Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia has proposed to name the sports complex on the southwestern end of campus for Vincent J. Dooley, football coach from 1963 to 1988 and athletics director from 1979 to 2004.
The Executive Board of the UGA Athletic Association approved the measure at a special meeting Monday afternoon, as did the University Cabinet, which consists of the university’s top administrators. The proposal now goes before the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, which meets in Atlanta February 12-13.
“This is a fitting tribute to Vince Dooley’s 40 years of service to the University of Georgia as an outstanding football coach and athletic director,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “The Bulldogs’ success under Vince’s leadership has been inspirational for our friends and fans, and the foundation he laid is an important component of the success we are enjoying today.”
The athletic complex on the southwest end of campus includes Butts-Mehre Athletic Heritage Hall, Spec Towns Track, the Woodruff Practice Fields, Stegeman Coliseum, the Coliseum Training Facility, the Rankin M. Smith, Sr. Student-Athlete Academic Center, Foley Baseball Field, the Dan Magill Tennis Complex including the Henry Feild Tennis Stadium and the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Tennis Courts.
A garden and sculpture commemorating Dooley will be constructed at the corner of Pinecrest and Lumpkin streets, adjacent to the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall. A timetable for construction has not yet been set.
“We are honored to participate in this special tribute to Coach Dooley,” said Damon Evans, athletics director at UGA and a letterman under Dooley. “There are thousands who have benefited from Coach Dooley’s leadership of, and contributions to, our athletic program, myself included. However, he has had an enduring impact not only on the University of Georgia but also on college athletics across the country in a very significant way over a long period of time.”
“I want to express my sincerest appreciation to all those who were involved in this very special tribute,” said Dooley. “I especially want to extend a heartfelt thank you to those who were directly responsible. Barbara and the family are very excited and appreciative and I want to express their gratitude as well.”
Dooley’s football teams won six Southeastern Conference titles during his tenure, along with a national championship in 1980. The Bulldogs won a total of 17 national championships and 65 SEC crowns during Dooley’s time as athletics director, which also featured more than 100 Georgia student-athletes being named first-team Academic All-Americans; more than 50 receiving postgraduate scholarships from the NCAA; seven winning Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards; seven were named to the NCAA’s Today’s Top Eight teams; three being named NCAA National Woman of the Year, and two winning the Walter Byers Award from the NCAA.