Vince Dooley ready to cheer son Derek at Tennessee

ATLANTA — Vince Dooley was an assistant coach at Auburn with little name recognition when he was the surprise pick as Georgia's coach in 1964.

Dooley's son, Derek, was a similarly unexpected choice on Friday to take over Tennessee's program. The elder Dooley says Derek is far better qualified for his opportunity in the tough Southeastern Conference.

"I would say I might have been the least popular choice," Vince Dooley said Saturday. "Georgia people were excited because it was a national search and they were very excited when they said the new coach was Vince. They were thinking Vince Lombardi, and when they said 'Vince Dooley' the Georgia people said, 'Who in the heck is Vince Dooley?'"

Derek Dooley's three-year record at Louisiana Tech was 17-20. He was hired to replace Lane Kiffin, who abruptly resigned Tuesday night to coach at Southern California.

Dooley attended his first Tennessee basketball game as coach on Saturday, less than 24 hours after he was introduced. Dooley walked into Thompson-Boling Arena to loud cheers and a round of "Rocky Top" by the pep band.

Vince Dooley, 77, won 201 games, six SEC championships and the 1980 national title at Georgia. He also was the school's athletic director for 25 years.

He received the Paul "Bear" Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday night in Houston.

Dooley said he and his wife, Barbara, are "very happy, very proud of Derek."

"It's a wonderful opportunity," he said. "It's special because it's in the conference, though I'd have to be candid and admit that if it was in the conference I would wish it was not a school that was so close and competitive to the place I've spent my last 40-something years."

He said he'll have mixed emotions but will quietly pull for his son when Tennessee plays at Georgia on Oct. 9.

It will not be Derek's first time on the visiting sideline at Sanford Stadium. He was a wide receiver at Virginia in 1987 when the Cavaliers lost to his father's Georgia team.

"It will be strange," said the elder Dooley, who said he's glad he'll be able to watch the Tennessee-Georgia game from his private box at Sanford Stadium.

"No question my wife will be vocal. While I have mixed emotions, inside it will be hard to go against my family. I was with my family before I was with Georgia. But I can assure you it will be a quiet pulling for my son in Sanford Stadium."

After completing his career at Virginia, Derek Dooley earned his law degree from Georgia in 1994 and worked as a lawyer in Atlanta for about two years.

"Then he came and told me he wasn't happy and wanted to coach," Vince said. "I started arguing with him, but they teach you to argue in law school, plus he was on the debate team, so I lost that debate in about 15 seconds. He has taken his own path on some occasions."

Dooley said he "might slip up to Knoxville" to watch his son on the sideline on weekends when Georgia is on the road. He wasn't ready to commit to wearing orange on those visits.

Dooley wore a Louisiana Tech shirt for Derek's first game as a head coach, but he said it would have to be "a very special occasion" for him to wear orange. Even then he says he'd wear Tennessee's colors "very conservatively."

Added Dooley: "It'd take me a long time to be able to adjust to that."

He said Barbara won't hesitate about wearing orange to support her youngest child.

"Derek is the baby," Dooley said. "They have had extra special relationship. I have to keep reminding her he is not a baby anymore. He is grown up and makes his own decisions."

The youngest Dooley proved that point Friday.

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Comments » 81

VOLsince68 writes:

Geat to hear that.

GO VOLS!!!!!

VOLsince68 writes:

Ooops, great.

Ringside writes:

Awesome. Welcome aboard Dooley family. We wish your son nothing but the best. Go Vols!

TennHillbilly writes:

Will be great to see Vince and Barbara on the Big Orange side of the field.
GBO

TommyJack writes:

Never had a problem with Vince. Always seemed like a good guy.

asleep#212036 writes:

I'll bet the Georgia faithful won't like the last part of that interview but family comes first. Although if my son played for Alabama, I would still have a terribly hard time sitting at Bryant-Denny wearing crimson : ). Vince is a good man and I think his son is too.

