Vince Dooley held a teleconference today to discuss … well, you know what it was to discuss. The highlight: The greatest coach and greatest athletics director Georgia has ever had conceded that, on Oct. 10, 2010, he will be pull against Georgia.
“Luckily, we have a private box,” he said. “I’ll have mixed emotions, but it’s going to be hard pulling against my family. I had my family before I came to Georgia. It will be a quiet pulling for my son. But I’m glad we have we do have the private box; my wife will be more vocal.”
You could say Vincent J. Dooley has had an overstuffed life: Quarterback at Auburn, SEC head coach at age 31, national champion as of Jan. 1, 1981, and now father of Tennessee’s head coach. Of Derek Dooley, Vince said: “We’re very happy, very proud. It’s a wonderful opportunity. And it’s special because it’s in the conference.
“I wish it was not at a school so close and competitive, but Derek would remind me that I left Auburn and came across the Chattahoochee to Georgia.”
On his son bringing a team into Sanford Stadium: “It’s somewhat akin to the first time I brought a Dooley-led team to Auburn. [Georgia lost 14-7 in 1964.] It will be strange, but it was also strange when Derek came down as a football player when he was at Virginia and I was coaching Georgia. And I had to sleep with his mother, who had announced she was pulling for Derek. I reminded her where her bread was buttered.”
On Vince and Barbara Dooley’s travel plans for autumn 2010: “We’ll be driving home [from St. Simons] in about an hour, and there’ll be some discussion. I imagine it will generally be staying at home when Georgia plays at home and looking for opportunities [to go watch Tennessee].”
On Derek’s career path: “I wanted him to go to Princeton [as an undergrad]. He was a possession receiver [at Clarke Central High], and some of our coaches wanted to sign him. I didn’t want to sign that kind of player. If he could jump out of the ceiling, I’d have given him a scholarship. I wanted him to go to Princeton, but he wanted to play Division I football and he walked on. He’s got a mind of his own.”
On Derek’s decision to leave the practice of law and enter coaching: “He didn’t follow my advice. But he was a lawyer and was on the debate team, so I lost that argument in 15 seconds.”
On whether Vince Dooley might emulate the father of Tennessee’s last coach and join his son as coordinator: “Barbara just found out about Derek’s contract [upwards of $2 million per year], and she’s saying, ‘You ought to go up there for a couple of years.’ I spent 25 years as a head coach and had gotten my salary from $12,000 my first year to $500,000 with everything thrown in when I decided it was time for me to retire. Barbara has always reminded me of that. She says, ‘What kind of guy leaves a job when he’s just about to start making big money?’ She’d love for me to [join Derek's staff].”
On whether he will ever willingly wear orange: “There’s no hesitation about my wife wearing orange. I might subtly and very conservatively wear something orange on the proper occasion.”