UGA extremes: Dooley and Donnan

There’ve been some odd juxtapositions in Bulldogs-related news this week worthy of comment: longtime College Football Hall of Fame member Vince Dooley receiving the Bear Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Heart Association, former UGA coach Jim Donnan getting inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame’s “divisional” class for his 1-AA success at Marshall before coming to Georgia, and quarterback-turned-trainwreck Quincy Carter, formerly of the Dogs, being arrested yet again in Texas on a probation violation.

OK, first Dooley. The only surprising thing about his honor, previously given to the likes of Barry Switzer, Tom Osborne and Bo Schembechler, is that they’re just getting around to it. Dooley, only the ninth coach in NCAA Division 1 history to win more than 200 games, has always been one of the classiest guys in his field and won six SEC titles and a national championship. I know there’s a faction of fandom that associates Dooley with a less exciting three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust brand of football, but to them I say: flea-flicker, shoestring, Appleby-to-Washington and … you get the point. There was plenty of exciting football during Dooley’s time as coach, and while the Dogs might not have been the most successful program of his era, they were consistently good and occasionally great over 25 years, no mean achievement. And as athletic director, he built one of the nation’s most successful sports programs overall.

I’ll just take this opportunity again to say that I look forward to the day, after Michael Adams is gone, when Dooley can be properly honored by UGA adding his name to the stadium or field. 

Donnan? Well, if a six-year career at Marshall that resulted in a 64-21 record with four trips to the 1-AA title game and one national championship is considered Hall of Fame material, so be it. But I’m with T Kyle King (no relation) of the Dawg Sports blog, who took umbrage at Donnan’s post-award announcement comments in which he seemed to reach for a bit of credit for doing “some good things” during his time at UGA that “got it started” for Mark Richt. As King put it: “Jim Donnan made few, if any, contributions to Georgia football which were both enduring and valuable” aside from redshirting David Greene. “It seems to me that everything Coach Donnan started was something Mark Richt had to fix, whether it was running off [Quincy] Carter, booting Jasper Sanks off the team, implementing meaningful player discipline, instituting mat drills, halting the losing streak to the Yellow Jackets, or winning games consistently against meaningful opposition.” No argument here.

Which brings us to one of the sadder chapters in recent college or pro sports history. Carter, who originally had signed with Georgia Tech before deciding to try pro baseball and then changing his mind and deciding to play college football at UGA, was an unquestionably talented but raw athlete who needed developing and nurturing. But he didn’t get it from Donnan, who having fallen head over heels in love with Carter at QB, installed him as a freshman starter, ran off all the other talented quarterbacks on the roster, and then proceeded to teach Carter nothing (not even which foot to throw off) while ignoring all the rumors floating around Athens about habits that would later lead to the self-destruction of Carter’s pro career. 

While his work at Marshall might be worthy of the College Football Hall of Fame, Donnan’s mishandling of Carter alone makes him deserving of the Hall of Infamy at the Division 1 level. 

 

97 comments Add your comment

Pi$$onaDAWG

May 14th, 2009
10:55 am

Great Bill is this now your last post? I will tip a Jack & Ice to you sir. Q had to go to UGA after baseball because after years of not hitting the books he would have flunked out after a sem. at Tech. That is not a hit on UGA it is a hit on Q. Donnan & Goff are bylines in UGA football history much like Lewis & Fulture are bylines in Tech football history. I liked you time on the BLOG and again best wishes and hope you remembered well your mom on this Mother’s Day.

Blindog

May 14th, 2009
11:00 am

Nice work Bill. I have always enjoyed your blogs. You really make ME look good when I’m informing my friends what you teach me in your articles. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

Huh?

May 14th, 2009
11:12 am

I didn’t read all that in to Donnan’s comments. He gave Richt credit for taking things to the “next level.” And its not like Richt was taking over some 1-11 horrible trainwreck of a football program. He inherited a solid program. The talent was already there for him to succeed. He probably wouldn’t have came here otherwise. Donnan was a good guy and a good (not great) coach. He just didn’t have the moxy to take things to the “next level” and I bet he knows that.

