Bill Dooley’s Legacy At Virginia Tech

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Bill Dooley, Mike Johnson and Ashley Lee, photo courtesy Virginia Tech athletics photography
Bill Dooley, Mike Johnson and Ashley Lee, photo courtesy Virginia Tech athletics photography

Since last summer, a lot of the old guard at Virginia Tech has passed away. In March of 2015 we lost former school president Paul Torgersen, and since then Jim Weaver (July, 2015) and T. Marshall Hahn (May, 2016) have passed. Two days ago we got word that long-time key Hokie Club employee John Moody died. After Moody, it was Bill Dooley’s turn on Tuesday, August 9.

I’m not sure how well this article is going to turn out. I wasn’t quite four years old when Bill Dooley officially quit coaching at Virginia Tech. I was a lot more concerned with my next GI Joe toy and catching ghosts in the basement with my proton pack. I lack the perspective that some of you guys might have, so I’m looking forward to your comments.

Note: my sources for this article came from Will Stewart’s 2005 series “The Year Of Our Discontent.” To help form your own perspective of the Dooley era, I suggest you read that entire series.

Bill Dooley: A Builder and a Winner

Bill Dooley was a builder of programs. In 1967 he took over a North Carolina program that was down in the dumps. In eight seasons under previous head coach Jim Hickey, the Tar Heels were 36-45 and had a winning record just once.

Dooley changed all that. It took him a few years to get the program turned around, but his teams showed steady improvement. By his third season they finished .500, and in his fourth year they went 8-4 and made the Peach Bowl. It was the first of six bowl games that he made at UNC. That includes his 32-28 victory over Texas Tech in the 1972 Sun Bowl, which gave the

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