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Remembering legendary UGA soccer coach Vince Dooley

Former College of Georgia soccer teaching legend Vince Dooley has died.

Dooley died Friday at his dwelling in Athens. He was 90 years previous.

“Legendary former College of Georgia soccer coach and director of athletics Vince Dooley died peacefully at his dwelling within the presence of his spouse and their 4 youngsters Friday afternoon on the age of 90,” the college stated in a press release.

A member of the Faculty Soccer Corridor of Fame, in addition to the Georgia and Alabama Sports activities Halls of Fame, Dooley is Georgia’s winningest soccer coach with 201 victories, six SEC titles and the 1980 nationwide championship in his 25 years main the Bulldogs (1964- 88). He was additionally the recipient of quite a few awards for his service as director of athletics over a 25 12 months tenure (1979-2004).”

The UGA Soccer program and Gov. Brian Kemp have been amongst these reacting to the legendary coach’s passing.


Vincent Joseph Dooley was born in Cell, Alabama, on September 4, 1932, the fourth of Nellie and William Dooley’s 5 youngsters. Born and raised in the midst of the Nice Despair, Dooley was remembered as a short-tempered, irascible teenager who early on acknowledged athletics is likely to be the one factor conserving him from a life toiling within the shipyards of his hometown.

Dooley attended Cell’s McGill Institute and was identified extra for his basketball talents than his soccer acumen, although he was named quarterback at McGill as a sophomore and led his crew to the Cell Metropolis championship in 1949. Dooley agreed to attend Alabama’s Auburn College with the understanding that he would have the ability to play each basketball and soccer, however a knee damage throughout his junior 12 months introduced his basketball profession to an finish.

Dooley continued to excel at soccer below coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan, nevertheless, and in 1954 was invited to play within the Faculty All-Star Recreation in Chicago (the All-Stars misplaced that sport to the Nationwide Soccer League Champion DetroitLions, 31- 6). Along with his enjoying days over, Dooley spent the following two years within the US Marine Corps, an expertise that may characterize his teaching model for the following thirty-two years.

College of Georgia

UGA employed Dooley as head soccer coach on December 4, 1963. On the time, Dooley recalled, followers had been hoping for a big-name coach with the expertise to revive a troubled soccer program. However Dooley, who spent the primary 10 years of his profession as assistant coach at his alma mater Auburn, was not precisely what the Bulldog nation anticipated.

“At first they received excited as a result of after they talked about Vince, they have been pondering perhaps Vince Lombardi, one of many all-time teaching greats, however I believe most individuals stated, ‘Who within the heck is Vince Dooley?’” Dooley instructed GPB in a 2013 interview.

Contained in the UGA archives, historic WSB-TV footage accommodates a speech Dooley gave to an area Rotary Membership throughout his first season at Georgia in 1964. The tape reduce quick his remarks, however Dooley did define two targets for this system.

“To win an inexpensive quantity of soccer video games and secondly, to assist ship out younger males who will characterize effectively their state college, their hometown and their mother and father,” Dooley instructed the gang then.

Most followers would agree Dooley received excess of a “affordable quantity” of video games—his file stands at 201-77-10.

“I used to be harm I believe early on,” Dooley defined. “I put workers collectively. We had some gamers that have been very hungry after which I at all times loved teaching school soccer.”

On the time of his retirement, Dooley was the second-winningest coach in SEC historical past, behind solely legendary Alabama Coach Bear Bryant. He was elected into the Faculty Soccer Corridor of fame in 1994

Dooley retired from teaching in 1988 to concentrate on his publish as athletic director, which he had held since 1979. Throughout his tenure, he constructed Georgia into some of the profitable athletic applications within the nation. He retired from that publish in 2004.

Different Pursuits

Dooley briefly pursued the Democratic Celebration nomination for the US Senate in 1986. His spouse Barbara Meshad ran within the Republican main for the US Home in 2002. Kennesaw State College employed Dooley in late 2009 as a marketing consultant in KSU’s drive to begin a soccer program.

One among Dooley’s different passions was gardening about which he printed a e-book, “Vince Dooley’s Backyard: The Horticultural Journey of a Soccer Coach.” He additionally partnered with Mascot books to publish two youngsters’s books concerning the UGA mascot, How ‘Bout Them Dawgs! and Bushy Dawg’s Journey By way of the Peach State.

Dooley served as Chairman of the Board of Curators for the Georgia Historic Society from 2016–2018.

A lifetime of reminiscences

In 2018, former GPB radio host Rickey Bevington interviewed the legendary coach at his dwelling in Athens, Ga.

Hearken to the interview right here.


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