The meaning behind Kirby Smart's Georgia football tie during his postgame press conference

Kirby Smart sports one of Vince Dooley's ties to Saturday's postgame press conference.
Kirby Smart sports one of Vince Dooley's ties to Saturday's postgame press conference.

Kirby Smart walked into the postgame press conference on Saturday after Georgia football's 37-14 win over Georgia Tech sporting a tie and zip-up sweatshirt.

His entrance elicited a strong response of 'oohs and ahhs' from reporters in attendance.

Smart was sporting a tie worn by legendary Georgia coach Vince Dooley, whom the university remembered on Friday during a Celebration of Life ceremony in Stegeman Coliseum.

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"He did it right for a long time," Smart said of Dooley, who passed away on October 28 at 90. "He meant so much to this community and it's just a small token of my appreciation for all the things he's done for the University of Georgia and Athens."

Kirby Smart, left, wears one of Vince Dooley's famous ties that he wore when he was coach of Georgia football.
Kirby Smart, left, wears one of Vince Dooley's famous ties that he wore when he was coach of Georgia football.

Smart asked Vince's wife Barbara and sons Derek and Daniel if he could wear it on Saturday to honor their father during the game but "chickened out," he said, because he didn't want to distract from Georgia's seniors playing their final game in Sanford Stadium.

Instead, he changed into a shirt, sweater and tie shortly after the game.

"I decided to wear it to the press conference if things went well," Smart said. "I asked Derek if I could, and he and Mrs. Barbara said they'd be honored if I wore this tie because it was a tie he wore for so many games. Derek gave it to me, and I probably don't do the sweater and shirt the justice that he does."

The tie will be returned to the Dooleys, Smart said, and he's unsure where it will go from there.

"This tie's got a lot of victories under its belt, I know that," Smart said. "It won a lot of football games."

Smart spoke on Friday at Dooley's Celebration of Life and told a story of seeing Dooley in the team's hotel in Indianapolis on the night before January's national championship game.

"I thought it was a sign before the game, but looking back now, not just about that game, but just spending time with someone with that much wisdom," Smart said. "I thought it was interesting that he was there that night."

Georgia honored Vince Dooley with logo and signature near 10-yard line

Georgia football honored Dooley on the field named in his honor at Sanford Stadium, with 'VD' and a replication of his signature near the 10-yard line.

Dooley finished 201-77-10 in his Georgia coaching career and was a longtime athletic director who retired in 2004.

"He did it with class and dignity," Smart said. "He always won with that and always lost with that. He always represented the University of Georgia in the right way and was just such a kind, knowledgeable man."

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Kirby Smart wears tie to press conference to honor Vince Dooley