Vince Dooley, the most successful coach in Georgia history, passed away on October 28th in 2022.
Vince Dooley, who was the University of Georgia’s most successful football coach and athletics director for a long time, has died at the age of 90.
Dooley died in his Athens home, surrounded by his wife Barbara and their four children. In 1994, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The school did not say what caused the death.
Dooley was hospitalized earlier this month for what was called a mild case of COVID-19. He said he was fully recovered and ready to sign books at the campus bookstore before the Oct. 15 game against Vanderbilt, as he usually does.
Dooley was Georgia’s coach for 25 years, from 1964 to 1988. During that time, the Bulldogs won 201 games, six SEC titles, and were named national champions in 1980. He kept being Georgia’s AD up until 2004.
He is the fourth-most successful football coach in SEC history, after Bear Bryant, who coached Alabama, Texas A&M, and Kentucky, Steve Spurrier, who coached Florida and South Carolina, and Nick Saban, who coached LSU and now Alabama.
Dooley was born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1932. He went to Auburn, where he played football, and later worked as an assistant coach for the famous Ralph “Shug” Jordan.
In 1964, he took over the Georgia program, and in 1966, the Bulldogs won their first of six SEC titles under his leadership. When Hershel Walker ran the ball for the Bulldogs from 1980 to 1982, this might have been Dooley’s most prosperous time in Athens.
That run included a perfect 12-0 season in 1980, which ended with a 17-10 win over Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. The major polls then named Georgia the national champion. After that, Walker won two more SEC titles and the Heisman Trophy in 1982.
After the 1988 season, ooley quit as a coach so he could focus on his job as athletics director. With a record of 201-77-10 over 25 years, he is still the school’s all-time leader in wins. In 2019, a ceremony was held to honor Dooley by giving the field at the Bulldogs’ famous Sanford Stadium the name “Dooley Field.”
When the Bulldogs beat Alabama in January, their current coach, Kirby Smart, led them to their first national title since Dooley.
“Our whole family is very sad about Coach Dooley’s death. He was one of a kind and loved UGA like no one else. He and Barbara made us feel welcome from the start. People in our town, at our university, and in college sports will miss him.”
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