Cuz

May 14th, 2009
11:13 am

Even with Adams gone, I don’t know if Dooley will get his name on the stadium. I am not a big fan of hyphened stadiums so I have reversed my feelings when Dooley was declined the extra year. Now I am for keeping the Sanford by itself. And Coach Dooley is one of the best that I ever met in the UGA football program. He always had time to have a kind word to me, lowly bus driver. Bill maybe we can move the statue to where it should be, at the stadium. Like that will happen.

Cuz

May 14th, 2009
11:45 am

Guys, Bill is not going anywhere. Like us he has posers stealing his name also. If it is not shaded, a writer did not write it. Blog on Bill.

dwf

May 14th, 2009
11:47 am

Mr. King,
Although Donnan’s career at UGA was not one of legends…let’s not short-sight his contribution to the program. First, he brought us back to relevancy after the Goff years. Second (and more importantly), who do you think stocked CMR’s 2002 SEC Championship team full of NFL talent?

GeoffDawg

May 14th, 2009
11:48 am

You’re right about all the other talented QBs on the roster. I remember a logjam at that position until it was apparent that Carter had the job already locked up as a freshman. I don’t remember all their names but Blake Barnes comes to mind. Didn’t he transfer to Southern Miss? I wonder how his college career panned out.

Lars Taint

May 14th, 2009
12:04 pm

Are you serious Geoff Dawg? Blake Barnes was in the log jam with Stafford. Quincy was about 8 years before that. With Quincy we had one QB transfer to Oklahoma, I think his name was Hybul. Another, I think, transferred to Auburn.

GeoffDawg

May 14th, 2009
12:09 pm

Thank you Lars. That’s correct. I can’t keep all our logjams straight. I remember Nate Hybl now. He had a pretty good career at Ok I believe.

AltamahaDawg

May 14th, 2009
12:46 pm

Ah, that Adams. Trying to take that football program down the toilet, while hypocritically talking about meaningless academics in the AD, all at the expense of all those withheld contributions, while attendance drops every year due to asphalt-challanged SUVs.

Phil

May 14th, 2009
12:55 pm

I, for one, do not want Sanford Stadium named after VD. He did a lot of good things at UGA, but not enough to rename SS after him. I believe he has been honored sufficiently.

jimmy

May 14th, 2009
12:56 pm

when is mr adams retirement date

Mac

May 14th, 2009
1:10 pm

Erk Russell belongs in the college football hall of fame. Period. His accomplishments far outweigh Donnan’s, but he is on the outside only because he retired two years too early for their silly rules. This case cries out for an exception.

murfdawg

May 14th, 2009
1:14 pm

Does Paul Johnson remind anyone of Jim Donnan? Both were successful at 1-aa,both smug and arrogant for no reason and both will turn out to be mediocre. PJ does have one advantage. He is playing in the Almost Competitive Conference and should win a lot of games. Donnan won 40 games, but not the right ones. But beating Western Carolina and Elon is satisfying to some people. Not to the Dawg Nation. I hope his placque is in the sub-basement of the hof.

JB

May 14th, 2009
1:25 pm

there are rumors that Donnan protected Quincy Carter his Senior with his mystery injury to protect his chances to make it to the pro’s. Some test results did not come in clean ??????????

Ted Striker

May 14th, 2009
1:51 pm

Bill King: I hate to disagree publicly within the UGA family but screw you if you can’t appreciate Donnan.

Ted Striker

May 14th, 2009
1:52 pm

And I mean that.

Pi$$onaDAWG

May 14th, 2009
1:53 pm

I think NAVY is a D-1 program that has restrictions on actually being SMART and Backed by a Senator to go to school. “WE ARE MARSHAL” and I am Donnan. Give me a break. UGA needed anybody to replace “duh duh duh Goff”. Can Tech kick VT, Miama, and Clemson off our schedule and we could be UGA playing the historically weak in the comference. PS Tech has had The U’s # the last few years, while spliting with Clemson, but only taking a game here and there against VPI(VT).

