From the Associated Press in Athens:
Former Georgia football coach Vince Dooley has reclaimed something he thought he’d never see again: The national championship ring he won while working as an assistant coach at Auburn in 1957.
The ring was stolen from Dooley’s home in Athens, in 2011, and the retired coach said he nearly forgot about it.
“I just didn’t think it was ever going to show up,” he said.
But the Athens Banner-Herald reported that the ring showed up in a pawn shop last week in Athens.
Police were alerted after a woman sold the ring for $400, and it stood out to officer Gene Davis because he investigated the theft four years ago.
“I take my hat off to the detective, Gene, who stayed on that for me for years,” Dooley said.
The owner of Athens Pawn Shop, where the ring was located, told police she wants to prosecute for theft by deception.
The ring has an A and the diamond in the center, surrounded by, “National Football Champions 1957.” Dooley’s initials, V.J.D, were on the ring and helped identify it as belonging to Dooley.
Dooley was an assistant on Auburn’s undefeated 1957 team, which was named national champions by The Associated Press despite not playing in a bowl game due to probation.
Dooley said a couple of his trophy rings remain missing, including at least two from SEC championship-winning seasons.
“I wish we could locate the couple others. I guess I’ve been inspired there’s a possibility,” he said.