What sets the Georgia athletic teams apart from many schools in the southeast is the desire to compete nationally in various sports, and to be successful.
Georgia is no one trick pony football school. It is far, far more.
The prime mover of nationwide Bulldog sports success during the past half century is the former football coach and athletic director, Vince Dooley.
Dooley seemed to be an odd choice for the Georgia head coaching position at the dawn of 1964.
An Alabama native, Dooley had been a quarterback for Shug Jordan at Auburn in the early 1950s.
He stayed on as assistant coach through the 1963 season, a year of great success for the Tigers who won nine games and lost only once, culminating with playing the first of Bob Devaney's fearsome Nebraska squads in the Orange Bowl.
Opportunity rarely knocks, and as the old sages advise, strike while the fire is hot.
Dooley was summoned to Athens and immediately turned around a moribund Bulldog program, which had won a total of only ten games in it's previous three seasons, and took them to a Sun Bowl victory.
Dooley's '65 team was the only school to inflict a regular season loss on Bear Bryant's Crimson Tide during the three years of 1964 through '66.
Dooley is a forward thinking person. His values are rooted in old school basics, flavored with his Master's degree in History and cunning Irish temperment.
In 1979 Dooley was appointed Athletic Director, a position he held for 25 years, even after retiring as head football coach in 1988.
Along the way Dooley was involved in a dreadful situation regarding a University employee, Jan Kemp.
In 1981 Kemp was one of the instructors who complained Georgia officials had allowed nine football players to pass remedial English in order to maintain scholastic eligibility.
Kemp was demoted and dismissed. She filed a lawsuit claiming unfair termination. UGA defended its actions saying that Kemp was dismissed for disruptive conduct.
A jury found the University guilty for the illegal dismissal of Dr. Kemp and she was awarded over a million dollars. The President of the University of Georgia, Dr. Fred C. Davison later resigned.
After her trial, Jan Kemp spoke to The New York Times. She maintained college athletes are only used to produce revenue for the school.
Dooley survived the episode and breathed new life into the academic success of Georgia athletics. As he had often encouraged his players, Dooley took a negative and turned it into a positive.
The grades of all Georgia athletes were monitored and solid improvement began, which continued through Dooley's tenure.
His hard work and dedication paid off later as Dooley was awarded the Carl Maddox Sport Management Award for contribution to the growth and development of sports through management practices.
In addition, he captured the coveted Homer Rice Award, the highest honor given by the Athletic Directors Association.
Dooley met adversity and conquered it, a fine example of a top Athletic Director during any era.
With the coming of President Michael Adams in 1997, Dooley was faced with dealing from a position of declining strength and influence. This led to several publicized disagreements between the two strong-willed men.
In 2004 Dooley stepped down and turned the position of AD over to one of the former Georgia football players, Damon Evans.