Van Dora was the star quarterback for the 1964 Glynn Academy football teamwhich finished 11-0-1 and won the Georgia High School Association Class AAA state championship that season, which was the highest classification at the time. The 1964 Terrors remain the only team in school history to win a state football championship.
Van Dora was one half of the team’s famed “TNT” backfield as it was nicknamed for the firepower it had with Van Dora as the senior signal-caller and senior halfback Johnny Tullos also running and catching the football. The duo combined for the greatest play in Glynn Academy football history that 1964 season when Van Dora and Tullos hooked up for the 85- yard touchdown pass with just 45 seconds remaining that lifted the Terrors to victory over Columbus in the South Georgia Championship Game at Lanier Field.
The next week, the Terrors clinched the state championship with their victory over Avondale.
As a dual-threat quarterback, Van Dora passed for over 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns inhis prep career. He also rushed for over 1,000 yards in his career, including 60 yards rushingon 16 carries and two touchdowns against Avondale to help Glynn win the state championship game 21-18.
Van Dora was named All-State by both the Atlanta Journal and Associated Press his senior year, after passing for 831 years and eight touchdowns and rushing for 628 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was also named All-American by Coach and Athlete Magazine. Van Dora was selected, along with teammates Nick Mavromat, Chickie George, Galin Mumford andTullos, to play in the Georgia North-South All-Star game the following summer at Grant Fieldin Atlanta.
He also lettered in baseball, basketball and track and field at Glynn Academy.
Van Dora signed a football scholarship to play for the legendary Bobby Dodd at Georgia Tech. He lettered his junior and senior years for the Yellow Jackets after being switched fromquarterback to defensive back. From his defensive back position, he recorded 67 tackles andtwo interceptions in 1968, his junior year, finishing with a total of 76 tackles for his GeorgiaTech career.
He also played baseball at Georgia Tech.
After graduating from Georgia Tech with a degree in industrial management, Van Dora spent several years teaching and coaching football at the high-school level. He was head coach at Basalt High in Colorado for two years and also was head coach at an international school inCaracas, Venezuela for three years where he led his team to three straight undefeated seasons. He also coached at Columbia High in Decatur under his former high school coach, Harold Henderson.
Van Dora later returned to school and got his law degree from the University of Georgia. Hepracticed law for 16 years at a firm in Atlanta before opening his own firm in Hartwell and Athens in 2000. He continues to practice law with his two sons Jeremiah and Tash in the VanDora Law Firm while residing in Hartwell.