SuckTheseVols98 writes:

Great to hear. I love Dooley's background and have much confidence in his abilities. I expect to see great things on and off the field this year. I hate to see that we lost Kippy, to Pete of all people, but I am very excited to have a coach with a southern accent who respects and honors UT's great traditions! Go Vols and best of luck! (where is Lance Thompson during all this chaos???)

knoxtenor writes:

Hey, Vince! You're not too much older than Monte. Wanna get back in the game?

10SE writes:

This may work out after all.

scvols writes:

Blood is thicker then water.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Never had a problem with Vince. Always seemed like a good guy.

I had a problem with Vince beating us. Didn't like it at all.

murrayvol writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Never had a problem with Vince. Always seemed like a good guy.

The Vols never played Georgia that often prior to division play. Had one memorable encounter with H. Walker & Co. in the early 80s.

one4black writes:

I like to think that Vince's example (Auburn grad who never returned and instead stayed at UGA for all those years) should ease some worries that Derek would bolt UT for UGA (or UVA were he got his undergrad degree) if that opportunity ever came about.

roloyo writes:

in response to murrayvol:

The Vols never played Georgia that often prior to division play. Had one memorable encounter with H. Walker & Co. in the early 80s.

Yeah, And Bill Bates ain't been the same since.

volzcrushm writes:

Dooley slippin' up the holler
Dooley try to make a dollar
Dooley gimme a swaller
And I'll pay you back someday

FearThisElephant writes:

Where the heck is Barbara's comments? You news hounds are missing the boat. I said yesterday that she was DD's secret weapon. If a recruits parents refuse to acknowledge the class of family surrounding the coach then you need to pass on that recruit. I'm pretty sure she has already bought plenty of orange and be aware. She will now become Derek"s and the vol nations foremost supporter and defender. She's smart and very good at identifying whats good and bad in people. Please someone post info about where & when she will be on the air talking all things orange. You guys are going to love her.

tenuscvol writes:

in response to FearThisElephant:

Where the heck is Barbara's comments? You news hounds are missing the boat. I said yesterday that she was DD's secret weapon. If a recruits parents refuse to acknowledge the class of family surrounding the coach then you need to pass on that recruit. I'm pretty sure she has already bought plenty of orange and be aware. She will now become Derek"s and the vol nations foremost supporter and defender. She's smart and very good at identifying whats good and bad in people. Please someone post info about where & when she will be on the air talking all things orange. You guys are going to love her.

Curious how long Finebaum will keep her on his show if she begins spewing consistant praise of Tennessee...To be determimed...

GBO!

NorthwestVol writes:

Come on Vince, get yourself a big ol orange hoodie.

Seriously though, Vince does bring an additional sense of history and tradition, even if it is tinged in red. Welcome aboard to both he and Barbara.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to FearThisElephant:

Where the heck is Barbara's comments? You news hounds are missing the boat. I said yesterday that she was DD's secret weapon. If a recruits parents refuse to acknowledge the class of family surrounding the coach then you need to pass on that recruit. I'm pretty sure she has already bought plenty of orange and be aware. She will now become Derek"s and the vol nations foremost supporter and defender. She's smart and very good at identifying whats good and bad in people. Please someone post info about where & when she will be on the air talking all things orange. You guys are going to love her.

You are right on. Barbara Dooley is a trip. She toyed with running for the U.S. Senate in Georgia and had she followed through, she probably would have won. She's funny and intelligent and now she's on OUR side.

WiseProfessor writes:

Coaching Vols will be dress rehearsal before moving on to Georgia to coach the Bulldogs. Long live UGA.

FearThisElephant writes:

in response to tenuscvol:

Curious how long Finebaum will keep her on his show if she begins spewing consistant praise of Tennessee...To be determimed...

GBO!

You are right. I can't wait until next October when she's on Jaw's show wearing us Bama fans out. I think she will continue to be on from time to time. She has a vast knowledge of SEC and football in general. I loved it last year when she told Finebaum to "leave Derek alone" when the Auwburn job cam open. Smart woman.

vols1961 writes:

Hey vince come an coach a little longer your still great. Need a job. You could be a lot better than Monte.
Go Big Orange.

tomkats3242 writes:

Way to go Hamiliton. You hire my son and I will hire yours. Another Doug Dickey trick. After all you were his hand picked boy to replace him. FIRE Hamiliton and quit asking for money. You have gotten enough from us.

andy112382#209793 writes:

Vince played at Auburn then coached at Georgia, so he should be familiar with coaching for who use to be a rival.

