UT's new direction led by Dooley

After roughly 72 hours without a head coach, the University of Tennessee football program has a face and a direction again.

Derek Dooley was hustled from Ruston, La., to Knoxville on Friday evening and was introduced as the 22nd head football coach at UT.

He replaces Lane Kiffin, who stunned the campus Tuesday by leaving after 13 months on the job to take over at Southern California.

Dooley, 41, was 17-20 in three seasons at Louisiana Tech, his only head-coaching post.

Originally pointed toward a career in law, Dooley changed gears and broke into coaching in 1996 at Georgia, the school his father, Vince, coached from 1964 until 1988.

"I grew up in this conference,'' Dooley said at his introductory news conference, clad in a dark suit and the requisite orange tie, "and it didn't take me long to realize Tennessee is the essence of college football."

Among those endorsing Dooley is his mentor, the man he worked for at LSU and then with the Miami Dolphins.

"Derek is a very articulate, bright guy," Alabama coach Nick Saban said in a press release. "He's a great coach and a hard-working guy.

"He was always a very good recruiter in college, which I think is paramount if you're going to have success as a college coach."

UT men's athletic director Mike Hamilton spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday interviewing several candidates before coming to terms with Dooley.

"I have great respect for the people he's worked with and knew he's been trained well to be prepared for this moment," Hamilton said.

Given Kiffin's abrupt departure, Hamilton said he and Dooley discussed the importance of the next coach investing longevity in the program.

"This is a destination job," Hamilton said. "I think Coach Dooley believes that."

Dooley met with the players briefly Friday night. His first priority is recruiting up until the national signing day on Feb. 3.

Mike Strange may be reached at 865-342-6276.

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Comments » 74

acg85 writes:

first

VolFaninDC writes:

I know I must be a bad Vol fan, but I just can't get excited about this hire. I mean shouldn't we be more excited about his proven winning abilities than the fact he's a classy guy?

tedstryker1980 writes:

They are paying Dooley 2.4 million a year on a 5 year contract. He is now one of the highest paid coaches in the country. he earns more than a lot of well known guys with much more experience and better credentials. Hamilton should be canned. What is there on Dooley's resume for him to command such a salary? He went 4-8 in the WAC last year. He has no experience as a HC other than at La Tech where he only defeated one opponent with a winning record. We should have kept Kippy as interim coach until we found someone worth this kind of money. I still have not been able to determine what Dooley's buyout is. He better be good. Fire Hamilton! Go Vols!

CadmiumOchre (Inactive) writes:

Having been dumped on with Kiffin-&^%$ having put my full support to a babyfaced faced kid-coach with mouth full Taurus dung, I with hold opinion and commentary until something of substance makes its presence in our Vols football program.

In the meantime, I embrace Coach Jackson (Lakers) belief that karma visits upon those what they deserve and watch anxiously for its effect on Kiffin, Kiffin Jr., and that Orgeron creep whose pre-departing behavior within in-coming Vols recruits was worse than even Kiffin lies. Karma, karma, karma! And so good folks 9and bad trolls) of the forum I suppose it's adios for now until I feel there really is something to talk about.
----------

Let's give the
Coach a hand
Who never
Palms off
Another brand
Burma-Shave

jadarm writes:

I also have my reservations about the hiring, ...it seems like its a hail mary and who ever catches the damned ball gets one of the highest paychecks in the country. But, after reading up on him and watching about 50 minutes worth of mostly softballs tossed at him, I do like his style, he has class as well as a bit of swagger. I will take that in a heartbeat right about now. I am thinking, hoping, that Hamilton threw one up in the air and we might just be lucky that Dooley caught the ball. I, for one, am on board!

BigDave486 writes:

I know it will start on this thread shortly, all of the moaning and complaining about hiring Coach Dooley. Give him a fighting chance, he came highly recommended by Muscamp and got an endorsement from Saban, plus a biased one from his uncle, Bill Dooley. He is the son of a legendary coach, Vince Dooley, who happens to have a National Championship ring that he brought to the SEC and Georgia Bulldogs. He grew up inside of major college football, has coached on a National Championship team, LSU, and in the NFL.

