Dooley goes by book in first public appearance

There were no 'national headlines' a year after Kiffin's media blitz

No trash-talk.

No mention of rivals or opposing coaches.

New Tennessee coach Derek Dooley wouldn't even break down his freshly signed recruiting class at his breakfast celebration Thursday morning at the Knoxville Convention Center.

"My goal today is not to make any national headlines," Dooley said.

Mission accomplished.

As opposed to a far more explosive event last year with former coach Lane Kiffin sparking a feud with Florida coach Urban Meyer and ultimately being forced to apologize, the only person who might have been offended Thursday was Dooley's mom - who he joked might be facing a media gag order.

Other than that, Dooley really did nothing more than let the work he and his incomplete staff did over the last few weeks stand for itself. And considering where the Vols wrapped up in the various rankings on National Signing Day, that was more than enough for a sold-out crowd of around 1,000 fans.

That plan was clearly in sharp contrast to the media blitz Kiffin tried to orchestrate to get the Vols more attention. But other than one reminder of Dooley's cultural fit and a veiled reference to his predecessor from a senior UT official, at this point everybody appears to be moving on with a more reserved approach.

"When I got here it was in a bit of a state of turmoil, and it seemed like there were a lot of pieces everywhere," Dooley said. "There was a real frustration throughout the program over what's happened, we had to quickly assemble five or six coaches to get out recruiting.

"But the lesson is, as it always is, things are never as bad as they seem. Things are never as good as they seem. That's a hard thing for fans to realize, but as a coach it's always that. It seemed like doom and gloom on (that first) Saturday, but I didn't feel that way. All of a sudden everybody gets ecstatic, but I've said from the beginning these two weeks won't ultimately define the program."

They certainly provide a starting point, and Dooley is already redefining how the program will be led. He also obviously needed to get the ball rolling with a strong first class no matter how little time he had to do it, and by all accounts the Vols did just that.

A case could be made that UT signed the best collection of receivers in the country. It added three quarterbacks to compete with returning senior Nick Stephens, snagged a couple highly-touted offensive linemen and stood toe-to-toe with the national champs to get one of them.

But as Dooley has emphasized repeatedly in his limited public appearances since taking the job, National Signing Day isn't the finish line. The real work begins now, and Dooley can start by finally getting familiar with his surroundings.

"Nineteen days on the job, I could probably write a book already on what's happened in the last two and a half weeks," Dooley said. "You know, things happened so fast, what people don't realize is the two or three days leading up to getting the job are also an emotional event.

"I guess I was here Friday night, but when I knew that I didn't have it all together yet was the following weekend we had an official visit and we do a nice tour of the locker room and the stadium. I walked in for the first time and I said, 'Wow, this is gorgeous. What a phenomenal place.' And somebody said, 'Coach, this is where we had the press conference.' I said, 'I was here?' "

Now he's back with a bit more time to get comfortable. Based on the contrast between breakfasts a year apart, it might be safe to assume it will be longer than 14 months.

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Comments » 50

thevoice writes:

Sounds like a class act to me. Thanks DD.

mdvol writes:

Good in front of a microphone. Lets see what he can do with a whistle in his mouth.

Dooley's got good hair. I wonder if he'll be a visor or a ballcap guy?

jman33163 writes:

Quite a refreshing change here on the Hill!!

Now, I am not one to bash KNS but come on, I read basically this same article hours ago on the Tennessean! Geeeez!

Go Big Orange!!!!

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

I just love everything CDD has accomplished in such a short time, I love his attitude, intelligence, work ethic and his "spunky" Mama!!Congrats on a great job so far! Now go coach em up and lets play some football!!!!
VOLS.....TCB......KOKO.........GBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cdtvol writes:

The enthusiasm i had lost has been restored!!! The VOLS deserve a coach with CLASS and integrity and i do believe we HAVE 1...time will tell but he is certainly off to a great start!!!

VolunteerPassion writes:

in response to mdvol:

Good in front of a microphone. Lets see what he can do with a whistle in his mouth.

Dooley's got good hair. I wonder if he'll be a visor or a ballcap guy?

I know at Louisiana Tech he didn't wear a hat or a visor. Maybe he wont wear anything hear...

out_of_town_vol_fan writes:

great job dd, we are behind you.

ORNGFACTOR writes:

in response to mdvol:

Good in front of a microphone. Lets see what he can do with a whistle in his mouth.

Dooley's got good hair. I wonder if he'll be a visor or a ballcap guy?

Ball cap

Crutch writes:

in response to mdvol:

Good in front of a microphone. Lets see what he can do with a whistle in his mouth.

Dooley's got good hair. I wonder if he'll be a visor or a ballcap guy?

If he will be like he was in La Tech he will be a no hat no visor guy. He will just style the rug.

