Breaking News
More () »

Vince Dooley, longtime Georgia football coach and father of former Vols coach Derek Dooley, dies at 90

The revered Dooley is perhaps best known for bringing Georgia its 1980 national championship.

ATHENS, Ga. — Legendary Georgia football coach Vince Dooley died Friday afternoon. He was 90-years-old.

Dooley died peacefully at his home with his wife and their four children by his side, according to a statement.

The beloved former University of Georgia coach and athletic director is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, and is the winningest football coach in school history, mounting 201 victories and six SEC titles during his 25 years leading the Bulldogs from 1963 to 1989.

The revered Dooley is perhaps best known for bringing Georgia its 1980 national championship in the 1981 Sugar Bowl in a historic win over Notre Dame.

Credit: AP Photo

In addition to his venerable coaching tenure, Dooley also received numerous awards as director of athletics for UGA for 25 years from 1979 to 2004, part of which overlapped with his time as the head football coach.

Dooley was recently hospitalized with what was called a "mild case" of COVID-19 but was released from the hospital just a few days later.

Herschel Walker, who set the NCAA freshman rushing record and became the first "true freshman" All-American under Dooley as a member of the 1980 national title team, released the following statement on Dooley:

"My heart breaks at Coach Vince Dooley's passing. Coach Dooley was like a second father to me and his family became my family. Coach put his trust in me and I put my trust in him. He taught me about the values of hard work and perseverance. There is no one who loved America more than Coach Dooley, and he proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps. Without Coach Dooley, there is no Herschel Walker. He helped make me the man I am today and I will never be able to thank him enough for everything he did for me. Julie and I are praying for Barbara Dooley and Coach's entire family during this difficult time."

Gov. Brian Kemp and his family offered their condolences to Dooley and his family in the following post to Twitter.

He had recently celebrated his 90th birthday back in September and was serenaded to "Happy Birthday" in front of 70,000 fans inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the season opener against Oregon.

Credit: AP
Former head Georgia football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley, left, gets a kiss from his wIfe Barbara during a ceremony to name the field at Sanford Stadium in his honor before an NCAA college football game against the Murray State, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

News happens fast. Download our 11Alive News app for all the latest breaking updates, and sign up for our Speed Feed newsletter to get a rundown of the latest headlines across north Georgia.

Before You Leave, Check This Out