From UGA Athletics:Former University of Georgia Athletics Director/Coach and National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Past President Vince Dooley was voted the recipient of the 2008 Selig Mentoring Award by the Division I-A Athletics Directors McLendon Scholarship Steering Committee, composed of the 15 minority Division I-A athletics directors.
The award was established in 2007 and named in honor of Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. The first award was presented to Dan Rooney Chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The award is presented annually to a person in athletics administration who have been at the forefront in creating equal opportunities for minorities in the field of athletics. Selig, who has served as Interim Commissioner and Commissioner since September 1992, has placed diversity and equal employment opportunity among his top priorities throughout the years to great effect in Major League Baseball. Today, 40 percent of all on-field coaching positions in baseball are held by minority group members and female front office representation throughout the league is 32 percent. During Selig’s tenure as Commissioner, minority representation among front office positions has grown from 2 percent to 24 percent.
"During his great and championship-filled career at the University of Georgia, Vince Dooley embodied the goal and spirit of this award by bringing greater diversity to every aspect of our respective sports," said Baseball Commissioner Selig. "On behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate Vince for his many achievements and for further advancing the diversity of young candidates in athletics."
The Georgia athletics department flourished during Dooley’s 25-year tenure as athletics director. Student-athletes saw frequent success on the playing field and in the classroom under Dooley, as the Bulldogs won 23 national championships and had more than 100 Academic All-Americans. Also, fundraising reached its highest figures and Dooley guided the expansion, renovation and construction efforts of numerous athletics facilities.
"I am very honored, humbled and surprised to be named the second recipient of the Bud Selig Minority Mentoring award," stated Dooley. "I have great admiration for Mr. Selig and of course the first recipient, Dan Rooney, for being so proactive in creating equal opportunities for minorities. Their leadership has made them sterling role models for me and many other coaches and administrators at all levels of athletics competition."
Among the many awards and recognitions Dooley has received over the years include the NACDA James J. Corbett Award, presented by NACDA; the John L. Toner Award, presented by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame; the Homer Rice Award, presented by the Division 1A Athletic Directors’ Association; and the NACDA Division I Southeast Region Athletics Director of the Year Award. He has also been inducted into the NFF College Football Hall of Fame, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
"I had the pleasure of being recruited by Coach Dooley twice - first as a student-athlete and then, 10 years later, as an administrator in the University of Georgia Athletic Association," stated Georgia Director of Athletics Damon Evans. "He was one of the nation's leaders in recruiting black athletes, especially in the South. His commitment to diversity and inclusion began a trend that saw the numbers of minority players’ increase not only in football, but in all of UGA's varsity sports."
Dooley was extremely successful football coach at Georgia from 1963-88, winning over 200 games, six SEC championships and then the 1980 National Championship. In 1971, Dooley awarded the first football scholarships to African-Americans in program history. During his career as athletics director, Dooley diversified the department by elevating women to administrative positions of associate and assistant athletics directors, and hiring minority coaches and administrators including the first two African-American men’s basketball coaches at the University-Tubby Smith and current coach Dennis Felton; the first African-American head track and field coach, Wayne Norton; and Director of Life Skills Robert Miles.
"Vince Dooley’s dedication to the integration of college athletics was a staple of his time as an athletics administrator," said Keith Tribble, Chair of the Division I-A Athletics Directors McLendon Scholarship Steering Committee. "His legacy will surely be marked by his successful efforts to integrate minority athletes, coaches and administrators into college athletics."