"In light of all the newspaper, radio and television reports over the last couple of weeks regarding me and the Auburn athletic director position, Coach Hal Baird from Auburn called me this week to discuss the situation. We had a very good discussion and, in conclusion, it was mutually agreed that at this time, Auburn University and I, as a potential candidate, would not be a good fit," Dooley said.
Auburn athletic director David Housel resigned earlier this year and will end his tenure there Jan. 1, 2005. Baird is a special assistant to Auburn's president and is heading the search for Housel's replacement. Dooley is an Alabama native who quarterbacked Auburn and later coached there under Shug Jordan. His name surfaced last month along with several other candidates. At that point, he released a statement refusing to comment, which only fanned the flames of speculation.
"While I appreciate the support some of my Auburn friends have expressed, it is now best for all concerned that Auburn be allowed to continue its all-important search for the position," Dooley said in his statement. "I wish for my alma mater the best in the outcome of this process. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to continuing to serve the Athletic Association and the University of Georgia."
Dooley finished a 40-year career at Georgia on June 30 of this year. He served as football coach for 25 years and athletic director for 25 years before being forced out by university president Michael Adams. Dooley is still employed by Georgia as a consultant and fundraiser but that will end on June 30, 2005.