Vince Dooley, coach of the only University of Georgia national championship football team, visited Kroger on Wednesday for a book signing 50 years to the day he became head coach in Athens.
Many local fans met a Bulldog legend. Cindy Dennard completed her 1980 National Championship banner with Dooley’s signature. Dennard waited more than three decades for the coach’s pen stroke. A friend at UGA during the glory years happened to be close to Herschel Walker.
"She gave him this poster, and he took it and got every signature of all the players on the 1980 championship team. I’ve been waiting 33 years to get (Dooley) to sign it," Dennard said.
As one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history, Dooley racked up a list of honors including NCAA National Coach of the Year (1980 and 1982) and seven times SEC Coach of the Year. The Alabama native, who made Georgia his home in 1964, coached the Georgia Bulldogs to 201 victories during his 25 years as head coach and took Bulldog teams to 20 bowl games.
For 15 years after his retirement from active coaching, he remained at Georgia as the school’s athletic director. Dooley was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.