DAWGS20

May 14th, 2009
1:53 pm

I still want a big deal made about ERK not being in. Tell me someone who was more deserving, cant do it. Get the guy in. Make an exception. I mean he was the HEAD coach of that Junkyard Dawg “D” long enough. Then created a program out of thin air at GSU that won three National Titles!!! GET HIM IN!!!!

Mr. Skynyrd

May 14th, 2009
1:58 pm

Keep talking there murf. It will make the second Tech win in a row even sweeter.

I can’t wait. I bet PJ, Roddy Jones, Jonathan Dwyer and Josh Nesbitt can’t either. Low hanging fruit this year. No telling how many points they’ll put up on Wee Willie.

Ted Striker

May 14th, 2009
1:58 pm

Dawgs20, You are 100% right. Erk deserves in, hands down based purely on what he did in Statesboro (not discounting anything about what he meant to UGA).

Pi$$onaDAWG

May 14th, 2009
1:59 pm

AGAIN if rules were ment to be broken then add ERK and Pete Rose. Both were great at what they were paid to do and every team that faec them FEARED both men.

Voice of Reason

May 14th, 2009
2:00 pm

JB- I believe I remember hearing that also. Not surprising. Probably a similar situation with “Percy Harvey” down at UF. Do you really think you can go all that time at UF without failing a drug test and then fail the combine drug test. Logic seems to suggest No.

Dorsey Hill

May 14th, 2009
2:03 pm

First, Coach Dooley still is the finest head coach Georgia has ever had although Coach Richt is fast approaching. He was also instrumental in assembling one of the finest Athletic Departments in the country and we now compete at the highest level in nearly every sport, save basketball. (Had Tubby not been lured to UK there would be no exceptions.)

Second, Donnan vastly increased the level of talent at UGA over his predecessor. While ultimately a disappointment as far as results on the field, we did win an SEC Championship with Donnan’s recruits. We will never know what may have become of Donnan’s career had QC been able to hit a curveball. (Likewise, had Robert Edwards not had his foot broken in the 2Q of the Tenn game in 1995, Donnan may never have been the head coach at Georgia.) Irrespective of that, Donnan does deserve at least some credit for taking Georgia from an embarassment to mediocre. No one can say, but had Georgia not turned the corner at least a little in the late 1990’s, the Georgia job might not have been a job that would have attracted the coach we have now. (I remember Paul Finebaum comparing Georgia in the mid-90’s to Vandy. Having lost twice in a row to them, who was I to argue.) In the end Donnan is not a Butts or a Dooley or a Richt, but he ain’t Johnny Griffith or Ray Goff either. He deserves a modicum of thanks and he deserves little derision.

Voice of Reason

May 14th, 2009
2:04 pm

Pi$$onaDAWG- your grammar eludes you today. Were you trying to say that UGA plays in a weak conference? You are entitled to believe what you want, but I don’t think you can possibly back up that argument.

DAWGS20

May 14th, 2009
2:08 pm

Maybe name the field after Dooley. WOW! The U huh? By the way THE “U” only had ONE,let me repeat ONE player drafted in the NFL draft this year, so congrats on beation the fourth best team in Florida (UF, USF, FSU)And when was the last here and there with VT? Where they any good that year? Do not talk about schedules on here, you make yourself look like what you must really be, an idiot. Last time I checked Florida, LSU(See Peach Bowl), Okie State, and ASU were in the top 25. But you hang in there special fella

JB

May 14th, 2009
2:09 pm

Meyer is a win at any cost kind of guy, so yea…not bashing, just the truth. Watch the guy coach on game day. He takes no prisoners, and i’m talking about on his own sideline. I’m not saying it’s wrong, but the guy has got a set. two BCS championships prove it.

