42 Days to Miami football: Jim Dooley first of many

BRONX, NY - OCTOBER 24: (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images)
BRONX, NY - OCTOBER 24: (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images) /

Miami football legend Jim Dooley set the standard that many future Hurricanes would follow.

Miami football legend Jim Dooley was the first Hurricane to have his number retired, first to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft and only alum to be an NFL head coach. Dooley joined the Hurricanes from Miami High School. In his senior season with the Miami Hurricanes Dooley would play the entire game both ways.

Dooley enrolled at Miami in 1947. Dooley used to hold the Miami program records with over 1,029 yards rushing on offense and 17 interceptions. Dooley led Miami with 532 rushing yards in 1950. The 10 interceptions Dooley had during the 1951 season led to him being named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press.

Dooley’s interception record was not broken until Bennie Blades finished his Miami career with 19 from 1984-1987. Ed Reed eclipsed the record Blades set with 21 from 1998-2001. Dooley set the single-game Miami record with four interceptions in the Hurricanes 14-0 victory over Clemson in the 1952 Gator Bowl.

Following his Miami career, Dooley was a first-round pick by the Chicago Bears with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the 1952 NFL Draft. In eight seasons with the Bears, Dooley finished with 211 receptions for 3,172 yards and 16 touchdowns. Dooley was part of the Bears Championships in 1963 and 1985.

Following his playing career, Dooley became an assistant on the Bears staff under the founder of the NFL George Halas. Dooley is credited as the creator of what is now known as the nickel defense using five defensive backs. After Halas retired, Dooley became the Bears head coach at 38 years old.

In four seasons as the Bears head coach, Dooley compiled a 20-36 record. The Bears 1-13 record in 1969 contributed to most of Dooley’s losing record. Dooley was fired by the Bears after a 6-8 record in 1970. After bouncing around in multiple coaching jobs Dolley was brought back to the Bears as an advance scout by Mike Ditka.

Ditka and Dooley were the only two to be associated with the 1963 Bears and the 1985 Superbowl XX champions. Dooley was one of the first four Miami football alums to be inducted into the Hurricanes Ring of Honor with quarterbacks George Mira Sr. and Vinny Testaverde and linebacker Ted Hendricks.

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A Miami football and NFL legend, Jim Dooley was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1972. Dooley passed away from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2008. Dooley is the greatest Miami football player to wear number 42.