Watch: 73,000 sing ‘happy birthday’ to Georgia’s Vince Dooley

A man who was sure he’d seen it all got one more surprise Saturday.

Vince Dooley, who will turn 90 years old Sunday, thought he was on the field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium just to be recognized among other Peach Bowl legends before the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game Saturday. But with Bulldogs legend Herschel Walker standing by his side at midfield at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Dooley found himself victim of a trick play.

An enormous birthday cake was wheeled out onto the field as UGA’s Marching Band began playing “Happy Birthday.” The entire stadium -- Oregon Ducks included -- stood and sang along.

It was a fitting tribute to the former Georgia head coach and athletic director, who has had a nearly 60-year association with UGA. Dooley led the Bulldogs to their second consensus national championship in football. He had a 25-year career with the Bulldogs as football coach and 25 years as athletic director before retiring into a consultant’s role in 2004.

“We both had been fortunate to live most of our lives around a ‘communiversity,’ taking advantage of all its opportunities,” Dooley said to the AJC about him and his wife, Barbara. “At the same time, I have been able to survive crises on and off the field, which comes with representing a prestigious public institution.”

Dooley remains Georgia’s coach with the most wins with a record of 201-77-10. The Bulldogs won six SEC titles under his leadership, including a record three in a row from 1980-82.