-15 victory.

“My god, a freshman!” longtime Georgia radio announcer Larry Munson screamed over the air.

Walker rushed for 1,616 yards and 15 touchdowns that season, however the Bulldogs’ nationwide title hopes appeared doomed once they trailed Florida 21-20.

Then Belue and Scott connected on maybe probably the most well-known play in class historical past. Thanks to a different memorable name by Munson, the sport would endlessly be referred to as “Run, Lindsay, Run.”

Georgia capped its 12-0 season with a 17-10 win over Notre Dame within the Sugar Bowl to clinch the nationwide championship.

That season could be the head of Dooley’s profession, although the Bulldogs practically received one other nationwide title two years later. Walker received the Heisman Trophy and Georgia was ranked No. 1 heading into the Sugar Bowl after an undefeated common season.

However No. 2 Penn State captured the championship with a 27-23 victory in what turned out to be Walker’s last school sport. He bolted for the upstart U.S. Soccer League after his junior season.

Walker is now operating for the U.S. Senate. Locked in a decent battle with incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, Walker received the endorsement of his former coach in a latest advert.

Dooley was inducted into the Nationwide Faculty Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1998, however he additionally took pleasure in operating an athletic program that was among the many nation’s finest in a variety of sports activities.

From tennis to swimming, gymnastics to baseball, the Bulldogs received 19 nationwide championships below Dooley.

Dooley was born into an athletic household in Cell, Alabama, on Sept. 4, 1932. After graduating from McGill Excessive Faculty, he went to Auburn on a soccer scholarship and performed basketball.

Dooley was an impressive defensive again and captain of the 1953 group, a 12 months during which he additionally performed within the Faculty All-Star Sport. He graduated from Auburn in 1954 with a level in enterprise administration earlier than serving within the Marine Corps for 2 years.

In 1956, Dooley grew to become an assistant coach at Auburn and was freshman coach on the college for 3 seasons earlier than being named head coach of Georgia shortly after the tip of the 1963 season, taking on a program in disarray after three straight dropping years below Johnny Griffith.

Twenty-five years later, Dooley was carried off the sector after his last sport, a 34-27 victory over Michigan State within the Gator Bowl.

Along with his spouse and son Derek, survivors embody youngsters Deanna, Daniel and Denise.

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