When talking about great bulldog coaches over the schools football history, a myriad of names run across our bulldog minds. We know names such as Mark Richt, Jim Donnan, and of course Vince Dooley, have been perennial legends in the halls and walls on campus. But I bet most anyone wouldn't know that Glenn Scobey "Pop" Warner once coached the dawgs, or that between 1939 and 1960 we would actually have a coach with the last name Butts lead our team to a national title in 1942? The history of our cherished school has many great names attached to it, but which is the greatest among them?
Though many coaches made their way into Sanford Stadium, two names stick out as significant program builders in their time Between the Hedges.
Mark Richt had a tenured career that yielded 2 SEC Championships and a few honors of SEC coach of the year in 2002 and 2005. What we have all heard time and time again is how Richt failed to hoist the highest award in college football, the National Championship Trophy. He was a great recruiter, and that talent was seen on the field each week. One thing Coach Richt was always good at was motivating his team to succeed, not just on the field, but in their lives. I believe that many of the Bulldog Faithful will agree with me in saying that Coach Richt changed the culture and mindset in Athens with his philosophy of coaching. Some might dismiss the coach as just another UGA head coach who failed to reach the "big one," but his college coaching career gave him a platform to reach for more than just the trophy.
Vince Dooley led the bulldogs, behind Herschel Walker and Buck Belue, to an undefeated 12-0 National Title. Dooley, by far, has the most time in Athens, GA and most wins in Georgia's 129-year history. His influence is still resonating across campus even today. I would even go so far as to say that he "opened up the playbook" for the Georgia football program. In his coaching career at UGA, he has seen eight coach of the year awards and a national championship. Vince was the last UGA head coach to give the Bulldog Faithful their last national championship, which is why he is known to many fans as the greatest head coach in UGA football history, and I would have to agree.
Currently, Kirby Smart, former UGA Defensive Back, is in the role of "Top Dawg" in Athens. Will Kirby Smart prove himself worthy of being Dawg Nation's "Top Dawg" of all time? Only time will tell.