Dooley in critical but stable condition

Updated: April 21, 2006, 3:59 PM ET
Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. -- Bill Dooley, who led three teams to bowl games in a head coaching career that spanned 26 seasons, was in critical but stable condition Friday after surgery to repair an aneurysm, hospital officials said.

Dooley underwent the emergency surgery Tuesday at Duke University Hospital, according to a statement from the hospital.

Dooley, a native of Alabama, graduated in 1956 from Mississippi State, where he played football for the Bulldogs. Beginning in 1967, he coached 11 seasons at North Carolina, winning three Atlantic Coast Conference titles and leading his teams to five bowl games. He moved on to Virginia Tech in 1978 to become head coach and athletic director and led the school to seven consecutive winning seasons.

At Wake Forest, he led the Demon Deacons to their first bowl appearance in 14 years and was twice named ACC coach of the year. He has a career record of 162-125-5.

One of the players Dooley coached was North Carolina coach John Bunting, who said Friday he was with Dooley on Monday and has stayed in contact with his former coach's family throughout the week.

"Other than [former NFL coach] Dick Vermeil and my family, no one has been a bigger influence on my life than Bill Dooley," Bunting said in a statement. "Coach Dooley has done so much for college football and I ask everyone to keep him in your thoughts and prayers."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press