UGA Heritage:

Vince Dooley Athletic Complex

          

Left to right: Entrance to Vince Dooley Athletic Complex; Unveiling of the Vince Dooley Statue near Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall; Vince Dooley

 

The Vince Dooley Athletic Complex is a combination of a number of UGA athletic facilities. It is named for legendary football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley.

Vince Dooley’s football teams won 201 games from 1963 to 1988, and secured six Southeastern Conference titles. He served as athletic director from 1979 until 2004, and was named the 1980 NCAA National Coach of the Year.

During his tenure as athletics director, the Bulldogs won 23 national championships and 78 SEC titles, and 100 student athletes were named first team Academic All-Americans. More than 50 athletes received NCAA post-graduates, and seven earned Boyd McWhorter scholarships. Seven received NCAA Today’s Top Eight awards. Three were awarded the NCAA National Woman of the Year, and two won the Walter Byers Award. During that time, UGA student-athletes won 89 berths in Olympic competition from 1980 to 2004.

Dooley has been inducted into numerous halls of fame, including the National Hall of Fame, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dooley played football and basketball at Auburn University. Following graduation, he joined the U.S. Marines and then coached at his alma mater before coming to UGA.

The complex includes the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, named for former UGA coaches Wallace Butts and Harry Mehre; the Spec Towns Track, named for former track star, coach and Olympian Forest “Spec” Towns; the Woodruff Practice Fields, named for George Woodruff, a former player, coach and successful businessman; the Stegeman Coliseum, named after the former coach, athletics director and dean of men Herman Stegeman; Foley Baseball Field, name for former baseball star Judge Frank Foley; Magill Tennis Complex, named for legendary sports information director, head tennis coach, and Georgia Bulldog Club secretary Dan Magill; and the Rankin M. Smith Student Athlete Academic Center, whose namesake attended UGA and later became president of Life Insurance Co. of Georgia and owner of the Atlanta Falcons.

A garden, dedicated in 2008, identifies the “entrance” to the complex. The garden was funded by University of Georgia Athletic Association donors and features a statue of a victorious Dooley hoisted on the shoulders of two members of the 1980 national championship football team. The garden is located at the corner of Lumpkin and Pinecrest streets adjacent to Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall.

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