Welcome to Rocky Top Coach Dooley!! TRUE Vol fans will support you and support OUR team each Saturday from the stands and across the globe.

GBO

floridavolsfan writes:

He is a high character human being and will bring honor to the University!
CLK is a self-centered inmature...I, me and my person just like Obama!
Beleive me he knows he did the wrong thing and chances are it will come back and bite him!
What's important is that UT is much better off on January 16th than it was on January 10th!

floridavolsfan writes:

Kiffin is being ripped all across the country as a weasel!
People in Florida are schocked that Monte would condone this type of behavior!

jobrando#216494 writes:

The Negatites are going to take over for the trolls on this site. The trols are going to be hard press to find any dirt on this coach. Even Saban loves him.

jobrando#216494 writes:

from watching his press conference it's apparent this coach will save the swagger for actual combat on the field. Not like Mr King of fake swagger Kiffin. That got his butt kicked by Va Tech

corrinebrown writes:

CLASS & INTEGRITY,the anthisesis of Ogre and whatshisname

Maverickman writes:

I like the hire, He's not going to recruit the same player Lame did, Not stars by there name , It whats in there CHESTS that will matter.The most Tallent will not beat a TEAM ..

Ringside writes:

I have to admit, I was shell-shocked at first, but after thinking through it and watching the press conference, it seems like a good hire. I hope all works out for Coach Dooley and his family. They seem like a solid family and CDD seems like a class act. Tennessee just bumped itself up in respect and class across the conference.

kd45music writes:

in response to floridavolsfan:

Kiffin is being ripped all across the country as a weasel!
People in Florida are schocked that Monte would condone this type of behavior!

You're right, it doesn't say much for Monte's parenting abilities.

kd45music writes:

I like what Dooley says about integrity and class, which is something we haven't had around here lately, even if he is/was a lawyer! He does have an SEC pedigree,too,something else the little lying weasel didn't have. Let's hope he can salvage anything worth salvaging from this recruiting class, and we'll see what develops in Spring practice. I still don't understand why so many other name coaches weren't interested in this job. But, you know, if their hearts weren't into the job, then we're better off they didn't show interest. I'm feeling better about this hire all the time. Dooley is a name respected by all us longtime SEC (in general) and Tennessee(in particular)fans. He's pretty close to a true Tennessee man and we can all help to finish the paint job by supporting the program under his leadership.

7_Game_Maxims writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The difference is that La Tech IS a stepping stone job. UT ain't.

xvillefan writes:

All VOL fans must have patience. Fans on this site are talking about “only” 7 or 8 wins in 2010. Think about what DD faces in his first season. He will be facing four experienced SEC coaches that have six national championships between them. Rome wasn’t built in a day and fans must face facts. This is a 3-4 season climb out of the doldrums.

kiffinwho writes:

in response to floridavolsfan:

Kiffin is being ripped all across the country as a weasel!
People in Florida are schocked that Monte would condone this type of behavior!

Who are the Kiffins??

volnnwbama writes:

I HAVE A SUGGESTION. LETS NOT MENTION THE LAST COACHES NAME, IT MAKES SICK! LETS GET BEHIND COACH DD.

smithvols12 writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Have you interviewed the kids and parents of kids he was recruiting at La. Tech? Maybe he didn't try to sell them on him as a coach, and sold them more as a school they could come get a free education from and be prepared for life after school since they most likely wouldn't be going pro anyhow. If you haven't interviewed these people either, then don't speak for them without concrete evidence is all I'm trying to say.

dtennessee#235123 writes:

FIRE HAMILTON IMMEDIATLEY! HE HAS TO BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE MOST EMBARRASSING 14 MONTHS IN THE HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL.

writer#358485 writes:

He who no longer shall be named is a symptom of our society, classless, lacking integrity, all flash and no substance. Our new coach seems to be a bit of a throwback to a time when honor meant something. Yes, it does trouble me a bit that he left LA Tech in a lurch, but LA Tech probably is, or will become, accustomed to being a "stepping stone". I'm sure when they gave DD the job they recognized that if he was a good as he appeared to be, it would be a temporary thing. Tennessee is a destination job--he who shall not be named notwithstanding. I doubt LA Tech fans will feel the same way about DD, who gave them three good years, than we do about he who shall not be named who gave us 13 months of shame and disgrace and then went off the far left coast where his type dominate. I'm optimistic again. Go Coach Dooley, Go Vols!

