Vince Dooley, the Hall of Fame coach who led the Georgia Bulldogs to six Southeastern Conference titles and the 1980 national championship, has died at the age of 90, the college announced in a statement Friday.
Dooley worked at the University of Georgia for 41 years as head football coach and athletic director, retiring on June 30, 2004.
He took the Bulldogs to 20 bowl games throughout his 25 seasons as head coach, throughout which he amassed a record of 201-77-ten. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.
The university honored Dooley in 2019 by adding his name to the field of 95,000-seat Sanford Stadium, which has been house to the Bulldogs because 1929. In addition, there is a statue of Dooley getting lifted by players from the 1980 national title group at the entrance of the Vince Dooley Athletic Complex.
He was in attendance as the Bulldogs defeated Alabama to win the program’s second national championship in January 2022.
Dooley, then 32, joined Georgia in 1964 following spending eight seasons as an assistant at Auburn, exactly where he was the Tigers’ captain throughout his playing days. He told ESPN in 2019 that his hiring wasn’t a preferred choice, particularly when Georgia fans realized that their new coach with the initially name Vince was not Vince Lombardi.
“I cannot say that I was the most nicely-received coach who has ever been hired,” Dooley stated in 2019. “When I appear at these credentials, there is no way as an administrator that I would’ve hired myself. A 31-year-old freshman coach at a rival college? Now suppose you had to employ somebody at an institution like Georgia and say this is the coach.”
In 1980, led by operating back Herschel Walker, the Bulldogs began a 4-year run throughout which they went 43-four-1 and won 3 straight SEC titles. Dooley won several national coach of the year awards as Georgia cemented the 1980 national championship with a 17-ten win more than Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl to cap a 12- season.
Walker won the Heisman Trophy in 1982.
Dooley retired as head coach in 1988 to develop into athletic director, major a system that won 18 national championships and 80 SEC titles throughout his 25-year run in that part. He is a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.