Georgia Football: Top Coaches in School History
Georgia Football has historically been one of the nation's premier college football programs. Solid programs don't just happen by accident, they are built by great coaches and great players.
There aren't a whole lot of surprises on this particular list, and with a limited number of long-term coaching careers to choose from, the bottom half was a bit of a challenge.
As always, comments are welcome, so let the discussion begin. Enjoy!
5. W.A. Cunningham (1910-1919)
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Though William Cunningham took over the football program at Georgia less than 20 years into its history, He was the first to serve as head coach for more than two years. Georgia had seem some limited success at this point in its short football history, but Cunningham brought the stability needed to build and maintain a national program.
From 1910 through 1919, W.A. Cunningham gave Georgia football the legitimacy it so desperately needed to compete with other rising teams in the Southeast. When football was suspended during World War I, Cunningham joined the U.S. Army, then returned with his team for the 1919 season which would be his last.
8 Seasons, 43-18-9 Overall, 31-17-9 SIAA
4. Harry Mehre (1928-1937)
Photo Source: http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/tdgh-sep/Harry%20Mehre.jpg
As the Great Depression left many across the State of Georgia penniless, Harry Mehre arrived in Athens and gave the Georgia Bulldogs family something to cheer about.
Though his 10-year career didn't include any championships, Mehre gave Georgia Football stability, and put up a competitive team year after year. The Indiana native, who had come to UGA as an assistant, would leave the Mississippi job in 1938, but left a competitive and stable program behind.
10 Seasons, 59-34-6 Overall, 29-25-5 SIAA/SoCon
University of Georgia Hall of Fame: 1971
3. Mark Richt (2001-Present)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Mark Richt is the greatest coach in Georgia Bulldog history without a national championship. He came to Athens after a series of failed attempts to replace the legendary Vince Dooley and has provided the Georgia program with much-needed stability.
It's tough to replace a legendary coach, but luckily for Richt there were a couple of real characters in between. Though without a crystal football, Mark Richt has given Georgia fans a taste of nearly everything they could hope for. He has only lost to Georgia Tech once, has made the Florida rivalry competitive again and has been a yearly SEC East contender, winning the conference title twice.
11 Seasons, 106-37 Overall, 60-28 SEC, 7-4 in Bowls
SEC Championships: 2002, 2005
SEC East Championships: 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011
SEC Coach of the Year: 2002, 2005
2. Wally Butts (1939-1960)
Photo Source: http://images.morris.com/images/athens/mdControlled/cms/2010/08/13/694217426.jpg
Until Vince Dooley took over in Athens, the career of Wally Butts was the longest-tenured football coach in Georgia history.
Butts brought the Bulldogs championships, stability and built the program into a national powerhouse. Without Wally butts, it is almost certain that the history of Georgia football would have been drastically different.
Butts brought UGA its first national title, along with its first Heisman Trophy winner in Frank Sinkwich all in the same season. That 1942 season was only Butts' fourth at Georgia and it would buy him a long, successful career in Athens.
22 Seasons, 140-86-9 Overall, 66-60-5 SEC, 5-2-1 in Bowls
National Championship: 1942
SEC Championships: 1942, 1946, 1948, 1959
SEC Coach of the Year: 1942, 1946, 1959
University of Georgia Hall of Fame: 1966
College Football Hall of Fame: 1997
1. Vince Dooley (1964-1988)
Photo Source: http://blogs.ajc.com/junkyard-blawg/files/2009/11/vince-dooley-victory-ride-uga-300x181.jpg
There is no question that Vince Dooley is the greatest coach in the history of University of Georgia football.
With the longest tenure, the most wins, a national championship and a Heisman Trophy winner in Herschel Walker, Coach Dooley's career is the high-water mark for Georgia football fans.
It would take an entire day to sing all of Dooley's praises so let the numbers speak for themselves.
25 Seasons, 201-77-10 Overall, 104-42-4 SEC, 8-10-2 in Bowls
National Championship: 1980
SEC Championships: 1966, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1982
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year: 1976
AFCA Coach of the Year: 1980
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year: 1980
Sporting News CF Coach of the Year: 1980
Walter Camp Coach of the Year: 1980
SEC Coach of the Year: 1966, 1968, 1976, 1978, 1980
Amos Alonzo Stagg Award: 2001
Carl Maddox Sports Management Award: 2004
University of Georgia Hall of Fame: 1978
College Football Hall of Fame: 1994
UGA Circle of Honor: 2004
Homer Rice Award: 2007
Bear Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award: 2010