Ringside writes:

in response to volnnwbama:

I HAVE A SUGGESTION. LETS NOT MENTION THE LAST COACHES NAME, IT MAKES SICK! LETS GET BEHIND COACH DD.

AGREE! Welcome Coach Dooley. GBO!

driller80027 writes:

UT hired a coach away from another school, just a few days before signing day. UT did to LA Tech what USC did to UT. Yet, it seems UT is OK with it when it UT on the hiring end. Why so hypocritical UT?

10ACVOL writes:

Where is his area of expertise???
Urban Meyer brought his spread offense. Mark Richt was the OC of the 90's Florida State teams. Nick Saban's defense speaks all for itself. Every coach in the SEC is a specialist in some area.

Dooley has worked with wide receivers and tight ends.

Interesting stat: LA Tech went 17-20 under Dooley in 3 seasons. The 3 seasons prior to his arrival they went 16-20.

Sidenote: This guy is just as big a scumbag to LA Tech as kiffin is to us. Coach/AD takes new job days before signing day and he didn't even hold press conf to his players or fans to say thanks or bye or kiss it. He released a statement. Open your eyes people.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

10ACVOL, watch the video of Chris Walker and Nick Reveiz, one says Dooley told his team BEFORE they found out about it elsewhere, and they respected that.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

No matter who was the next head coach, at least 20-30% of fans wouldn't like it. DD is our coach now. GET OVER IT. SUPPORT THE TEAM. Be a TRUE VOL. Or you still mad over Fill-up?

Ringside writes:

WELCOME COACH DOOLEY...GREAT TO HAVE YOU AT TENNESSEE!!!!

AUFAN5555 writes:

Thanks Vols. The way you hired a coach makes our coaching blunder look good. In two yrs we both will be lower middle SEC teams looking for new coaches.Only the Mike Price deal at bama was worst than this. It was said that Price was seen checking our the local strip clubs and the only reason he did'nt take the job was because they didn't meet his approval

VOLsince68 writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you're a Kiffin lover, move to California and get off this board. It's more about how he did it than the fact that he did it. You obviuosly have NO concept of this.

Also, under your reasoning, NO coach could ever leave a school and go to another school. DA

CDD has more class and integrity in his pinky finger than that slime we called coach for the past 14 months. I bought into his BS too, but I won't be guilty of that again.

GO VOLS!!!!

VOLsince68 writes:

in response to 10ACVOL:

Where is his area of expertise???
Urban Meyer brought his spread offense. Mark Richt was the OC of the 90's Florida State teams. Nick Saban's defense speaks all for itself. Every coach in the SEC is a specialist in some area.

Dooley has worked with wide receivers and tight ends.

Interesting stat: LA Tech went 17-20 under Dooley in 3 seasons. The 3 seasons prior to his arrival they went 16-20.

Sidenote: This guy is just as big a scumbag to LA Tech as kiffin is to us. Coach/AD takes new job days before signing day and he didn't even hold press conf to his players or fans to say thanks or bye or kiss it. He released a statement. Open your eyes people.

Hey DA, CDD met with his team personally and told them. That's all that matters. Our players would have loved that gesture. Instead, they got a call from his right hand goon to NOT go to class. Classy.....

GO VOLS!!!!

iaVol writes:

http://utsports.tv/featured/the-22nd-...
This presser has the marks of a champion. This program does not need more empty promises or wavering ideals. Hamilton hired a gentleman that can lead. I am a huge Kippy Brown supporter but compliment him with Derek and we have the making of a strong, intelligent Tennessee program.

