Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley dies at 90

Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley died Friday. He was 90 years old.

Dooley is the winningest coach in Georgia history with 201 wins and the Bulldogs won six SEC titles during his tenure. He was the Bulldogs’ coach from 1964-88 and Georgia went 201-77-10 in that time. Dooley was the coach of the 1980 national title team, the last Georgia team to win a national championship before Georgia beat Alabama for the national title in January.

Georgia went 12-0 that 1980 season and outscored opponents by more than 16 points per game. The team featured current U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker on offense as Walker rushed for 1,616 yards and 15 TDs as a freshman. Walker finished third in the Heisman voting that season before he won the Heisman in 1982 and left Georgia for the short-lived USFL.

The Bulldogs won 10 or more games in seven of Dooley’s seasons with the team and three of those 10-win seasons came with Walker on the team. Georgia’s last 10-win season in Dooley’s tenure came in 1983 as the Bulldogs went 10-1-1 and won the Cotton Bowl.

In addition to getting to No. 1 in 1980, Georgia also reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 in 1982 before finishing the season fourth after a Sugar Bowl loss to Penn State.

Dooley was appointed Georgia’s athletic director in 1979 and served in that capacity after he retired from coaching. Dooley retired as Georgia’s athletic director in 2004. As athletic director, Dooley hired Mark Richt to coach the Bulldogs in 2001. Richt coached Georgia for 15 seasons and the Bulldogs won 145 games under his watch before Richt was replaced by Kirby Smart after the 2015 season.

Before coming to Georgia, Dooley was an assistant at Auburn from 1956-63. He played quarterback for the Tigers before starting his coaching career. He was famously offered the head coaching position at Auburn after Georgia won the 1980 national title, but Dooley elected to stay at Georgia and Auburn hired Pat Dye. In 2019, Georgia named the field at Sanford Stadium in honor of Dooley.

Dooley’s son Derek is currently an analyst for Alabama and served as Tennessee’s head coach from 2010-12. Derek Dooley joined Nick Saban’s expansive staff after the New York Giants fired coach Joe Judge and his coaching staff after the 2021 season. Derek had spent two years in New York after two years at Missouri and five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 07: Former Georgia Bulldogs head coach Vince Dooley attends the ceremony of the Dooley Field dedication prior to the Murray State Racers v Georgia Bulldogs game on September 7, 2019 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Georgia won 201 games in Vince Dooley's tenure. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)