Bobby Dodd-the coach of Yellow Jackets

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Robert Lee Dodd (November 11, 1908 – June 21, 1988) [1]has severed as the head coach of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team from 1945 as the third coach at the Institute. Dodd is also one of the two people who were elected to the College Football Hall of Fame both as a coach and a player. The other is A. A. Stagg.[2] After moving to Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, Tennessee and showed some talents at several sports, he went to University of Tennessee and severed as a quarterback. Then, he came to Georgia Institute of Technology as an assistant coach under Bill Alexander in 1931. Actually, Alexander hired Dodd when Dodd is still a college student in University of Tennessee. In 1945, Dodd became the head coach of the Institute and retired right after 1966 season with a 165-64-8 record. Also, from 1950 to 1976, Bobby Dodd severed as the Athletic Director. Dodd spent 45 years in total at Tech and Tech renamed its football stadium after him. He passed away in 1988 at the age of 79 in Atlanta, Georgia.[3]


Career as a player

From 1928 to 1930 when Bobby Dodd was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity and studying in University of Tennessee, he played for the Tennessee Volunteers football team. There is a interesting story that Georgia Tech's legendary coach wanted to play for Yellow Jackets but was not offered a scholarship. The volunteer team had a record of 27-1-2 while Dodd stayed in the team.

In Dodd's first game as a player of The Third Saturday in October rivalry against Alabama played in Tuscaloosa, Dodd managed to throw a pass and his teammate scored with a touch down. Later, Tennessee had a safety because of him and won with 15-13.[4]

"Against Florida in 1930 he got his teammates in a huddle and told them about a play he had used in high school. When the ball was snapped, it was placed on the ground unattended. The player ran in one direction. Then the center returned, picked up the ball, and waltzed to the winning touchdown." There was even a catch phrase created by Tennessee fans for Dodd: "In Dodd we trust."[5]This is another example of Dodd's creativity which enhance his coaching later in Georgia Institute of Technology.

In 1930, Dodd was named to Grantland Rice's All American team in 1930 which makes him the second person who received this honor following Gene McEver at Tennessee.

In 1959, Dodd was named to the College Football Hall of Fame and the University of Tennessee's Hall of Fame.

Career as a Coach

During the time when Dodd severed as the head coach at Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets competed in two Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships (1951 and 1952) and one national championship in 1952. Also, Tech played in13 major bowl, winning 9 of them including six in a row from 1952 to 1956. Also, from 1951 to 1953, Tech had a 31-game winning streak.[6]

In 1944 following Coach Alexander's retirement, Dodd took over the football team of Georgia Institute of Technology. Dodd more focus on character development and player treatment which makes his special coaching philosophy. Instead of intense physical training, he uses accurate training base on the specialized field of each player.[7] Bobby Dodd set a 165 wins at Tech from 1951 to 1953, including a 31-game winning streak. Also, he succeeded capturing the 1952 nation title and two Southeastern Conference Titles including a 12-0 perfect season and Sugar Bowl conquest of Ole Miss. [8]

In the long competition against the University of Georgia, Dodd finished his career with a 12-9 record against the Bulldogs including a 8-game winning streak from 1946 to 1954.[9] For both Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Georgia, this is the longest winning streak.

In 1961, Tech was visiting Alabama Crimson Tide at Denny Stadium. [10] Chick Granning-Tech's coverage relaxed after the signal for the fair catch when Alabama fair-caught the ball. However, Darwin Holt of Alabama continued to play and smashed his elbow into Granning's face causing " severe fracturing in his face, a broken nose and blood-filled sinuses. After this, Granning fell in to unconsciousness which made him unable to play football ever again. The historic feud between Dodd and Bear Bryant began when Dodd sent Bryant a letter asking Bryant to suspend Holt that he intentionally injured Granning but Bryant never did.

Another reason which caused the withdraw of Georgia Institute of Technology from Southeastern Conference(SEC) is that some of SEC schools' over-recruitment of players. Dodd stated that the SEC should punish this kind of behavior of his fellow SEC members but SEC administration never did. In 1963, Dodd finally withdrew the football team-Yellow Jackets in Georgia Institute of Technology and remained an independent similar with Penn State at that time and Notre Dame.[11][12]

Dodd passed the position of head coach of Georgia Tech to his coordinator-Bud Carson and only retained his athletic director position on the campus which he gained in 1950 and resigned in 1976.[13]

Legacy & Highlights

Named after Dodd, the GT stadium can hold 55,000 people

Bobby Dodd is considered to be a great competitor. He cared much about his players. Instead of 'Winning at all costs", Dodd believed that college football players are the most important treasure of the college football.[14]

As a will of Bobby Dodd. Division I will award a coach from the division for leadership both on and off the field. The award is called Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award presented by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. [15]

In 1993, Bobby Dodd was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach.[16]

After a 0-3 game vs. University of Georgia, Dodd's coaching career as a Georgia Tech head coach ended even though he set the record for the most amazing victories in the series.[17]

Bobby Dodd Stadium

Bobby Dodd Stadium is the football stadium of Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia and is the home to the Yellow Jackets football team or "Ramblin' Wreck".

The stadium was named after the legendary coach in Georgia Tech in 1988.


  1. Bobby Dodd. Georgia Tech Official Athletic Site
  2. Bobby Dodd. Bobby Dodd of the Year foundation
  3. Bobby Dodd. Bobby Dodd of the Year foundation
  4. Dodd, "Bobby" (Robert L.)
  5. Bobby "In Dodd we trust" Dodd, College Football Hall of Fame"
  7. Bobby Dodd
  8. Bobby Dodd
  9. Georgia Tech vs Georgia
  10. Dodd, Bobby; Jack Wilkinson. Dodd's Luck. Golden Coast Publishing Company. ISBN 09-3295-809-5.
  11. Dodd, Bobby; Jack Wilkinson. Dodd's Luck. Golden Coast Publishing Company. ISBN 09-3295-809-5.
  12. Georgia Tech Library Archive MS 380, Box 3, Folder 2
  13. Bobby Dodd, Wikipedia.
  14. Bobby Dodd
  15. Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year
  16. Bobby Dodd
  17. Cromartie, Bill. Clean Old-fashioned Hate: Georgia Vs. Georgia Tech. Strode Publishers. ISBN 09-3252-064-2.

Source Summary

Source Summary:Engineering The New South, Georgia Tech, 1885-1985 Athletics, The Post-Sputnik Era

Source Summary:Inventory of the Bobby Dodd Papers, 1921-1989 (bulk 1945-1989)

Source Summary:Bobby Dodd's manual on how to play football

Bobby Dodd Stadium

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