Tuesday night in Downtown Birmingham a college football coaching legend honored two fellow coaching legends, as Alabama head coach Nick Saban recognized late UGA coach Vince Dooley and longtime Kansas State coach Bill Snyder with the Nick Saban Legacy Award.
The award, given for the first time last year, celebrates the lifetime accomplishments of college coaches and their contributions to the game of football.
The Nick Saban Legacy Award is sponsored by the Birmingham Monday Morning Quarterback Club, one of the most philanthropic civic organizations in the state of Alabama.Read more: Vince Dooley, Bill Snyder honored with Nick Saban Legacy Award
Bill Snyder + Vince Dooley
If you have followed college football at all over the last 50 years, you likely know who Vince Dooley and Bill Snyder are.
Bill Snyder coached at Kansas State from 1989 to 2005, and then was rehired to coach the Wildcats from 2009 to 2018. To put Snyder’s success and longevity into perspective, Snyder was the KSU head coach for the program’s 300th, 400th, and 500th all-time wins.
In recognition of his contributions to the program, the football stadium at Kansas State, Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium, is named in honor of him and his family.
“If you get into coaching just for the wins, then you’re going to find that you’ll lose more than you win. Coaching is about a lot more than winning and losing.”Coach Bill Snyder
Dooley, a Mobile native who coached at the University of Georgia from 1964 to 1988, passed away in October of 2022. On hand Tuesday night to accept the award on his father’s behalf was Derek Dooley, Vince Dooley’s son (and also a longtime college coach).
Vince Dooley compiled a 201–77–10 record during his coaching days, and led UGA to a national championship in 1980. Derek Dooley, who is on Saban’s staff at Alabama, said Tuesday night that his father getting to see the Bulldogs end their championship drought by winning the title in 2021 was special.
“I hate that he did not get to see them win back-to-back championships, but the fact that he got to see them end the drought was special. Even though I was coaching on the other side, it was still a special moment that I am thankful he was able to experience.”Coach Derek Dooley
Derek Dooley said his father and Saban had developed a close relationship over the years, and that Saban has become a special connection to the Dooley family.
The Nick Saban Legacy Awards
The Nick Saban Legacy Award is a national award created in 2022 in Birmingham to honor and recognize the lifetime achievement of a college coach and his contributions to the game of football. The inaugural recipients were longtime college and pro coach Steve Spurrier and the late coach Eddie Robinson, who retired as the all-time winningest coach in college football history.
The Quarterbacking Children’s Health Foundation has established the award to be named annually in honor of the amazing achievements of Coach Saban. The award celebrates Saban’s contributions to the game of football, his community and his development of young men and coaches as they further their own careers.
“This is a distinguished award. And when you think of these two people you think of success, on and off the field. I am pleased and honored to present this award to Bill and Vince, and it truly shows what these two are worth, and the impact they have had not just to the game of football but to the lives of every player they coached.”Coach Nick Saban
Want to learn more about the Nick Saban Legacy Award and the Birmingham Monday Morning Quarterback Club which last year dispersed $1.8 million to 28 charities across the state? Visit Quarterbacking Children’s Health Foundation.