Originally created 08/20/04

Auburn hasn't called Dooley



ATHENS, Ga. - Vince Dooley, Georgia's former longtime athletic director, might be interested in the vacant athletic director's job at Auburn University - at least, according to Auburn Interim President Ed Richardson, who said that three people have brought that to his attention.

It's unclear, however, if Dooley wants to rejoin his alma mater, where in 1980 he turned down offers to coach football and head the athletic department.

Dooley, in a statement to a news organization Wednesday, said no one from Auburn has contacted him about replacing retiring athletic director David Housel, who intends to step down in early 2005. But he didn't indicate if he'd pursue the job.

Dooley, who turns 72 in September, was forced to retire in June after 40 years at Georgia as football coach and athletic director. He's now a special assistant for fund raising in the athletic department, a post he'll hold until June 2005.

Dooley played football and basketball at Auburn and later was as an assistant football coach there, before being named Georgia's head football coach in 1964.

Dooley was out of town on a speaking engagement Thursday and did not return telephone calls seeking comment. He said Wednesday "it would be best for all concerned" if he didn't comment further about the Auburn search.

Dooley's wife, Barbara, also declined to comment to The Associated Press, saying the Dooleys "have a ton of friends" at Auburn, but that it was not her place to say whether she would want to move there.

Richardson and Hal Baird, the Auburn president's athletic assistant, on Tuesday interviewed the job's first candidate - Donald E. Powell, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

"I wouldn't say (Dooley's) an unusually strong candidate, just a good solid candidate," Richardson told the Opelika-Auburn News. "But I don't know any extremely strong candidate right now. We will consider all viable candidates."