UGA_2001

May 14th, 2009
2:12 pm

LOL, are you serious about Donnan, Bill?

All he did was sign Greene, Pollack, Sean Jones, Thomas Davis, the Stinchcombs, George Foster, Will Witherspoon, Tony Gilbert, Musa Smith, Reggie Brown and did much of the recruiting on guys like Fred Gibson DJ Shockley and Gerald Anderson.

We haven’t had recruiting classes like that since Donnan left. Richt’s staff has shown that they cannot evaluate talent as well as Donnan’s did. Why do you think we have such a dearth of talent and play-makers at positions like DE, LB, and S? Those are three of the easiest positions to evaluate and recruit.

The ‘98 and ‘99 classes set the table for Richt’s first few years. You have to give Donnan credit for that.

JB

May 14th, 2009
2:14 pm

sorry, the above post was in reference to Harvin at UF staying “CLEAN” and failing at the combine

DAWGS20

May 14th, 2009
2:18 pm

Our TALENT at the O-line was better at the time. But our new o-line coach is much better. As far as playmakers go we will have to wait and see. I think Knowshon, A.J, Stafford, MoMass, Curran, J Owens, Quinton Moses and others T.Brown for example, stack up prett well.

Pi$$onaDAWG

May 14th, 2009
2:19 pm

VoR I am saying that UGA is still better than the bad in the SEC but not Better than the Best in the SEC. They are middle of the pack in the SEC. Other teams go up and down, but UGA gets to play in the Middle because of the talent in Ga. UGA will get national talk and still fall shot behind a Bama, LSU, UT, UF, and Auburn. You get up when they are down but you can’t close the deal on a BCS Ship because people know you have a relatively easy SEC schedule again because of your talent. You can’t win the BIG game when needed but you can kick the crap out of the weak sisters most years. If UF is up UGA is second and if UT is up UGA is still second. When UGA is UP they still need help to make it to the DOME. Sorry for bad typing or lack of puncuation.

uuugh.

May 14th, 2009
2:27 pm

The only other Quarterback other than Quincy Carter that got worse every year they played was Reggie Ball. The first year I thought Quincy would re-write the record books but by the end it was 5 int’s vs SC. At least Reggie helped us win games!

Name the field after Dooley. Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium has a nice ring to it. Used to see him at church during my time in Athens–great guy. To hell with Adams. Thant guy hasn’t done $hit…the Hope Scolarship would have driven up entrance requirements without him.

Stay out of the headlines Quincy!

We miss you Reggie!!

DAWGS20

May 14th, 2009
2:27 pm

Really? Weak Schedule, ok lets see. OSU Bowl team preseason #6, USC, Arky(beat LSU see Peach Bowl again), ASU top 25 and Bowl Team, LSU (again see Peach, UT, Vandy Bowl team (Beat BC an ACC team), Uf (I think they did ok last year), TT, Auburn, KY (bowl team) and Someone else is at the end of the schedule. Your right its weak

JB

May 14th, 2009
2:30 pm

Georgia getting back to Dome falls on Richt. The CEO. He calls all the shots that determines what kind of ball club we have:
1. He hires the assit. coach’s
2. The philosphy is his
3. he signs off on recruit offers
4. he sets the work tone
5. He makes sure the staff has the team ready to play and a game plan that will work.

Ask Fulmer…..He’d tell you.

uuugh.

May 14th, 2009
2:30 pm

Can we also stop referring to Vince Dooley as VD. The man desreves better than that!

TaDawg

May 14th, 2009
2:30 pm

Honor coach Dooley, but PLEASE do not hyphenate the stadium or name the field after him. That is absurd. I have always made fun of places like Tech and FSU for naming the field separately from the stadium.