By the way, for some reason a lot of UGA fans are bitter with Derek...before now...I work with a former UGA WR that said it has to do with Dereks call for his dad to be able to stay AD at UGA for as long as he wanted as they tried to get rid of him.

txvolsfan writes:

I love his mom, she is on Finebaum a lot and that lady is a nut!!! She is very proud of her sons though!!!

navarrebeachvol writes:

in response to WiseProfessor:

Coaching Vols will be dress rehearsal before moving on to Georgia to coach the Bulldogs. Long live UGA.

your boys got dressed down this year by a scumbag. look out for next year! UGA on the way up, UT on the way down. We'll wave when we pass by :-)

senna22#338733 writes:

"Dooley, the former longtime Georgia coach and athletic director, says it would have to be “a very special occasion” for him to wear orange. Even then he says he’d wear Tennessee’s colors “very conservatively.”"

Does this mean that Vince won't be wearing orange overalls with orange and white bebops?

Orange_Crush writes:

in response to navarrebeachvol:

your boys got dressed down this year by a scumbag. look out for next year! UGA on the way up, UT on the way down. We'll wave when we pass by :-)

I think you said it backwards...

10cvolnga writes:

Barbara Dooly is a HOOT. You're going to love her!

Thunderstorm writes:

This is perhaps the worst hire in Tennessee's storied history. 17-20 at LA Tech? A winning percentage of .459! 1 in 4 Vol fans are dead set against this poor hire! Hope Vince stays in Athens & he decides to go back into law!

movol53 writes:

Some folks, as I've been reading, are afraid that
Neyland will not be full. But I'd pay to see V. Dooley wearing ORANGE!!! I've been around long enough to remember those Tn/Ga wars when Vince was coach.

WestTennVol writes:

The more layers of SEC history and lore we roll into this thing, the more fun we are going to have with it. Go Big Orange!!

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

I feel like we are going through what Alabama went through in the years between Gene Stallings and Nick Saban. They had 6 head coaches during that 11 year period. Dooley will be our third head coach in three years, and he was a quick hire after a 2 1/2 day panic-driven search by Hamilton so he could have a head coach under contract by Friday to meet with the incoming recruits. I hope this gamble works out, but I can't join the chorus and say this was a great hire just because he's the candidate that Hamilton could get to sign in that short time. Maybe we'll be lucky, but I think we need to prepare for a long bumpy ride.

movol53 writes:

I always have considered north georgia to bee "southern" Tennessee. So I guess, our new head coach is from Tennessee after all.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to WiseProfessor:

Coaching Vols will be dress rehearsal before moving on to Georgia to coach the Bulldogs. Long live UGA.

woof woof

crimsonviper writes:

in response to WestTennVol:

The more layers of SEC history and lore we roll into this thing, the more fun we are going to have with it. Go Big Orange!!

true that.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to txvolsfan:

I love his mom, she is on Finebaum a lot and that lady is a nut!!! She is very proud of her sons though!!!

I met her years ago.She is a riot and a first class lady..Vol fans will love her.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to AthensHomerDawg:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think you are right.
If he starts to build something at UT he will see it through.
I look forward to seeing him bring the Vols back to where they belong...The SEC is a lot better place now than it was a few days ago...IMO

volsfan327 writes:

Welcome Coach Dooley! Now lets give our opponents some good ole "Mountain Doo" this season! Go Vols

Bloodrunzorange writes:

Vince and Johnny having a drink together??? Funny! Go Vols!!

SIMSVOL writes:

wise professor -
don't think so teach. Dooley is smarter than that - knows he's got a great thing at UT - will be a strong program and kick UGA's a** every year.

