Vince Dooley
Dooley in 2016
Current position
TeamKennesaw State
Biographical details
Born (1932-09-04) September 4, 1932 (age 89)
Mobile, Alabama
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1956–1963Auburn (assistant)
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
1 National (1980)
6 SEC (1966, 1968, 1976, 1980–1982)
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award (1976)
Georgia Sports Hall of Fame (1978)
AFCA Coach of the Year (1980)
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (1980)
Sporting News College Football COY (1980)
Walter Camp Coach of the Year (1980)
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (1984)
Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (2001)
Carl Maddox Sport Management Award (2004)
UGA Circle of Honor (2004)
Homer Rice Award (2007)
"Bear" Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award (2010)
5x SEC Coach of the Year (1966, 1968, 1976, 1978, 1980)
Florida–Georgia Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1994 (profile)

Vincent Joseph Dooley (born September 4, 1932) is the former head football coach (seasons 1964 through 1988) and athletic director (1979 to 2004) at the University of Georgia. During his 25-year coaching career at UGA, Dooley compiled a 201–77–10 record. His teams won six Southeastern Conference titles and the 1980 national championship. After the 1980 season, Dooley was recognized as college football's "Coach of the Year" by several organizations, including the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, whose annual award has since been renamed as the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award. Dooley's teams were known for their hard nosed defense and conservative yet fundamentally sound offenses. From 1964 to 1980, Dooley was assisted by his defensive coordinator, Erskine "Erk" Russell.

Early life and education

Dooley grew up in Mobile, Alabama and attended the McGill Institute, administered by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. Dooley competed on behalf of McGill's athletic teams, known as the Yellow Jackets, and for a few years considered basketball to be his best sport.

Dooley is a graduate of Auburn University (bachelor's degree 1954, Master's in history 1963) where he played college football and later coached under Ralph "Shug" Jordan. Dooley was a member of the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity as an undergraduate at Auburn. He served as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps.

Coaching career

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2008)

After spending the first ten years of his coaching career as the offensive coordinator at Auburn, Dooley was hired as head coach at Georgia. In his 25 seasons, he averaged over eight wins a year, won six Southeastern Conference championships (1966, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1982) and one National Championship in 1980. After the 1980 national championship season, Vince Dooley was offered the head coaching position at Auburn, encouraged by his former Auburn teammate and Alabama Governor Fob James. However, Dooley eventually declined the job, which went to Georgia alumnus Pat Dye. In his first three seasons at Georgia, Vince Dooley went 3–0 versus Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd. Ironically, Dooley was influenced by Dodd's style and approach to the game, and he was the first recipient of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award.[1][2][3] At the time of his retirement, he was the second-winningest coach in SEC history, behind only Bear Bryant.


Bill Dooley, Vince's younger brother, worked on the Georgia Bulldogs football staff before becoming a notable college Head Coach in his own right at the University of North Carolina (from 1967 to 1977), Virginia Tech (from 1978 to 1986) and Wake Forest (from 1987 to 1992). In the December 1971 Gator Bowl, played in Jacksonville, Florida, the two brothers found themselves on opposing sidelines.

Vince's son, Derek Dooley, is currently the tight ends coach for the New York Giants. Derek is a former head football coach at both the University of Tennessee (from 2010 to 2012) and Louisiana Tech University (from 2007 to 2009). Derek also served as athletic director during his time at Louisiana Tech (from 2008 to 2010). He is also a former assistant coach for the NFL's Miami Dolphins, the University of Georgia, Missouri, and LSU.[4]

Post-coaching career

After leading UGA to 201 victories, 6 SEC championships, and one national championship as head football coach, Dooley retired to focus on his post as athletic director, which he had held since 1979. Dooley built Georgia into one of the most successful athletic programs in America. During his time as athletic director he hired former football coach Mark Richt from Florida State University.[5] Dooley briefly pursued the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Senate in 1986. His wife, the former Barbara Meshad, ran in the Republican Party primary for U.S. House in 2002.[citation needed] Dooley is a member of the Gridiron Secret Society. On December 2, 2009, Kennesaw State University hired Dooley to begin working as a consultant to KSU in the school's drive to start a football program.

Another hobby of Dooley's is gardening, about which he has published a book.[6]

Dooley has also partnered with Mascot Books to publish two children's books about the UGA mascot, How 'Bout Them Dawgs! and Hairy Dawg's Journey Through the Peach State.

Dooley served as Chairman of the Board of Curators for the Georgia Historical Society from 2016–2018.

