Dooley Field dedication set for Saturday


On Oct. 12, 1929, Sanford Stadium was dedicated and named for Steadman V. Sanford, who would go on to become president of the University of Georgia and chancellor of the University System of Georgia.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, during pre-game ceremonies prior to the Georgia-Murray State game, the field at Sanford Stadium will be dedicated in the name of Vincent J. Dooley, who enjoyed a more than 40-year association with the university as head football coach and director of athletics.

                       The dedication follows a May 2 proposal made by the University of Georgia to the University System Board of Regents to create Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in honor of Dooley. The Regents approved the proposal on May 14.

President Jere W. Morehead, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity, University System Board of Regents Chairman Don Waters, and team captains from Dooley’s 25 years as head coach will join Dooley and his family for the pre-game ceremonies Saturday between the hedges.

For over 50 years now, Dooley has had an enduring impact on the University of Georgia, the Southeastern Conference, and college athletics across the country. Serving as head football coach at UGA from 1963 to 1989 and as director of athletics from 1979 to 2004, he has been a man of great foresight in times of charting the future, a man of stability in times of change, and a man of vision in critical times that have shaped the path of college athletics.

Dooley is the only person ever to hold the presidency of both the American Football Coaches Association and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics—a testament to his contributions to coaching and athletics administration.

He has received numerous national honors, including the John Wooden Citizen Cup Award for his positive influence on the lives of others, the Bear Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in coaching both on and off the field during his career, and the Duffy Daugherty Memorial Award for his contributions to amateur football.

His contributions to the university were recognized in 2008 with the dedication of the Vince Dooley Athletic Complex. A statue and garden commemorate his accomplishments along with the naming of all of the south campus athletic facilities in his honor.

Dooley’s 25 years as head coach earned him the distinction as the most successful football coach in Georgia history. He guided the Bulldogs to a career record of 201-77-10, becoming only the ninth coach in NCAA Division I history to win over 200 games. The Bulldogs won one national championship (1980) and six SEC Championships under his direction. He took his teams to 20 bowl games and coached a Heisman Trophy winner (Herschel Walker, 1982), a Maxwell Award Winner (Walker, 1982), an Outland Award Winner (Bill Stanfill, 1968), 40 First Team All-Americans and 10 Academic All-Americans.

            During his tenure, seven of his players earned the prestigious National Football Foundation post-graduate scholarship, and 11 former players received the equally coveted NCAA post-graduate scholarship. Seventy-seven of his players earned Academic All-SEC recognition.

Dooley was named NCAA National Coach of the Year by every major poll in 1980 and by Chevrolet-WTBS in 1982. He was named SEC Coach of the Year seven times and NCAA District Coach of the Year on six occasions. He holds the unique distinction of being inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in two different states: Georgia and Alabama. Dooley is a 1978 inductee into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and a 1994 inductee into the National College Football Hall of Fame. In 2001, he received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award from the American Football Coaches Association for lifetime contributions to the sport of football. He was inducted into the UGA Circle of Honor in 2004 and the Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame in 2019.

            Under Dooley’s watch as athletic director, Georgia teams won 23 national championships (10 in his final six years), including an unprecedented four during the 1998-99 year (gymnastics, women’s swimming, men’s tennis and men’s golf). Also during his tenure, Georgia athletic teams won 78 SEC team championships and numerous individual national titles in both men’s and women’s sports.

Categories: Georgia Sports, SEC Football