Seinat writes:

in response to mdvol:

Good in front of a microphone. Lets see what he can do with a whistle in his mouth.

Dooley's got good hair. I wonder if he'll be a visor or a ballcap guy?

One of the ESPN guys tweeted yesterday that Dooley must get his hair cut first thing every morning

JohnnyVol writes:

in response to mdvol:

Good in front of a microphone. Lets see what he can do with a whistle in his mouth.

Dooley's got good hair. I wonder if he'll be a visor or a ballcap guy?

Neither.

mdvol writes:

in response to JohnnyVol:

Neither.

He's got that John Edwards hair. Hopefully without the illegit kid.

mdvol writes:

We just held LSU to 16 points in the first half. I'd take that in basketball and football.

Hounddog writes:

Restored character and enthusiasm. The Dooley Diesel! Hounddog.

deputy658 writes:

This is off topic but has anybody heard we may get a visit from the three star OL from Texas named Glass ? Do we still have room for him ? GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to mdvol:

Good in front of a microphone. Lets see what he can do with a whistle in his mouth.

Dooley's got good hair. I wonder if he'll be a visor or a ballcap guy?

I hope he's a hoodie with the sleeves cut off. A Bill Belichick type of guy.

Huttdawg100 writes:

How about Seantrel Henderson? The kid gives USC a verbal contingent on the outcome of the NCAA investigation of Reggie Bush and Joe McKnight. Take that Lamo!!!

tenuscvol writes:

CDD has done an amazing job...All Vols fans express our sincerest gratitude to Coach for bringing such a class act to the University.

It's GREAT to be a Tennessee Vol!

Can't wait till the spring game...

Has the date been set?...can't find it on UTSports......

RoadTrip writes:

in response to deputy658:

This is off topic but has anybody heard we may get a visit from the three star OL from Texas named Glass ? Do we still have room for him ? GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From all reports he's waiting on us before deciding. We offer soon and he will likely sign on.

allvols4life writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

From all reports he's waiting on us before deciding. We offer soon and he will likely sign on.

According to Rivals we have offered him. Would love to add another big body on the OL. I am going to wait and see what Dooley can do coaching these kids before I decide if it was a good hire, but I absolutely LOVE what I am seeing so far. Like many others I have read on here, I am very excited about the potential that is in Coach Dooley. I am very proud to be a VOL fan at this point. Keep making us proud Coach Dooley and all the VOLS!!!

easleychuck writes:

in response to deputy658:

This is off topic but has anybody heard we may get a visit from the three star OL from Texas named Glass ? Do we still have room for him ? GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My understanding is that the Glass kid signed JUCO with 2 other Dallas Carter High School offensive lineman teammates. Maybe his grades were not up to par.

OrangePsyched writes:

If Glass has qualified academically and is just waiting for an offer from us I say sign him up. We need more depth. Someone asked about O/W game, I would just like to know when first day of spring practice is and will it be open to the public. If the race is anywhere close, I believe that a freshman or Simms will start because Coach is really a long term thinker. If Nick is by far the best then I think he gets the nod. Dooley is Jekyl and Hyde...calm and collected, polite normally,but if you watch him on the football sideline he is intense. ROCKY TOP!

69vol08 writes:

I like him! Let's give him a few years to build the program...things are gonna be fine in Big Orange Country!

Cldvols1 writes:

Like I said I believe CDD is a stand up guy. He's smart, classy and humbled by having an opportunity to coach at an institution like TN. This is someone the Vols needed to lead them into the next decade. Only being here 3 weeks he's done an outstanding job of assembling a great staff and recruiting class! I look for big things to come up on The Hill in the near future. UT will rise back to prominence because We Are Tennessee!!! GBO

volzcrushm writes:

GO AFTER SHEANTREL HENDERSON... HE DECIDED TO HOLD OFF SIGNING WITH USC FOR NOW.

asleep#212036 writes:

To be honest, we don't have enough data to decide whether Kiffin was any kind of a coach so in my opinion, we upgraded on all fronts. There is no doubt Dooley can recruit. Class? No contest. Integrity? Appears to be hands-down winner. To wit: he waited until after NSD to bring Wilcox to UT, out of respect for a former opponent who plays above their raising. Tradition? Are you kidding? He's back where he belongs. And finally, coaching. Well, his record at La Tech was better than Kiffin's at LA and to be honest, every college job he's had required him to bring his dad and Orgeron along for the ride. That says ADs don't want the Lane without the Train. We are much better off and if these guys can coach at all, it's going to be very exciting to be a Vol in the not-too-distant future. Go Vols!!!

dahc writes:

Thank you coach for being a class act!!

rkw2 writes:

in response to FirstAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

memphis_vol_fan writes:

in response to Pablopeepants:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think Brown and Williams will carry the load with Oku coming in as a changeup.