FearThisElephant writes:

in response to AthensHomerDawg:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dawg. Georgia, LSWho, & Bama all had a shot some day at Derek. That's gone now. You, a dawg fan, should know this family is all about loyalty. They would not leave Athens no matter how much Auwburn begged even though they were AU grads. I would never expect Vince to wear UT orange but Barb probably has already acquired a new colored wardrobe. I do think this hire effects the dawgs more than anyone else. Most of these Georgia kids parents should remember Vince and the grandparents surely will. With a National Championship ring on his finger, the Dooley name, and the opportunity to come to UT and play early; Georgia kids are going to listen. I do think its weird that UT just got a whole lot of instant respect from us Bama fans and the other SEC schools when they hired DD. Who in the world would have thought that a couple of weeks ago?

NeylandWest writes:

in response to volzcrushm:

Dooley slippin' up the holler
Dooley try to make a dollar
Dooley gimme a swaller
And I'll pay you back someday

Didn't he have two daughters and a 40 gallon still?

Southland writes:

in response to roloyo:

Yeah, And Bill Bates ain't been the same since.

that is right Bill Bates got ran over but sure has done well in the pros still around and still making money must not have affected him to much

utnut#215669 writes:

in response to FearThisElephant:

Dawg. Georgia, LSWho, & Bama all had a shot some day at Derek. That's gone now. You, a dawg fan, should know this family is all about loyalty. They would not leave Athens no matter how much Auwburn begged even though they were AU grads. I would never expect Vince to wear UT orange but Barb probably has already acquired a new colored wardrobe. I do think this hire effects the dawgs more than anyone else. Most of these Georgia kids parents should remember Vince and the grandparents surely will. With a National Championship ring on his finger, the Dooley name, and the opportunity to come to UT and play early; Georgia kids are going to listen. I do think its weird that UT just got a whole lot of instant respect from us Bama fans and the other SEC schools when they hired DD. Who in the world would have thought that a couple of weeks ago?

the dawgs should remember their coach is from miami, the "U" and alot of their players are from florida

DennisVols writes:

Vince Dooley was always a man and a coach with class. He was young unknown and unproven when GA took a chance on him and received 1 national championship and 6 SEC titles.
We can only hope that his son is that successful at UT. It is the unknown about the younger Dooley that has many of us uneasy right now. We have witnessed a time at UT like no other before. Our trust has been stomped on, our traditions thrown to the side and our image bruised by and idiot who cared only for himself. Our hopes were high, probably too high. Kiffin took advantage of the UT nation. The 4 years prior UT football and its fan base had suffered through some of the darkest periods in recent memory. We got sucker-punched by a quick talking used car salesman (don’t mean to insult used car sales people) because our collective hunger to get back to the top clouded our judgment. Unfortunately so did a lot of young men who chose UT over other opportunities.
Dooley has the challenge of not only returning UT back to the top of the toughest conference in the country he must also repair an image that Kiffin never embraced but rather tossed to the side just to better himself.
Dooley deserves a chance and the support from the Vol nation, but he must also understand that, that trust we once gave w/o reservation now will not come so easily.
Keeping it Real
Go Vols!!!

USMCVOL4LIF writes:

in response to AthensHomerDawg:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Old habits are hard to break.

516milesfromUT writes:

I am going to cheer you on too. i took my time endorsing this hire, and now i do. I was really torn over the Fulmer thing. Wanting him to go, wanting him to stay, but in the end it was his time to go. When our coaching search was going on last year, i feared the Kiffin hire because of his lack or wins as a head coach. about mid season though i realized he could coach. I was sold on him when he reacted to Wes Browns pick 6.He really seemed like one of us, he looked like he cared. = FAIL! I think this could be what we really need now. He is a class guy. I have seen more than one person on here say that all the great coaches start somewhere. I look to the day when it is said that DD was a legend at Tennessee. GO BIG ORANGE!!!

ncvol17 writes:

Vince will show the class that Archie did during Peyton's years.

roloyo writes:

in response to Southland:

that is right Bill Bates got ran over but sure has done well in the pros still around and still making money must not have affected him to much

I agree, but that was one of the hardest hits I've ever seen.
GBO

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