Bobby Dodd (Coach)

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Robert Lee Dodd (November 11, 1908 – June 21, 1988) served as the head coach of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football in 1945 as the third coach at the Institute. He is also one of the three people who were elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, the other person was A.A.Stagg.

After moving to Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kinsport, he graduated to University of Tennessee and served as their quarterback. Bobby Dodd then came to Georgia Institute of Technology as an assistant coach under Bill Alexander in 1931; Alexander hired Dodd while he was still a college student in University of Tenessee. In 1945, Dodd became the head coach of the Institute and retired right after the 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 studium after him. He passed away in 1988 at the age of 79 in Atlanta, Georgia.


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 rumor that Georgia Tech's legendary coach actually wanted to play for the Yellow Jackets, but was not offered a scholarship[citation needed]. The volunteer team had a record of 27-1-2 while Dodd was a team member.

In Dodd's first game ever as a college football player in The Third Saturday in October’s rivalry game against Alabama in Tuscaloosa, "Dodd threw a touchdown pass to tie Alabama, 13-13. Then he punted out of bounds inside the Alabama 1-yard line and Tennessee got a safety on the next play to win, 15-13."[citation needed]

"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."[citation needed] There was even a catch phrase created by Tennessee fans for Dodd: 'In Dodd we trust."[reference] This phrase is another example of Dodd's creativity which enhanced 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 to have received this honor following Gene McEver at Tennessee.[citation needed]

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

Career as a Coach

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

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 based on the specialized field of each player. 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.[citation needed]

In the long competition against the University of Georgia, Dodd finished his career with a 12-9 record against the Bulldogs including an eight game winning streak from 1946 to 1954.[citation needed] For Georgia Institute of Technology it was the longest winning streak, while University of Georgia had its longest losing streak.

In 1961, Georgia Tech was visiting Alabama Crimson Tide at Denny Stadium which resulted in a historic game that sparked contraversy between Bobby Dodd and Bear Bryant over sportsmanship.[citation needed] During the game, Darwin Holt of Alabama smashed his elbow into Georgia Tech’s football player 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 suspand Holt that he intentionally injured Granning but Bryant never did.[citation needed] [need end of quotes]

Dodd passed on 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.


Although Bobby Dodd is considered as a great competitor by many, 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.

As a will of Bobby Dodd and in his honor, Division I awards a coach from the division for leadership both on and off the field. This award is called Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award presented by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation.

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 also known as the "Ramblin' Wreck." The stadium was named after the one and only legendary coach Bobby Dodd in 1988.

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