Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley, 80, skydives for charity

By Chip Patterson | Staff Writer

Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley went skydiving with his son and grandson last week. (USATSI)
Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley went skydiving with his son and grandson last week. (USATSI)

Skydiving is a once-in-a-lifetime activity for some. But when jumping out of a plane will help raise money for charity, Vince Dooley, 80, will not let his age stop him from doing it again.

The legendary former Georgia coach and athletic director first went skydiving with his son Daniel in 1992. This time it was his grandson, Matthew, who wanted to take the jump for a good cause.

Matthew has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. Last week he was able to convince his father and grandfather to join him in a skydive for charity. Together, the trio raised $47,000 for a group that works with people who have disabilities called ESP: Extra Special People.

"It kind of pulls at your heart because he makes the statement that when he's in the air, he said, 'I'm just like everybody else,' Vince Dooley told the Orlando Sentinel, referencing his grandson's condition. "So you can't say no."

The ex-coach originally told Matthew no when asked about jumping. The elder Dooley eventually gave in once Matthew's father, Daniel, was added to the equation.

Skydiving might seem risky at age 80 -- or at any age for that matter. But this is Vince Dooley, who survived 25 years of coaching at football-hungry Georgia and won six SEC title s and a national championship. The thrill-seeking desire likely never goes away.

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