Pi$$onaDAWG

May 14th, 2009
2:36 pm

DAWG20 look at the scheduels of the teams you are talking about. Everybody goes to a BOWL now. Tell me right now on paper that UGA should lose to? USC, Ark, ASU, UT, Vandy, Tenn Tech, Auburn, or Kentucky? That is 8 wins and & that put you in a bowl. Yes, USC could have beat you last year, and Kentucky should have beaten you, but that is where UGA athelets won out in the end.

Pi$$onaDAWG

May 14th, 2009
2:40 pm

uuuhg you are right VD is what you get from the Fake Blonde Freshmen Chickenheads on campus. I loved my weekends in Athens during college days. Vince was an AUBURN MAN and left UGA to go back to Auburn then changed his mind if you have forgotten.

Herschel Talker

May 14th, 2009
2:45 pm

How nice. More Bill King. SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHO THE HELL BILL KING IS!!! WHAT QUALIFIES HIM TO BLOG ON THE DAWGS? Scary looking picture.

DAWGS20

May 14th, 2009
2:48 pm

My point is that everyone in the SEC has athletes except for Vandy(who is coming along) and maybe Miss ST. Everyone else is going to play you tough. Auburn is a rival game as well as UT so they are usually going to be close games. For some reason ever since Spurrier took over every game UGA has played has been CLOSE, except Staffords freshman year 18-0. UGA did not preform well in a lot of games last year, but got the win for whatever reason (not WILLMART IMO)Tech did not have the athletes the UGA did last year and did a good job (just threw up in my mouth a little) Its not athltes, its coaching and determination, willpower. MY point o you is that the schedule is tough and UGA did a decent job with it. I personally belive that UGA has had the toughest schedule in the country for the past two years.

Jethro Tull

May 14th, 2009
2:49 pm

Why does the beat writer for the AJC feel the need to blabber this crap twice a day in the off season? Well, if he wasn’t digging up junk like this, we would be hearing about Fatty Staffords dump this morning.

NO ONE CARES!!

Vince Dooley was a lying, cheating SOB. Ever heard of Jan Kemp? That was on VD’s watch.

Right On Time

May 14th, 2009
2:52 pm

JB: Quincy was a junior in Donnans’ last year, 2000. He bolted on Richt for the NFL.

Dooley is obvious. Best UGA coach ever.

On Donnan:
Dont discount how hard of a job cleaning up goff’s mess. goff was putrid and so was the team. Donnan recruited excellent players that ended up being the group that “knocked the lid off”. He stopped the losing streak against tenn. He beat florida with SOS coaching (Richt got beat by the zooker). He won at auburn in OT and in 1998 at LSU against the #6 team in the country with a freshman QB. He recruited players from the Baileys to the Stinchcombs. The 2 problems Donnan had were his mouth and attitude with the masses. His rotten luck against the techsters did not help either. I still would rather have had 20 more seasons of Donnan than 1 more of goff.

Lets not forget: Donnan was supposed to be Mason. I think we got the better guy.

He still carries a torch for Georgia so give him a break and some respect.

Randy

May 14th, 2009
2:56 pm

“And as athletic director, he built one of the nation’s most successful sports programs overall”

You’re joking about Dooley, right? Gymnastics & tennis success doesn’t cut it. Also, how many times did the university run into NCAA violations under Dooley’s lead? Too many to count.

Dooley has been honoured (sic) enough. He doesn’t deserve his name on the stadium. That should be reserved for Richt.

Johnny DangerDawg

May 14th, 2009
3:02 pm

I do want to give Donnan some credit for bringing in some good players for Richt’s early years. However, I will probably p*** off some folks by saying that Donnan wasn’t necessarily that much better than Goff. After the Jan Kemp scandal, UGA football changed its admissions standards to be stricter than the rest of the SEC. This hurt recruiting until around 1996, when all the other schools upgraded their admission standards to the same as UGA. Thus, I believe it was almost inevitable that whoever coached the Dawgs after 1996 would have a better winning percentage than whoever coached them from 1989-1995.

