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Bill Dooley, three-time coach of the year in ACC football, dies at 82


Bill Dooley in 2006. (Karen Tam/AP)

Bill Dooley, a three-time coach of the year in the Atlantic Coast Conference who piled up 162 wins at North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, died Aug. 9 at his home in Wilmington, N.C. He was 82.

His wife, Marie Dooley, confirmed the death. The cause was not disclosed.

Mr. Dooley went a combined 162-125-5 in 26 seasons as a head coach with the Tar Heels, Hokies and Demon Deacons and took his teams to a combined 10 bowl games.

At North Carolina, he earned the ACC coach of the year award in 1971. He was the school’s first coach to win 11 games, leading the 1972 Tar Heels to an 11-1 finish, and the only coach to lead the school to multiple ACC championships in football.

Mr. Dooley was the younger brother of former Georgia coach Vince Dooley, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame; and the uncle of ex-Tennessee coach and current Dallas Cowboys assistant Derek Dooley.

The Dooley brothers had been scheduled to be honorary captains for the season-opening Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between North Carolina and Georgia on Sept. 3 in Atlanta, game spokesman Matt Garvey said. He said a moment of silence will be held in Bill Dooley’s honor.

Mr. Dooley left North Carolina in 1978 to become coach and athletic director at Virginia Tech. In nine seasons, he won 63 games, making him the winningest coach in Hokies history until that mark was broken by Frank Beamer, who succeeded him in 1987.

Mr. Dooley was hired at Wake Forest that year, and he led the Demon Deacons to three winning seasons in six years. He earned two ACC coach of the year awards at Wake Forest and capped his tenure in 1992 by taking the school to its first bowl game in 14 years, a victory over Oregon in the Independence Bowl.

“He was, pure and simple, a football coach in the truest sense,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford, also a former athletic director at UNC.

After he retired, Mr. Dooley served as director of the North Carolina Sports Development Office and was the founder of a North Carolina chapter of the National Football Foundation.

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