Almost 25 years removed from his last game, former Georgia football coach Vince Dooley still remains in high demand.
An author, horticulturist and web host, Dooley stopped by the Morris Museum of Art for an autograph session Wednesday.
With a portion of the proceeds going back to the museum, Dooley signed footballs and various books like Vince Dooley’s Garden: A Horticultural Journey of a Football Coach, Dooley’s Playbook: The 34 Most Memorable Plays in Georgia Football History and History and Reminiscences of the University of Georgia.
At 80, Dooley is as a busy as ever. He works as a consultant for Kennesaw State University, which is considering adding a football program. Also, he is the host of a weekly video football show, SEC Kickoff, at secondemand.com. And he travels around the region to various book signings.
“I’ve probably been as busy as I’ve ever been,” he said. “I guess it’s hard to retire in a state where you’ve been as active as I have for 40 years. So you can’t retire, but I’ve enjoyed it.”
While visiting with a steady stream of Georgia fans, Dooley touched on a variety of topics, like:
The SEC Kickoff show, which reviews and previews games each week: “That’s been really fun. That’s kept me up with everything going on in the conference, more so than before. I was fairly local with Georgia and Tennessee, but now I’m following all of them. And I’ve enjoyed that.”
On Georgia’s 35-7 loss to South Carolina: “South Carolina jumped on Georgia early and shocked them. Three big plays. Then it was kind of like a daze.”
On the Bulldogs this season: “Georgia can still win the championship. Last week, we were wearing purple. This week, we’ll be wearing orange and blue. I never thought I’d be pulling for Florida. But if Florida wins, it’ll come down to that Georgia-Florida game.”
On son, Derek, who is in his third season (of a six-year deal) at Tennessee. The Volunteers are 3-3 this season and 14-17 under Dooley: “He’ll be fine. He just inherited a really tough situation. And then he’s had a turnover with his defensive staff. His defensive coaches have been there one year. And he’s in the toughest conference in America.
“I’m hoping they will honor his contract, but knowing the lack of patience in this day and time. … if you look at Frank Beamer’s first six years at Virginia Tech, there’s no way he would’ve survived today. But they stayed with him and he’s one of the winningest coaches in the country.”
(Beamer went 24-40-2 his first six seasons with the Hokies. He is currently 213-101-2 at Virginia Tech).
On future books: “I think if I write any more, my wife will divorce me. I get so focused when I do that. So I’ve taken a sabbatical.”