Vince Dooley is a cherished man at the University of Georgia. There simply is no debating that.
The Bulldogs cemented Dooley’s legendary status with the Georgia football program on Thursday by announcing that it will name the field at iconic Sanford Stadium after the former football coach.
It will be known as “Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium.”
The tentative plans are to recognize Dooley during Georgia’s home opener against Murray St. on Sept. 7. The Bulldogs begin the season with a conference road game at Vanderbilt on Aug. 31.
Dooley, who won 201 games as the Bulldogs coach during a tenure that spanned from 1964-88, reacted to the news in a statement released by the university on Thursday.
“It was certainly a surprise when President Morehead and Greg McGarity came to our house this morning and gave us the news,” Dooley said. “Of course, I was exceptionally pleased and Barbara was more than pleased. So I’m very happy for the family and for all the players and friends who have been very supportive over a long period of time.”
Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart comments on Georgia naming its football field after Vince Dooley:
“I am pleased that we will have an opportunity to recognize Coach Dooley as we launch the next football season. We will use this exciting development to galvanize private support around our capital fundraising efforts to expand Butts-Mehre for our football program.”
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity on choosing the 2019 season opener to honor Vince Dooley:
“I can think of no better way to open the 2019 home football schedule than dedicating Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium. The event will be a moment for the entire Bulldog Nation to collectively say ‘thank you’ to a man who has devoted much of his life to making the Georgia athletics program one of the strongest in the nation.”
Heisman Trophy winning running back Herschel Walker on Vince Dooley’s honor:
“It’s a great day for the University of Georgia and its football program. Coach Dooley was such a great mentor to me during my career at Georgia and beyond. Congratulations to Coach on this well-deserved honor.”
Georgia governor Brian Kemp weighs in the university’s decision to honor Vince Dooley:
“Coach Dooley is one of the most celebrated leaders in Georgia athletics. He knew how to win on the football field and inspired generations of young men and women to live with purpose, passion, and integrity. I applaud the University of Georgia for honoring Coach’s decades of service and success. I look forward to watching the Dawgs compete on Dooley Field in the near future.”
University of Georgia president Jere W. Morehead adding Vince Dooley’s name to Sanford Stadium:
“Coach Dooley’s many contributions to this university can be seen across campus, from Georgia athletics, where he achieved unrivaled success, to the learning environment, where today many academic programs and initiatives bear his name, such as the Dooley Library Endowment Fund to the Dooley Professorship in Horticulture. The university community will continue to benefit from his service and dedication for generations to come.”