Phillip Fulmer isn't meddling, and he's got no plans to either.
If the new Tennessee coach needs anything from an old one, though, all Derek Dooley has to do is ask.
That in itself might not be a major development considering Fulmer's lifetime of work for the Vols and a passion for the program that hasn't died just because he's a year removed from leading it. But the fact Dooley seems genuinely interested in having Fulmer around might be a bit of a change from the guy sandwiched between the two of them at UT.
"(Dooley) did reach out, and he was very flattering in his compliments of what we had accomplished at Tennessee," Fulmer said Friday during his golf tournament for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley. "First thing, I'm a Tennessee guy. I want Tennessee to always do well, and I want us to do it with character and integrity, which we've always done, and to appreciate our traditions and our history. Appreciate what other coaches and players have done here prior to me, and what others will do after me or Derek or whoever. We didn't have that (with Lane Kiffin).
"I'm very appreciative of how Derek has tried to go about his business - and I'm not in his business now. He's just asked for advice and those kinds of things."
When he does, Fulmer is more than willing to provide some answers or be a resource for Dooley, and with his national championship ring and 151 wins at UT, there could hardly be a better one.
But while Fulmer certainly still believes he could get the job done himself with the Vols, he made it clear he's willing to get onboard with Dooley and help as much as possible - without stepping on Dooley's toes.
"It's interesting to understand or try to help Derek see the problems that he has and help him work through them," Fulmer said. "I think he does understand our traditions and our history at Tennessee, and also in the conference. I think he's a smart guy that's going to do the right things and try to put the program back to where we had it."
Based on the talent Dooley inherited, that may take some time.
Numbers across the roster are down for a variety of reasons, there's no real depth to speak of and UT is breaking in an entirely new offensive line and a different quarterback. But the cupboard isn't completely bare, and judging by the NFL draft this past weekend, Fulmer didn't leave it that way for Kiffin, either.
"The knock on the talent, we had four guys play in the Super Bowl, we had two first-rounders this year, looks like four or five guys are going to be drafted," Fulmer said after the first round of the draft. "I think it's just par for the course when somebody replaces somebody and they have maybe a holier-than-thou attitude of arrogance or whatever. Then that's just kind of normal.
"There are certainly good players at Tennessee, and it's a shame what we've gone through with losing as many guys from the program for whatever reason, counting the really good players that I had committed my last year."
Another coaching transition hasn't necessarily stopped the flow of players out of UT, which has lost four more since Dooley took over in January.
But with spring practice over and Dooley continuing to settle into the job before his first season with the Vols, things have begun to calm down at the moment. Business will surely pick up again soon, though, and if for some reason, any reason, Dooley needs Fulmer involved, all he's got to do is ask.
"I wish him nothing but great success, and I'll help him in any way that I can," Fulmer said. "He does understand his problems and his issues, some that are outside and some that are internal.
"He happens to play in the best league in all of college football, so that's a tough duty. But we all need to get behind him and support him every way that we can."
Fulmer is already in line to do it.