Legendary coach adds historian to resume

Vince Dooley's book "History and Reminiscences of the University of Georgia"

Vince Dooley's book "History and Reminiscences of the University of Georgia"

ALBANY -- Mention Vince Dooley in Georgia and most people think football. He had 201 wins during his 25-year career and won a national championship.

Most avid fans know there's more to Dooley than sports. He was a successful businessman running the UGA Athletic Department. He is a political buff, even to the point of considering a run for the U.S. Senate at one point. He's a master gardener with at least one plant named for him. And he's a family man.

Now you can add one more title to the resume -- historian.

Dooley, who will be in Albany Thursday to speak at the 25th annual Steak-N-Burger benefit for Boys Clubs of Albany, has always been interested in history. In fact, he obtained his master's degree in history and frequently audits history classes at the university.

That interest has manifested itself in Dooley's newest book, "History and Reminiscences of the University of Georgia."

The 146-page book is a historical account of many of the traditions, people and places that have fashioned what Athens and the University have become today. In addition to the meticulous research done by Dooley, there's plenty of his reminisces as well.

Dooley said he did all the research for the book.

"The fun part is doing the research," Dooley said. "The writing part is the challenging part. "I enjoyed the research part. I did my undergraduate work in business management, but got my masters in history. I have always liked history."

The book is a blend of history and his experiences. It has a variety of topics that likely will appeal to die hard Bulldog fans and alumni, as well as those who just want to know more about the landmarks and traditions of Athens and UGA.

Dooley was not shy in sharing his opinions.

"I've been here 45 years through five (UGA) presidents, so I have a lot of remembrances," he said. "I was second guessed a lot during my career, so I guess I have earned the right to second guess some things myself."

The book is illustrated by dozens of pieces of original artwork by noted artist Steve Pendley.

Dooley will be at the Albany Mall 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Thursday signing copies of the book.

He'll then be guest speaker at the 25th annual Steak-N-Burger dinner to benefit Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany.

The event is expected to draw about 900 people, including local supporters of the Boys and Girls Clubs, in addition to boys and girls who are involved in the local organization.

A silent auction will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Darton College's Cavalier Arena. Dinner will begin at 7 p.m., followed by Dooley's speech. Dooley was the guest speaker at the organization's first Steak-N-Burger event 25 years ago.

Molly Arnold of Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany says the event is the organization's largest fundraising event of the year. The dinner also gives its members an opportunity to learn social skills and etiquette, she said.

Dooley will participate in a VIP reception following the event at Albany Museum of Art. The reception is open to VIP sponsors who contributed at least $2,500 to the Boys and Girls Clubs program.

Additional information can be obtained at (229) 439-0196.