Tennessee hires Dooley

Derek Dooley (right), sits aboard a jet at the Ruston Regional Airport before heading to Knoxville to start his new job as head coach of the UT Vols.

Photo by Ben Corda/Special to the News Sentinel

Derek Dooley (right), sits aboard a jet at the Ruston Regional Airport before heading to Knoxville to start his new job as head coach of the UT Vols.

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.

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Comments » 738

Skullz_VOL writes:

Get em coach

All_Vol writes:

Bring it!

BGVOL writes:


tulelakevol writes:

Good luck Coach Dooley!

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

Whether you agree or not, I support the Vols. GBO!!

the58vol writes:

Go Dooley Go

iaVol writes:

It's official! :sigh: I hope most of the staff stays. Especially Coach Brown.

bUTchVFL writes:

Are you kidding. No one else left. Why not look at Jim Harbaugh? Tickets should be easy to get. How the mighty have fallen.

NWFlVOL writes:

When do we get a presser?????

metalhead223 writes:

Not sure how I feel about this, still feel that Kippy shoulda been given a chance. But, T it up, kick it off and let's get to playin' some ball.

Make us proud Coach D.

tenngrad78 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ut_vols13 writes:

Let's roll!!!!

KptVol writes:

The Vol Nation will buy into Dooley when he names his defensive coordinator. Think about it....

This is why we all embraced Lame..he brought a big name D coach with him.

sampears writes:

Hold the press conference lets get on with this...

Great hire BTW..go vols!

nbt44 writes:

Let's get some good recruits and have a better season next year. Welcome Coach Dooley and GO VOLS!

Pepe_Lepew writes:

*sigh* ok, not exciting, but I will support him. Let's go Vols! See if we can salvage a little of this recruiting class now.

firemancooper writes:

Should have went with Sumlin

jeremy writes:

Welcome to the BIG ORANGE NATION!!! I will support you 100%!!!!!

sampears writes:

in response to tenngrad78:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

oh good gawd....here we go....

Liberal_Vol writes:

Please stay Kippy. Please stay. The VOL faithful want you to do what you came here to do - nothing has changed from our standpoint on that. MARK THAT DOWN SIR.

DD keep him on. HAMILTON keep him on.

Regulator writes:

Welcome aboard. Let's take a helluva ride!



6MillionDollarPumpkin writes:

I hope this turns out to be as good of hire as Pearl's was. Here is a guy from a smaller conference that not many people have heard of......then hits it big!! For Hamilton's sake, it better work.

VolinaCrimsonWorld writes:

It's nice to be able to take pride in a coach who will not embarrass the program on a weekly basis, who is more interested in the program than his own selfish agenda. He is the anti-Kiffen. We will be thanking CLK someday for making all of this possible.

41_14gbo writes:

Welcome Coach Dooley. We are with you.
Coach, teach, act and speak with integrity.

mdvol writes:


Well...you're family now. Get to work.

d_ray writes:

Let's all give him a huge welcome and support and back him 100%. Stop all the in-fighting, come together and get back to wining football games.

volsfan92 writes:

Welcome Coach

Mule_Days_King writes:

Welcome aboard Coach Dooley.

jimr07 writes:

in response to bUTchVFL:

Are you kidding. No one else left. Why not look at Jim Harbaugh? Tickets should be easy to get. How the mighty have fallen.

How do you know we didn't. and, there has to be interest on the other end.

lovinthebigorange writes:


charles57#1378642 writes:

Wise choice!
Regardless of what some people think of this hire, you will, if you're a real BIG ORANGE fan, get behind our new coach and support him ALL THE WAY! GO BIG ORANGE................

flafan2001 writes:


chad_t31 writes:

I wasn't for Dooley. I'm not against Dooley. But I'll tell u this, I'll be behind him 110%. just like recruiting classes, it's too early to tell how good he'll be. When that "T" opens up on the field in September, I'll be pumped no matter who is roaming the sidelines. Good luck and welcome to big orange country coach Dooley!

theoldbear writes:

Can we get him to bring HIS father along? Maybe as Athletic Director?

I hope he keeps Kippy Brown, but the rest of the Kiffin hold-overs, including a B-I-L or two, need to go. Yeah, I know, it will cost a ton of money.

Well, thanks again, Mike Hamilton!

This whole process has been an embarrassment to the University of Tennessee. I'm glad it is over, and I wish Coach Dooley well.

VolinaCrimsonWorld writes:

Naysayers be gone. Post elsewhere. The coach has been hired. Time to build and unify in the spirit of true Volunteers

mdvol writes:

Can he bring back Lennon Creer and Ahmad Paige with him?

Carlitovol writes:


99gator writes:

no comment

10cvolnga writes:

Vince and Barbara must be grinning from ear-to-ear. Go get'em Derek!

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

in response to firemancooper:

Should have went with Sumlin

He signed a new contract. Sumlin = out.

hdav06#387651 writes:

Well I hope he doesn't bolt to Georgia. Dickey bolted in the 60's and now Kiffin. I can't handle these coaches running off like that every 40 years or so.

VolFaninDC writes:

I'm saying "Rah," but without any emotion.

HarryHood writes:

The Vol Nation is behind you coach.


SaintLouisVol writes:

Other coaches who I am familiar with and respect (as coaches at least) say he has talent as a coach. The La Tech corner of the www has nothing but highest praises for his character and ethic. I say we got an upgrade. Most importantly, he's not David Cutcliffe!

momanddad4ut writes:

watch out gatars and nick look out.

dprovons writes:

Wow. This guy better have one heckuva spectacular press conference. I hear he's in the air from Ruston already...

flafan2001 writes:

You have big shoes to fill, coach Dooley. You're following the greatest 1 yr coach in UT history.

d_ray writes:

in response to bUTchVFL:

Are you kidding. No one else left. Why not look at Jim Harbaugh? Tickets should be easy to get. How the mighty have fallen.

You sound like the typical "fair weather" sports fan. If you don't like it, go to USC with Kitten.


Volfantm writes:

Go Vols! Hit the ground running coach!

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