It was the 50th anniversary of the day his hiring as Georgia football coach was announced.
“I was the freshman coach and a former player at a rival school, Auburn,” Dooley remembered in talking about the anniversary of his hiring. “Georgia was in a down period. They were in a stretch where they had seven losing seasons in 10 years.”
Georgia had hired Joel Eaves, Dooley’s former basketball coach at Auburn, to be athletic director to try to resurrect the program.
“Coach Eaves announced he was going to conduct a nationwide search for a new football coach and bring in someone to make Georgia a winner again,” Dooley recalled. “When they said the new coach was named Vince, everyone thought Lombardi and was ecstatic, but then they said Dooley, and everyone thought, who? Looking back, the only three people at the time who thought it was a good hire was coach Eaves, me and my wife, Barbara. But we worked hard, got the players to believe, and we started winning. And nothing gives a coach credibility more than winning.”
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