DAWGS20

May 14th, 2009
3:11 pm

WOW really??? UGA may be the best overall program in the country. Look at revenue number off of athletics. Uga has won over 35 total National Championships!!! Tennis, Golf, Gymnastics, Baseball to the World Series and won it in 90, football in 880, heck even our pitiful bball team went to the final four in 83 and won the SEC last year. Softball is successfull, swimming and diving have won national titles, and last time I checked tennis, swimming and diving and gymnastics are all olmpic sports?? Jan who?? What did that cost UGA again?? The man is one of 9, yes 9, coaches to win over 200 games and did all that work as the A.D. Randy are you Mike Adams in disguise?

Mark

May 14th, 2009
3:15 pm

Easy on JD. He significantly upgraded the program on the field and with facilities. Granted the Quincy issue was a debacle and losing 3 to tech justified his firing but he was a class act who still enjoys living in Athens and has never said a bad word about UGA except for the current president..and he isn’t alone there. As a matter of fact you can tell in his commentary that he’s still pulling for us. He could have left bitter but didn’t. To me that says alot for the man. Not to mention he and Munson put on quite an entertaining call-in show.

Ogeechee Dawg

May 14th, 2009
3:15 pm

Bill – I disagree with your comments about Donnan:

1. He inhereted a mess from Ray Goff – mediocre talent.
2. He pulled in the talent and was able to position UGA to better compete against Florida and Tennessee – of which were both legit top 10 – if not top 5 programs
3. If UGA was in the SEC West – he would have gone to several SEC title games
4. He set the table for Mark Richt. When Richt arrived – the talent was there to build upon.
5. Given time (more than 4 years) who is not to say that UGA would be winning 10 games a season under Donnan? He was moving the program in that direction.

Recap – the program was a whole lot better when Donnan departed than when he arrived. He is/was a BIG time coach – at a Big time program – that just missed out on greatness.

birddawg92

May 14th, 2009
3:17 pm

I don’t disagree with the points on Donnan but think there’s a smidge too much piling on here. Reiterate another poster’s point that Donnan acknowledged Richt’s accomplishments exceeding his. I initially was a major Donnan supporter (had seen what he’d done at Marshall having attended GA Southern when he was there), and said at the time that he “saved Dooley from himself” after getting the job when Glen Mason got cold feet (a pretty decent-looking decision in retrospect). I came to refer to Donnan as “Donut” though, after he clearly lost control of the team in the late 90s, the personal coup de grace for me being the 31-0-at-the-half debacle against The Barn AT HOME in -99. All that said, he clearly appreciates Georgia, and I think he’s due a little credit for getting the recruiting back up to snuff and getting us at least in the conference title conversation again.

But as Towers blogged earlier in the week, in Jim Donnan is in the HOF on his resume, ERSKINE RUSSELL is NO-BRAINER. He was head coach at GSU for 8 years—if there’s a case that ever cried out for an exception, his is it.

http://www.saturdayinathens.com (coming back soon, am almost over the Tech loss)

RxDawg

May 14th, 2009
3:19 pm

“I’ll just take this opportunity again to say that I look forward to the day, after Michael Adams is gone, when Dooley can be properly honored by UGA adding his name to the stadium or field. ”

Oh good grief Bill, this is just dumb. They put a statue of him in a very nice garden made especially for Dooley on UGA’S campus. Thats not exactly 2nd rate. I personaly think it’s tacky as hell that these other schools have double name stadiums. We are not other schools. We are above other schools. Our stadium’s name is Sanford Stadium. Thats it. Please end this crap about it’s not right that Dooley’s name isn’t on it.

uga_b

May 14th, 2009
3:20 pm

Randy, our atheletic department has moved up on the cup list to almost rival Florida. Golf champions, Tennis champions, gymnastics, football SEC champions, hell, we have even won at horse riding and ultimate frisbee.

Look I have Mike F.(in’) Adams as much as the next guy, but the man is a fundraising dynamo. That’s why he is here. Won’t be sad too see him leave, but like Donnan, he is not without accomplishment.