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Louisiana Tech head coach Derek Dooley has been hired as coach at Tennessee.
"We are excited to welcome Derek and Allison to the University of Tennessee family," said UT athletic director Mike Hamilton in a release from the sports information office. "Derek is one of the bright young coaches in America. He understands our league and the competitive environment in which we compete.
"He took a very difficult first head coaching job and has made significant strides there in a short period of time. He is incredibly bright, a tireless recruiter and excellent on-the-field coach."
Reports that had been coming from numerous media sources this afternoon about the hiring were confirmed by UT in late afternoon. Tennessee will have a press conference to introduce Dooley at 9 tonight at the Peyton Manning Locker Room Complex at Neyland Stadium, UT confirmed.
Dooley replaces Lane Kiffin who left Tennessee after one season to coach at Southern Cal.
Earlier in the day, the coaching search had come down to two candidates -- Dooley, the son of former Georgia coach Vince Dooley -- and Kippy Brown, who has been serving as interim coach at UT since Lane Kiffin left on Tuesday night.
Brown was interviewed by Hamilton in the early afternoon. A Pilot Corp. plane flew to Ruston, La., where Louisiana Tech is located. The plane, with Jimmy Haslam, CEO/president of Pilot Travel Centers, and athletic board member Charlie Anderson among those on board, was photographed at the Ruston airport in late afternoon and later brought Dooley to Knoxville.
During a Wednesday press conference, Hamilton had stressed the importance of moving on the hire with the Feb. 3 signing day for high school players nearly upon the Vols.
In addition to Dooley and Brown, coaches believed to be under consideration in the coaching search begun with Kiffin's abrupt resignation, include Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, Texas Christian coach Gary Patterson, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and Duke coach David Cutcliffe.
Dooley was 17-20 in three seasons at La. Tech, a record somewhat deceiving because of the school's habit of playing some of the country's top teams in non-conference games to boost revenue.
Louisiana Tech school president Dan Reneau has named deputy athletic director Bruce Van De Velde as acting athletic director, replacing Dooley.
Van De Velde then announced that Louisiana Tech offensive coordinator Frank Scelfo has been named interim head coach until a new coach has been found. Scelfo was hired by Dooley at Louisiana Tech in 2006.
Dooley has a law degree from Georgia. He completed his undergraduate degree at Virginia where he played receiver.
Dooley is married to Dr. Allison Jeffers Dooley, an OBGYN. They have two sons, John Taylor, 11, and Peyton, 8, and a daughter, Juliana, 6.