GAINESVILLE, Fla. – He left this world during football season. Sounds about right once you learn more about Don Deal, a former Gators running back whose place in school lore was cemented in a win over Georgia Tech in 1960.
In an obituary that appeared earlier this week in the Northwest Florida Daily News, Deal’s relationship with the game is referenced: Don loved football throughout his life, as a player, coach, and avid fan.
Sixty years after his final game at Florida, Deal is still remembered.
In the third game of the 1960 season, the dominant storyline looming over the Florida-Georgia Tech matchup at Florida Field was the coaching battle between first-year Gators head coach Ray Graves and his mentor, Yellow Jackets legend Bobby Dodd. Graves was an assistant under Dodd for 13 years prior to his arrival at UF.
An additional subplot was that Bobby Dodd Jr., son of the Georgia Tech coach, was Florida’s passing quarterback. Whenever a play called for starter Larry Libertore and his fun-first approach to stand on the sideline, Graves inserted Dodd Jr. Hence, with the Gators trailing 17-10 late in the fourth quarter and facing a third-and-16, Dodd Jr. dropped back to pass