Ringside writes:

A good article from Athens.

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/0...

notoriousBIGorange writes:

Dooley's success will depend largely on who he hires as DC. I think that our recruiting will be fine and he runs a pro style offense which will fit the personnel.
His choice for DC will be the key...

rootin4volz writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're the idiot. Idiot.

VOLsince68 writes:

in response to ahere:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I guess last year when we hired our last coach.......

GO VOLS!!!!

Ringside writes:

Any way to cancel the home and away with USuC.
I don't want that ho back in Tennessee.

writer#358485 writes:

in response to 10ACVOL:

Where is his area of expertise???
Urban Meyer brought his spread offense. Mark Richt was the OC of the 90's Florida State teams. Nick Saban's defense speaks all for itself. Every coach in the SEC is a specialist in some area.

Dooley has worked with wide receivers and tight ends.

Interesting stat: LA Tech went 17-20 under Dooley in 3 seasons. The 3 seasons prior to his arrival they went 16-20.

Sidenote: This guy is just as big a scumbag to LA Tech as kiffin is to us. Coach/AD takes new job days before signing day and he didn't even hold press conf to his players or fans to say thanks or bye or kiss it. He released a statement. Open your eyes people.

Actually DD did take the time to meet with his players and others and do it as "right" as today's coaching carosel allows. The reaction from many LA Tech fans also has been quite positive, congratulating him, thanking him for three years of good work and wishing him well in his new position.

This hire has a lot of good upside potential. I'll take integrity and class any day over what we just came through. Wins are important, but they are not the be-all, end-all and "he who shall not be named" didn't even provide very many of those. UT stands for more than W-L, or at least it should!

I think we'll be fine with DD--a lot better off than we were with the last clown who made UT a laughingstock. There is a lot to be said for "class" which some on this board don't understand and probably never will. Go Vols!

navarrebeachvol writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

seems as if you are the idiot. Number 1, your life apparently involves hanging out on a Volunteer website when you apparently hate the Vols. Loser. And if you can't see the difference in leaving a program you helped build up after 3 or 4 years vice leaving after only 14 months of stirring phooey up and then you have your scumbag Coach O try to steal the recruiting class....then you have the blinders on, fool. Welcome aboard Coach Dooley! True Vol fans will support you and knock off the negative phooey that influences recruits....leave that to the many Trolls this site is infested with...GBO

rootin4volz writes:

in response to mtnsvol44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hope Pop, Jr, and gutter mouth fall off into the Pacific Ocean out on the left coast!

rootin4volz writes:

in response to 10ACVOL:

Where is his area of expertise???
Urban Meyer brought his spread offense. Mark Richt was the OC of the 90's Florida State teams. Nick Saban's defense speaks all for itself. Every coach in the SEC is a specialist in some area.

Dooley has worked with wide receivers and tight ends.

Interesting stat: LA Tech went 17-20 under Dooley in 3 seasons. The 3 seasons prior to his arrival they went 16-20.

Sidenote: This guy is just as big a scumbag to LA Tech as kiffin is to us. Coach/AD takes new job days before signing day and he didn't even hold press conf to his players or fans to say thanks or bye or kiss it. He released a statement. Open your eyes people.

Open YOUR eyes idiot. Number one, the situation was, though quick, handled in a much better manner that what Kiffin did. And number two, IT'S THE NATURE OF THE FREAKIN' BEAST! IT GOES ON ALL THE TIME! IT'S THE COACHING CAROUSEL! Ya idiot.

Ringside writes:

Feel free to send a note of thanks.
Athletic Director Mike Garrett x3843 daniellm@usc.edu

dpreeb#553448 writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

The Negatites are going to take over for the trolls on this site. The trols are going to be hard press to find any dirt on this coach. Even Saban loves him.

The only dirt we need to know is... He's a Lawyer. Enough said. Man speaks with forked tongue. It's funny how some of you Vol fans are bashing the phooey out of Insane Lane for leaving, for recruiting violations, for being self-centered, and bailing on the recruits and players... What do you think Mr. Dooley just did? No appearant NCAA problems, but how about the kids he was recruiting? and their parents? See ya Big Orange. Vandy and Kentucky might have better records in the coming years.