Stepchild_nFL writes:

in response to mdvol:

Good in front of a microphone. Lets see what he can do with a whistle in his mouth.

Dooley's got good hair. I wonder if he'll be a visor or a ballcap guy?

Like Al Gore wit a personality. Wit a personality.

n2thecheckerboards2 writes:

in response to memphis_vol_fan:

I think Brown and Williams will carry the load with Oku coming in as a changeup.

Dont count out Poole

Voluvr writes:

I think the line that Kiffin starting talking trash just to get national attention was bogus. He was talking trash and when the heat came on him that was his excuse as if it was planned. Of course the media bought it.

Voluvr writes:

Here's my prediction. After seeing "Dooley losing it" youtube video, he'll can a QB faster than Spurrier...I think it will be Nick's to lose, but I think Matt Simms may win out, Nash Nance #2 (great accuracy and he can motor) Tyler Bray red shirt. Outside shot Nance takes it. This guy has poise.

Voluvr writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agreed. I loved the life he brought to the program. The aggressive recruiting and almost retiring Meyer. I don't like he left, but I understand.

Coach Dooley doesn't need to think that going around talking about not getting headlines or smack talking was the coach they let go before Kiffin. Do it with class, but get er done.

Voluvr writes:

barely got that out...good night.

Observer43 writes:

in response to mdvol:

He's got that John Edwards hair. Hopefully without the illegit kid.

Or the video!

Smokey57 writes:

What a difference self-respect and dignity make!

seaplane#216536 writes:

in response to Voluvr:

Agreed. I loved the life he brought to the program. The aggressive recruiting and almost retiring Meyer. I don't like he left, but I understand.

Coach Dooley doesn't need to think that going around talking about not getting headlines or smack talking was the coach they let go before Kiffin. Do it with class, but get er done.

Let us not forget. Kiffin is a self-serving bum!

Kasey writes:

I like the way he comes across. Class act. Maybe Hamilton got it right this time. Good Luck Coach!

VOLS_SEC_RULES writes:

in response to n2thecheckerboards2:

Dont count out Poole

I agree with "n2thecheckerboards2". Poole looked great in the few opportunities he had during last season and the Spring game.

bspurlingcac#225603 writes:

in response to ehawkins32#429287:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No question we would all be interested in an artical in this area. We have a great opportunity to add to this class. GBO!!!

bspurlingcac#225603 writes:

in response to Voluvr:

I think the line that Kiffin starting talking trash just to get national attention was bogus. He was talking trash and when the heat came on him that was his excuse as if it was planned. Of course the media bought it.

I agree. At least 80% of all that was him putting his foot in his mouth and trying to recover. Coach Dooley will do a great job promoting our program with class. What the other guy did not understand is that Tennessee promotes it's self.

bspurlingcac#225603 writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well done. I agree with just about everything you said. I would add that everything the past coach did was self serving and often short sighted. Before Coach Dooley gets into the PR part of the job he needs to finish off this class with some players who can add depth and finish the coaching staff while building his relationship with his current players. I can't wait to see how things develop. GBO!

Gumby#1381110 writes:

Its great to have the integrity back at UT! Only thing is coach, when we play FLA and ALA, throw the book away!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to bigpapa:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Great Post And Spot On!!!

Moaninglikeheck writes:

I can't believe the first dozen or so posts on this article were about Dooley's hair. Why not discuss his fashion coordination?

Who cares about his hair? He could be bald for all I care as long as he knows how to coach, recruit, and win....with CLASS.

Good Lawd.

NOOGAVOL writes:

in response to KatManDewVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

His family moved to Knoxville. He needs to redshirt and put some meat on them bones!

allvols4life writes:

in response to KatManDewVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Unless the rules are different in Florida, the high school kids kickoff from the 40, which would be 10 yards closer than college. Again, I am not sure about Florida, but in Tennessee it is the 40 in high school.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Man I can't wait for spring practice news to start, videos and all!

metalhead223 writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree for the most part. With a few exceptions, Kiffin did recruit, Oregeron did also. Will he win big at USC? Maybe, it won't be because of recruiting. Kiffin was basically a bullsh*tter and we all know it. Our signing class coming in is very, very good. Far better than I had hoped. Lane can't and will never compete with the SEC. I will go out on a limb and say this, If USC doesn't get the death penalty(with Oregeron's practices it won't be long) and face even the lowest of the SEC's teams. He can't beat us (the SEC).Hey when you can't beat 'em, RUN! We paid Monty how much to figure out he can't figure out the spread? I still say we need a new AD. Personally I wish the man the best, 'cause his best wasn't good enough for the SEC, and it definitely was/ nor will ever be good enough for Tennessee football!
Ol' Metalhead is just waiting on the first Kick off, my body twitching, hearing........

WOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!

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