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Bobby Dodd Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS380

Abstract

The Bobby Dodd Papers include correspondence, speech materials, sports programs, scrapbooks, awards, and other office files belonging to and/or related to the celebrated former head coach of the Georgia Tech football team.

Dates

  • 1921-1989 (bulk 1945-1989)
  • Majority of material found within 1945 - 1989

Creator

General Physical Description note

(3 document cases and 5 oversize boxes)

Restrictions: Access

None

Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.

Extent

4.2 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

Series 1. The correspondence in this series contains letters to and from Bobby Dodd, primarily in a personal capacity. Several letters sent to Dodd include newspaper clippings that pertain to him. Biographical and personal information, a program from Dodd's funeral, a copy of the Kingsport football record from 1921 to 1926, and other personal information is included in this series.

Series 2. Speeches and speech materials includes speeches of Bobby Dodd’s, as well as information regarding his speaking events. The series also contains speech notecards and other speech materials. Much of the speech materials is concerned with coaching tips and advice. Several drafts of a speech made to his players on his retirement from coaching are also included.

Series 3. Dobyns-Bennett High School Materials contains materials relating to Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, Tennessee (Dodd's alma mater), such as a student handbook, program for a football game, and an information booklet.

Series 4. Sports/Game Programs consists of programs for Georgia Tech football games, including some bowl games. There are also programs for the Touchdown Club of Atlanta’s annual jamborees.

Series 5. Newspaper Articles/Magazines contains a large number of newspaper articles, from various newspapers, relating to Bobby Dodd, his family, and Georgia Tech football. The series also contains some magazine articles and some Georgia Tech magazines.

Series 6. Scrapbooks consists of four large scrapbooks, most of which are in damaged condition, and several loose scrapbook pages. The scrapbooks primarily contain newspaper clippings. The first of these, Scrapbook 1, contains newspaper clippings with a wide range of dates (ca. 1930-ca. 1981). Scrapbook 2 focuses on the period of the 1950s and 1960s, while Scrapbook 3 contains clippings from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Scrapbook 4, a large book with a woven cover, shield, and crest, contains articles dating mainly from the period following Dodd's retirement from the Director of Athletics at Tech, including a number of columns by Furman Bisher. The loose scrapbook pages (Scrapbook 5) date mainly from 1966 or 1967, around the time that Dodd retired as head coach of the Tech football team. The provenance of these scrapbooks is unknown, but some of them may have been given to Dodd by Georgia Tech football fans.

Series 7. Awards and Certificates consists of awards and certificates given to Bobby Dodd. These certificates include resolutions by the Georgia House, Senate, and the City of Atlanta in appreciation of Bobby Dodd's service to Georgia Tech; a proclamation declaring Bobby Dodd Day dating from May 1967; and a variety of awards.

Biography of Bobby Dodd

Bobby Dodd (1908-1988) served as Director of Athletics at Georgia Tech from 1950 to 1976 and head coach of the Yellow Jackets football team from 1945 to 1966. His career at Tech, which began in 1930 when he joined the staff as an assistant coach to William Alexander, spanned a period of forty-five years.

Robert Lee “Bobby” Dodd was born on November 11, 1908, in Galax, Virginia. From there, he moved to Kingsport, Tennessee, where he attended high school at Dobyns-Bennett High School. In high school Dodd played as a quarterback for the football team and also participated in a number of other sports. After graduation, he moved on to the University of Tennessee, where he continued his football career. In 1929 and 1930 he was named All-Southern quarterback. Later he would be added to the College Football Hall of Fame (1959) and the National Football Hall of Fame (1961) for his performance.

Dodd became the backfield coach for the Georgia Tech varsity football team in December of 1930. In 1933 he married Alice Davis; they had two children, Linda and Bobby Jr. Dodd remained an assistant coach at Tech for 14 years under Head Coach William Alexander, despite receiving many head coaching offers from other schools. When Alexander left Tech in 1945, Dodd became head coach.

Dodd served as head coach of the Yellow Jackets for twenty-two years, compiling a 165-64-8 record. Under his coaching, Georgia Tech went to two Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships (in 1951 and 1952), as well as one national championship (in 1952). While he was head coach, Georgia Tech also played in thirteen major bowl games, winning nine. Along with coaching, Dodd also served as Director of Athletics at Tech.

As head coach, Dodd developed twenty-two recognized All America football players and received many national and sectional honors. He was voted “National Coach of the Year” by the New York Daily News poll in 1952, and “Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year” by his fellow coaches in 1951. Even after retiring, he was awarded a special “Citation of Honor” by the Football Writers Association of America for his impressive career and contributions to football.

Dodd had a monumental impact on Georgia Tech, his players, and the college football world. He endeared himself to his players and associates and earned the respect of his opponents.

Although he retired as head coach in February of 1966, Dodd continued as Director of Athletics at Tech until 1976. He remained active in the Tech community until his death on June 21, 1988. That year, Georgia Tech named its football stadium Bobby Dodd Stadium in his honor. In 1989, part of Third Street was rechristened Bobby Dodd Way. In 1993, Dodd was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach.

Arrangement

Missing Title
  1. Series 1. Correspondence and general office files, 1921-1989 [Box 1]
  2. Series 2. Speeches and speech materials, ca. 1966-1986 [Box 1]
  3. Series 3. Dobyns-Bennett High School materials, 1979-1984 [Box 2]
  4. Series 4. Game programs, 1942-1984 (bulk 1942-1977) [Box 2]
  5. Series 5. Newspaper articles/magazines, 1930-1986 [Boxes 3-4]
  6. Series 6. Scrapbooks [Boxes 5-8]
  7. Series 7. Awards and Certificates, 1957-1982 [Box 4]

Other Finding Aids

A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.

Provenance

Marilyn Somers, Georgia Tech Alumni Association, donated these papers in 1998. Accession #1998.1005 (old number: 98-10-05). John Carter, Georgia Tech Alumni Association, donated papers in 1999. Accession #1999.049 (old number: 99-49). The majority of this collection came from the north stands in Dodd Stadium after Dodd's death, and are thought to have been Dodd's personal papers (accession 2004.124).

Related Materials

Related materials in this repository include: The Ray F. Ellis Papers and Photographs (MS349/VAM349), the Georgia Tech Athletic Association Records (UA300), and the William A. Alexander Memorial Coliseum Campaign Records (UA037). The Omicron Delta Kappa Oral History Records (MS127) includes an interview of Bobby Dodd completed in 1979.

Separated Material

The visual materials in this collection, including two drawings that were originally processed as part of MS022, have been processed separately as VAM380. Artifacts, including two medallions and a Georgia Tech decal, have been removed to the artifacts collection. Several books, including copies of Dodd's Luck, Dress Her in White and Gold, and The Ramblin' Wreck: A Story of Georgia Tech Football, will be cataloged separately.

General Physical Description note

(3 document cases and 5 oversize boxes)

General note

Part of this collection was originally processed as MS022.

Processing Information

Mallory Velten and Christine de Catanzaro processed these papers in June 2010.

Creator

Title
Inventory of the Bobby Dodd Papers, 1921-1989 (bulk 1945-1989)
Subtitle
MS380
Status
completed
Author
Mallory Velten and Christine de Catanzaro
Date
Copyright June 2010.
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Contact:
Library
Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA
404-894-4586