Yes you read that right, you are right smack dab back in the lounge with me your host Ditkavsworld. Please come behind the velvet rope and grab your favorite beverage it's time to talk about the Bears, past, present and future. Today's post is inspired (and probably shorter than usual due to a broken bone in my thumb) by my birthday. What? What's that you say, what the hell does my birthday have to do with anything...
Well I did a search just to see who else might share a birthday with me from the Bears and you know what... I found someone. Follow me after the jump to see who.
Dooley, who grew up in Miami, Florida, originally wanted to pursue a career in medicine at Vanderbilt University, but attended the nearby University of Miami when head coach Andy Gustafson agreed to have the school pay his way through medical school. With the Hurricanes, he played on both sides of the ball and put together an outstanding career, winning All-American honors and becoming the first player in school history to have his number retired. Possessing great speed, he capped this era with four interceptions against Clemson University in the Gator Bowl on January 1, 1952, then was drafted in the first round by the Bears.
Jim Dooley was not only a player but he also coached the Bears as well, a fact I found interesting is that he also is the father of the Nickle Defense.
After competing during the 1962 preseason, Dooley officially retired, but he was soon added as an assistant coach. Three years as the team's wide receivers coach were followed in 1966 by his elevation to the role of the team's defensive coordinator. The move followed the departure of George Allen, with Dooley quickly becoming known for his innovative strategies. These included flip-flopping the team's defensive tackles during that first year, then using five men in the defensive backfield on third down in 1967, which became known as "the Dooley Shift" and now is referred to as the nickel defense.
In February 1968, Dooley was returned to the offensive side of the ball, but that status changed just months later when Chicago's legendary coach, 73-year-old George Halas, announced his retirement on May 27 due to arthritis. Dooley was named to replace him the following day.
His 20-36 Coaching record is anything but stellar but not everybody can be a Halas, Ditka or Smith. I found it interesting reading over the career of Jim Dooley and it's always nice to learn something you may have not know. I hope you find this post to be entertaining, and that it may spawn you to find out what Bear Legend you may share a birthday with. Welcome back to the lounge everybody, drink up, be merry, cause well... it's a celebration.
If you'd like to ready any further here are the links I used.