The Georgia athletic association’s board of directors unanimously endorsed naming the field at Sanford Stadium in honor of former longtime coach Vince Dooley.
Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium is expected to be crowned Sept. 7, when the Bulldogs face Murray State in the home opener.
Dooley, 86, was informed of the plan in person Thursday morning by university president Jere Morehead and athletic director Greg McGarity.
“It’s a great tribute to all of the players that I’ve had the privilege of coaching through the years, and I’m very happy for my family as well,” Dooley said of the honor.
“Coach Dooley’s many contributions to this university can be seen across campus,” Morehead said in a statement, “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.”
Go Dawgs! UGA has announced plans to create Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium, in honor of legendary Bulldogs head football coach and athletics director Vince Dooley. https://t.co/awoYrhJMlH pic.twitter.com/ioDOfr535d— UGA (@universityofga) May 2, 2019
Dooley was the Bulldogs’ head football coach from 1963 to 1989, winning the national championship in 1980. He won six Southeastern Conference Championships. While athletics director from 1979 to 2004, Georgia teams won 23 national championships and 78 SEC titles.
The move was praised by two noted university supporters.
Herschel Walker, who won the Heisman Trophy, under Dooley’s tutelage said the honor was long overdue.
“I applaud the University of Georgia for honoring coach’s decades of service and success,” Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement. “I look forward to watching the Dawgs compete on Dooley Field in the near future.”