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Thursday Morning Dawg Bites Thanks Coach Dooley for His Time

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Vince Dooley Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day,

Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way

-Time, Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd’s ‘Time’ starts with the sounds of alarm bells and the large clanging chimes of A giant clock tower. It is followed by a percussion of some type that beats at the familiar rate of the second hand on a ticking clock before leading into the lyrics above. This thought brings us to one Vincent Joseph Dooley, former head football coach and athletic director of your Georgia Bulldogs. Dooley gave 40 years of his life to the University of Georgia. He spent 25 of those as head coach, taking over in 1964 and keeping a steady hand on the wheel until stepping down in 1988. His tenure translates to an eternity in any era of college football. Dooley also took over as athletic director in 1979, and continued to serve the university in that capacity until 2004. He gave Georgia 6 SEC titles and the 1980 national championship. There’s nothing like being a Bulldog on a Saturday night after a win, and Dooley gave Dawg fans that wonderful feeling 201 times.

‘Time’ is about the wasting of years, and how they often slip by before people realize it’s too late to get them back. Vince Dooley is a man who never saw time as something to “fritter” with or “waste in an offhand way.” As Mark Bradley points out in his profile for the AJC’s DawgNation, Dooley has always believed that spare minutes should be used for growth and enrichment. When he was a grad assistant at Auburn, his wife Barbara asked him why he didn’t spend his free time playing cards with the other grad assistants. “Because 25 years from now they’ll still be playing cards.”

Anyone that’s around a place for as long as Vince Dooley was around the University of Georgia is bound to make some decisions that others will disagree with. Maybe you don’t agree with every decision he made over his 40 years as coach and athletic director, but he gave 40 years of his time, that finite thing none of us will ever get back, to the University of Georgia.

Come Saturday afternoon, the field at Sanford Stadium will officially bare Vince Dooley’s name. Dooley is 87 now. While he’s still as spry and eager to learn as ever, there’s no telling how many more appearances Dooley will make in front of the crowd in Athens. Let’s raise our voices, and thank him for all the time he gave to the University of Georgia.

(While you’re here, watch Dooley’s first bunch of Bulldogs talk about what it was like to play for the young unknown coach during his first season in 1964. You might want to have some tissues handy.)

In other news, big Isaiah WIlson suffered a “lower leg injury” at practice yesterday. Your heart might have skipped a beat like mine did when I first read this, but the good news is the injury doesn’t appear to be a season ender. Wilson is expected to be out 4-5 weeks. His absence will likely result in Cade Mays shifting over to right tackle, with Ben Cleveland filling in at Mays’ guard spot.

With FCS Murray State coming to town, the Dawgs appear to be preparing some backups for action.

Lastly, Georgia Tech is changing their ticket sales strategy for the Georgia game this year. The new plan will work similarly to secondary markets like StubHub, meaning demand will dictate the price of admission. In essence, Tech has realized that making the tickets part of season ticket or multi-game packages hasn’t kept Georgia fans from scooping them up. With the athletic department running a deficit last year, they’ll look to cut out the middle man and bring in more money. Sales start next Monday, September 9th, for Georgia’s biennial home game in Atlanta.