ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - For the first time in 43 years, Vince Dooley won't be at the University of Georgia's football season opener at Sanford Stadium. Instead the former UGA head coach will be in Ruston, Louisiana, with his wife, Barbara, to watch their son, Derek, make his debut as head coach at Louisiana Tech.
Saturday's UGA game against Oklahoma State will be the first Bulldogs home game Dooley has missed since the 1989 season when he was an ESPN analyst. Other than a few games that season, Dooley has been a regular at games in Sanford Stadium since October 3rd, 1964, the date of his first game as UGA head coach. He hasn't missed an opener in that time.
Dooley was UGA's head coach from 1964-1988. He says he will feel strange being away, but says his wife convinced him that going to see their son, now 39, "was the right thing to do."
Dooley, who will be 75 years old next Tuesday, has just completed a series of radiation treatments after a malignant tumor was found near his vocal cords earlier this year. He is expected to return to normal in about a month, and his fall schedule includes speeches, book signings and radio work.