Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Authority

12/22/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/21/2020 21:34

Coach Howard “Doc” Ayers – Class of 1990 – passes away at 98

Howard 'Doc' Ayers was a Toccoa, Georgia, native with a penchant for coaching football. He got his nickname of 'Doc' for being the son of the local general practitioner. He'd start his lifelong association with football by playing high school ball at Toccoa before finishing at Darlington High in Rome, Georgia. He made All Mid-South Conference in 1940-41 playing halfback but before heading to college he entered the Navy during World War II.

After his military service, Doc went to the University of Georgia on a scholarship playing football for the Bulldogs. A knee injury would cut his collegiate career short but paved the way for Doc to go into coaching. He'd help coach the Georgia B team and became a student trainer as well.

He began his high school coaching career at Lavonia in 1948. He compiled a 25-4-1 record his three seasons there. Doc would then take a one season stint with Windsor before settling in as head coach at Cedartown High School. His teams became very successful. In addition to an overall record of 91-43-5, Doc's Cedartown teams won two region championships and a state AA title in 1963. He was awarded Coach of the Year in 1956. He is still the winningest coach at Cedartown. All of his quarterbacks and 43 players received college scholarships under his tenure.

Heading back to Athens, Doc Ayers was the first assistant coach hired by newly hired head coach Vince Dooley. Doc would coach with the Bulldogs for 17 seasons. He'd coach the Georgia Freshman team and complied the best record for the Dawgs at 25-12.

After coaching, Doc stayed involved with Cedartown football. He was well known for giving passionate and motivational speeches while as head coach and kept that up once he retired. He was revered in the community and Cedartown's stadium bears his name in honor. He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. He passed away December 19, 2020.

All of us here at the Hall of Fame send our condolences to his family and friends.