Former UGA Football Coach Speaks At 2019 Building Leaders Event
Former University of Georgia (UGA) Head Football Coach Vince Dooley recently visited Douglas and was the guest speaker at the Friends of Scouting South Georgia Council’s 2019 Building Leaders Dinner on February 28.
Dooley held the position as UGA’s head football coach from December of 1963 until January 1, 1989, and was the Director of Athletics from 1979-2004. “Dooley’s 25 years as head football coach earned him the distinction as the most successful 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 in 1980 and six SEC Championships under his direction. He took his teams to 20 Bowl games and coached Heisman winner and Maxwell award winner Herschel Walker in 1982, Outland Award Winner Bill Stanfill in 1968, 40 First Team All-Americans, and 10 Academic All-Americans,” Board Member Chris Tuten stated.
Dooley commended the Coffee High Trojan football team and coaches by stating, “What a great, great program here over a long period of time with great support, and obviously those that are here know what I am talking about.”
Dooley then recalled a time when he came to Douglas and did a video on former CHS player Andre “Pulpwood” Smith. Pulpwood was a running back from Douglas with impressive running skills who ended up leading the Bulldogs in rushing yards in the 1984 season.
“I don’t think we have ever had a stronger player pound for pound since Pulpwood. He had a great future and did some great things. I can still see him playing against Alabama when he ran one for 44 yards for a touchdown and came back and ran one for 34 yards. That’s a good number. We were able to beat Alabama in Birmingham because of Pulpwood. As a player, he was great.”
Dooley continued, “People ask me what advice I would give to young people. I would say, prepare yourself to be lucky and prepare yourself to take opportunity. Chance plays such an important part in one’s life, and you never know when that opportunity may come along. I don’t want to use myself as an example, but I guess I am an example. I had many meaningful jobs as an assistant coach, but I had a full plan to be a head coach.
“My plan was to leave Auburn, and I would go to Texas or Arkansas under a coach named Frank Royals, and when Coach Durden retired, they’d call me back home as the head coach. Little did I know, sometimes you’re cast into a leadership role at a much younger age than what you were thought, and that is what happened with me and the University of Georgia. There was no way you hire a coach with my credentials. No one thought it was a good idea but me, my wife, and the person who hired me. The opportunity came earlier than I thought, but I had prepared myself for the job. Preparation is what it is all about.”
The organization would like to thank Premium Peanut for sponsoring the event, along with all of the businesses that hosted tables during the ceremony.