Awards and honors

Dooley was inducted in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1978, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1984, and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994. He received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award, presented by the American Football Coaches Association in 2001. In 2004 the U.S. Sports Academy presented Dooley with the Carl Maddox Sport Management Award, an award given annually to an individual for contribution to the growth and development of sports through management practices. Also in 2004, Dooley was inducted into UGA's Circle of Honor, which is the school's highest tribute to former athletes and coaches. In September 2007, Dooley was given the Homer Rice Award, the highest honor given by the Division I-A Athletic Directors Association. In 2007, Dooley was honored as a Star of the South by Irish America magazine.

Dooley was inducted as a Georgia Trustee in 2011. Given by the Georgia Historical Society, in conjunction with the Governor of Georgia, to individuals whose accomplishments and community service reflect the ideals of the founding body of Trustees, which governed the Georgia colony from 1732 to 1752.[7] During a ceremony on January 25, 2013, he was inducted into the Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2018, the Georgia Historical Society established the Vincent J. Dooley Distinguished Fellows Program in honor of Dooley. The Dooley Distinguished Fellows Program is designed to accomplish two goals consistent with Coach Dooley's life and legacy: recognizing senior scholars in the field of history and mentoring and developing emerging historians. Historian David Blight and author Rick Atkinson have been named Vincent J. Dooley Distinguished Teaching Fellows.

On September 7, 2019, the football field at the University of Georgia was renamed "Dooley Field" in honor of the coach.[8]

The Georgia Historical Society holds the Vince Dooley papers, donated in 2009. The papers include correspondence, memos, clippings, financial records, football schedules and calendars, applications, contracts, speeches, photographs, audiovisual materials, and publications dating from the 1950s to 2004.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Georgia Bulldogs (Southeastern Conference) (1964–1988)
1964 Georgia 7–3–1 4–2 T–2nd W Sun
1965 Georgia 6–4 2–3 8th 15
1966 Georgia 10–1 5–0 T–1st W Cotton 4 4
1967 Georgia 7–4 3–2 5th L Liberty 18
1968 Georgia 8–1–2 5–0–1 1st L Sugar 4 8
1969 Georgia 5–5–1 2–3–1 6th L Sun
1970 Georgia 5–5 3–3 T–5th
1971 Georgia 11–1 5–1 T–2nd W Gator 8 7
1972 Georgia 7–4 4–3 5th
1973 Georgia 7–4–1 3–4 T–5th W Peach
1974 Georgia 6–6 4–2 T–2nd L Tangerine
1975 Georgia 9–3 5–1 T–2nd L Cotton 19 19
1976 Georgia 10–2 5–1 1st L Sugar 10 10
1977 Georgia 5–6 2–4 T–6th
1978 Georgia 9–2–1 5–0–1 2nd L Astro-Bluebonnet 15 16
1979 Georgia 6–5 5–1 2nd
1980 Georgia 12–0 6–0 1st W Sugar 1 1
1981 Georgia 10–2 6–0 T–1st L Sugar 5 6
1982 Georgia 11–1 6–0 1st L Sugar 4 4
1983 Georgia 10–1–1 5–1 2nd W Cotton 4 4
1984 Georgia 7–4–1 4–2 T–3rd T Florida Citrus
1985 Georgia 7–3–2 3–2–1 5th T Sun
1986 Georgia 8–4 4–2 T–2nd L Hall of Fame
1987 Georgia 9–3 4–2 T–4th W Liberty 14 13
1988 Georgia 9–3 5–2 3rd W Gator 15 15
Georgia: 201–77–10 102–42–4
Total: 201–77–10
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

See also


  1. ^ "Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation". Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2009.
  2. ^ "Vince Dooley: A Conversation" (PDF). Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  3. ^ "Tech's Legendary Coach Dodd Dedicated to Players, Winning". The Albany Herald. June 22, 1988. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  4. ^ Pasquarelli, Len (December 16, 2006). "Dolphins TE coach Dooley in talks with La. Tech". Retrieved April 5, 2008.
  5. ^ "Dooley: My 40 Years at Georgia (Authorized Biography)". Archived from the original on November 16, 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2010.
  6. ^ "Never a Bad Day". HOOTERS magazine. November/ December 2010. pp. 117-9.
  7. ^ "Georgia's New Trustees - Georgia Trend - February 2011 - Atlanta, GA". Georgia Trend. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  8. ^ "Georgia names field after longtime coach Dooley". September 7, 2019. Retrieved October 18, 2019.