Ringside writes:

in response to dpreeb#553448:

The only dirt we need to know is... He's a Lawyer. Enough said. Man speaks with forked tongue. It's funny how some of you Vol fans are bashing the phooey out of Insane Lane for leaving, for recruiting violations, for being self-centered, and bailing on the recruits and players... What do you think Mr. Dooley just did? No appearant NCAA problems, but how about the kids he was recruiting? and their parents? See ya Big Orange. Vandy and Kentucky might have better records in the coming years.

HE brought kids to LA Tech for LA Tech, not for a fast lane to the NFL. He was there for three years, not one. He has character, integrity, and class. Have fun following the garbage that just left. See ya!

Neylands_Maxims writes:

in response to tedstryker1980:

They are paying Dooley 2.4 million a year on a 5 year contract. He is now one of the highest paid coaches in the country. he earns more than a lot of well known guys with much more experience and better credentials. Hamilton should be canned. What is there on Dooley's resume for him to command such a salary? He went 4-8 in the WAC last year. He has no experience as a HC other than at La Tech where he only defeated one opponent with a winning record. We should have kept Kippy as interim coach until we found someone worth this kind of money. I still have not been able to determine what Dooley's buyout is. He better be good. Fire Hamilton! Go Vols!

One reason he is getting paid so much is because of the circumstances he has been asked to take over. He's coming in as head coach with 16 days left till National Signing Day. He's expected to make a top staff, keep existing staff members to an extent, and produce a salvageable team. Please note that not even a blank check offered by Hamilton could pull away most coaches on our list. They didn't want to risk their careers on any program that would ask them to leave their current job this late in the recruiting calendar. Let's call for Hamilton's head after we see what Coach Dooley can do. I'm skeptical of all the Vol fans hating on his 2009 4-8 season. His team was completely decimated by injuries.

Burnin_Time writes:

This looks like it has all the wisdom of the Bruce Pearl hire. I am glad to have Coach Dooley represent UT and lead the teams. I think he possesses the character and work ethic needed to win at this level given TN's current unfortunate predicament. In fact, of all the rumored candidates, after doing some research I think he is the best fit and will deliver the most success. Can't wait to put my "It's Football Time in Tennessee" magnet back on the fridge.

CT_Vol1 writes:

It begins. Recruiting weekend. We will see how all this lands in a couple of weeks. If most of the recruits stay, then he will have a season on the field with some good talent to pull in a good class the following year.

FearThisElephant writes:

I'm glad vol fans have put effort into researching DD this morning. Most whom have done so realize that a great coach fell into their laps. From someone who has followed his career, I expected DD to be the 2011 head Cajun at LSWhoo or become the assistant HC in waiting at Bama. Tennessee just went from "we are Memphis 2" all the way back to SEC top four in one Friday night. Congrats vol nation.
The only word mentioned by Double D at the presser that mattered was "Process" Study up on what it means. Now, from the janitor to DD himself, a higher level of commitment and work ethic is expected. It's a "all in thing". Everyone operating as one team where there is no excuse for failure. The "process" means its not about DD. Its about whats best for the program. From office staff to players to coaches. Buy in, be accountable, or your next memo will be pink in colour. Success is not the goal. Success is the byproduct of the "process".
This Bama fan was looking forward to a few easy Octobers but that all changed in one Friday night. Congratulations vol nation on a great hire. Roll Tide & Go Vols. (Auwburn still sucks though)

FearThisElephant writes:

Yup dawg. Don't be upset. Georgie wasn't there anyway. Besides. The way the Dooley family was treated in Athens assured the vols that bolting to georgie wasn't a concern anyway.

Ibleedornge writes:

After watching all the interviews and reading up on Coach D, I am excited that he is here and hopefully will bring stability and the key word he spoke of Integrity! Welcome aboard Coach!
Go Vols!

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