Vince Dooley, Devil Dog

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Anyone who has been around Georgia and the University of Georgia football is familiar with the name of Vince Dooley.

Dooley spent his entire 25-year head coaching career at the Southeastern Conference school in Athens, Ga. He was the head football coach from 1964 through 1988 and was athletic director from 1979 to 2004. Coach Dooley compiled a record of 201-77-10, won six Southeastern Conference championships, and won the National championship in 1980. After the 1980 season, he was named “Coach of the Year” by several organizations. Dooley’s Bulldogs played in 20 post-season bowl games

A graduate of Auburn University, where he played football and earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, Dooley was offered the Auburn head coaching position, but declined and remained at Georgia. Eventually, Dooley was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame, and, in 2013, was inducted into the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame.

Yes, Vince Dooley was not only a Georgia Bulldog, he was a Devil Dog.

Prior to his coaching career, Vince Dooley served as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps, ending his service at the rank of captain. In a few weeks Vince Dooley will be coming to Peachtree City to join in a celebration with other Marine Corps veterans.

On Monday, Nov. 10, 2014 the Sgt. Clyde Thomason Medal of Honor Detachment of the Marine Corps League is hosting its annual United States Marine Corps Ball in celebration of the Marine Corps’ 239th birthday.

Legendary Coach Vince Dooley is the guest of honor and featured speaker. Coach Dooley, who has written several books, will be available at 6 p.m. for a private book signing for the attendees, an hour before the celebration begins.

The annual event will be held this year at the Wyndham Hotel and Conference Center in Peachtree City. Although the event celebrates the long and proud history of the Marine Corps, a limited number of tickets are available to local Marine veterans and other residents who wish to hear Coach Dooley and have dinner with the Marines.

A social hour is scheduled between 6 and 7 p.m. and the ceremony and dinner is scheduled to start at 7:05. A cash bar will be open before and after the ceremony. Interested persons should call 678-827-1325 for ticket information. Tickets are limited and due to the popularity of Coach Dooley are expected to sell out before the event begins. The last day to purchase tickets is Oct. 31.

The Sgt. Clyde Thomson MOH Detachment is responsible for many charitable activities in Fayette and Coweta counties. Toys for Tots, an annual event managed by the League, annually collects and distributes toys to over 5,000 children in the two counties.

The detachment recently sponsored its first golf tournament and donated over $5,000 to several charities, including the Marine Corps Foundation, the Semper Fi Fund, The Shepherd Center SHARE Initiative, The Fisher House, and locally in Tyrone, Healing 4 Heroes.

Contributions have also been made to the East Coweta High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC program. Assisting homeless veterans and working with the Veterans Administration are also some of the work done by the League.

Bulldog fan or Devil Dog supporter, it should be a great night. I’ve bought my tickets and I hope to see you there.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA (www.ctkcec.org) which meets Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at frepps@ctkcec.org.]