Vince Dooley, Georgia’s legendary football coach and sporting director, dies at 90

Vince Dooley, the winning Georgian football coach in the program’s history, has passed away at the age of 90. The University of Georgia announced Dooley’s death in an official statement.

Dooley served as a football coach from 1964 until the 1988 season, setting a record 201-77-10 in his time in Georgia. The Bulldogs won the SEC title six times under Dooley and were national champions in the 1980 season. He also served as the school’s athletic director from 1979 until 2004, hiring many of Georgia’s most successful coaches in that period.

“I got off the elevator last night and thought it was a sign when the elevator opened on the 15th floor and Vince Dooley was sitting on a locked bench outside his room,” Smart said. “I thought God put him there to see him the night before his game, and he was waiting on his key to go up to his room. I just knew that meant something.”

Related: Kirby Smart and Vince Dooley and the importance of understanding football history in Georgia

In his 25 years of international training in Georgia, the Bulldog’s losing track record was only once. At the time of his retirement, Bear Bryant of Alabama was the only one with more wins among the SEC coaches.

Dooley was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994. He is also a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, and the Florida and Georgia Hall of Fame.

Georgia renamed the stadium at Sanford Stadium an international name in 2019, in honor of the legendary Georgian sports figure.

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“It was a very moving experience, a moving day,” Dooley said at the time of the party. “I’m grateful to all the people who were involved in making this happen, and all the people who were involved in this, and it’s the greatest excitement ever.”

Related: Vince Dooley of Georgia was surprised to learn that the field was named at Sanford Stadium

By the time Dooley stepped away from coaching after the 1988 season, he had worked hard as the program’s athletic director. Many of Georgia’s top coaches have been hired by Dooley such as gymnastics coach Susan Yukolan, swimming and diving Jack Bowerle, Manny Diaz of men’s tennis, Jeff Wallace of women’s tennis and Chris Hack of men’s golf. All of them have won several national championships for the University of Georgia.

Dolly became well known in his later years for gardening, which is his passion away from athletics. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and children Daniel, Diana, Dennis, and Derek Dooley, along with 11 grandchildren.

Details of the service/memorial have not been announced at this time.

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