Dooley A Finalist for Coaching Honor

ATHENS - Former University of Georgia head football coach Vince Dooley, Alabama's Bear Bryant and one-time Florida coach Steve Spurrier are the three finalists in the AT&T Best Southeastern Conference Coach of All Time fan-voting contest.

The contest is part of AT&T's "Best of 75 Years of SEC Football," an 11-week program that allows fans to vote for their favorite players, coaches and traditions from the past 75 years. The three coaches beat out nominees from the other nine SEC schools to move into the finals, which will be voted on during the last two weeks of the program in November. Every text message vote cast is an entry into a sweepstakes to win a trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game.

Fans can enter to vote on the "Best of 75 Years of SEC Football" after accessing SEC Mobile on their AT&T handsets by texting SEC to 234567. They will then receive a menu of options to choose from, which includes alerts, trivia, SEC video, news, downloads and sweepstakes. Voting began Sept. 4 and runs through Nov. 16 with results announced weekly.

Dooley said he feels "honored to be in such esteemed company. It's very flattering."

Dooley, a 1994 inductee into the National College Football Hall of Fame, had a career record of 201-77-10 for the Bulldogs. His teams won six SEC titles and one national championship with 20 bowl appearances during his 25-year tenure (1964-1988). At the time of his retirement, he was one of only nine coaches in history with 200 wins. Dooley won SEC Coach of the Year honors seven times and NCAA District Coach of the Year six times, in addition to serving as president of the American Football Coaches Association.

Dooley's first game as head coach of the Bulldogs came in 1964 against Bear Bryant's Alabama Crimson Tide, a 31-3 loss in Tuscaloosa. However, Dooley and the Bulldogs opened the 1965 season with an 18-17 win over the defending national champion Crimson Tide. Alabama went on to win the national title that year as well. In Spurrier's Heisman Trophy winning season of 1966, Dooley and the Bulldogs handed the Gators a 27-10 defeat in Jacksonville. Georgia finished 10-1 that year and won the SEC title.

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