Hooker: Dooley's focus: shape a class for the long term

Dave Hooker

Derek Dooley's recruiting plan is as clear as a bell.

A bell curve that is.

The first-year Tennessee football coach realizes there is no perfect prospect. Some have immense talent but questionable character. Some have solid moral fiber but lack upper-level skills.

Dooley will take a little of both, but most prospects he signs will fit somewhere in the middle.

"I think it's important to shape a recruiting class for the long term," Dooley said. "Every player has things they do well and things they don't do well. Every player has some risk associated with them. As you shape together 25 players, I think it's important to balance your investment, if you will. You're sort of hedging to create continuity and consistency over time."

"You'd like to take as few risks as you can. But inevitably there are some great players that might have some risks associated with them. Well, it's important that you don't take too many of those guys. Inevitably there are some marginal players that are high risk. I think it's important that you don't take any of those guys."

Then, there are the players who might not be the most talented, but will make UT fans proud off the field. That's the type of player Dooley has repeatedly said he'll take more often than not.

"Building a core of players that form the heart and soul of your team, that bleed orange, maybe they're not a headline five-star (prospect)," Dooley said, "but they're going to come in and they're going to put their heart into the program."

Dooley has seen those types of players consistently improve throughout their college careers. Some are back-ups. Some will eventually become starters. Some will even become stars through hard work.

In other words, Dooley is about the exact opposite of former UT coach Lane Kiffin, who was all about landing the most talented players possible and getting them on the field quickly.

That, however, can backfire. Why is tailback Bryce Brown disenchanted with UT? He's not talking, but there are some within UT's football program who believe he wishes he would have played more in 2009, despite senior Montario Hardesty's standout season.

Kiffin wanted to explode onto the scene. Dooley, as he's said many times, wants to build from a solid foundation with solid players that have talent and character. Those will represent the bulk of the players in the middle of the bell curve.

"They form the core of your team," Dooley said. "That's not an easy thing to do, but that's something you need to do to build consistency over time."

Dooley knows that some UT recruiting fans are concerned, if not up in arms, over the Vols' slow start to the 2011 class. UT has only two public commitments.

Dooley, however, isn't worried. He isn't one to get emotional during the recruiting process. The highs and lows are part of the journey.

"I think it's a little bit my nature, but I think that's also how we were at LSU," Dooley said of his approach. "We stayed the course. When I recruited kids individually I never got emotional during the process. I built the relationship.

"I think what the player sees is a real consistent behavior and a consistent message that the right kind of guys will gravitate to. Now, that's not going to win all types of players. Some players are going to be more wooed by the flash and the bling. Well, that's not my style. Does that mean we may lose a player or two? Maybe so.

"But I think over the long haul we'll have as many good players (as other teams) and they'll be better representatives of Tennessee."

Now, don't think for a second that Dooley can't land great prospects. He did so last February with receivers Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter and offensive lineman James Stone.

And don't assume that Dooley's unemotional approach means he's not enthusiastic. No, he's not going to throw a party or a wake based on one prospect's decision, but he will keep fighting until February.

"You don't look for the daily public opinion poll," he said. "I couldn't care less about the daily public opinion poll. I just want to win the election and the election is on signing day."

Dooley is aware of the fan concern. But he knew a slow start was inevitable. The Vols spent the last two weeks before National Signing Day securing a solid 2010 class while other schools were working on junior prospects.

His expectations for early success in recruiting are much different than fans waiting for a positive Internet post.

"I don't think, this year, that any of us expected to get out of the gate right away," said Dooley, who added that all but two of his assistant coaches (Lance Thompson and Jim Chaney) were new to the prospects they're recruiting.

"They have no idea who these people are and they're not going to know until we get face to face," Dooley said. "To think they're just going to jump in and start committing, we're fooling ourselves a little bit.

"Of the players who have come on campus, we've gotten very positive response. So I think the more players that we get here over time, we'll certainly make up ground."

The move to focus so heavily on 2010 was a necessary, calculated risk. And one that Dooley isn't second-guessing.

"I didn't have a choice because I knew that the guys we signed (in 2010) were going to impact this program for four years," Dooley said. "And so I felt like I would rather make up time over the course of 365 days (for the 2011 class).

"I did zero on juniors (when he was first hired). Now, some of the other (assistant) coaches were out doing some things but I put all my attention on getting the players we could get on signing day. And I don't regret it, because we had a helluva finish."

Dave Hooker covers recruiting. He may be reached at hookerd@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 74

GerryOP writes:

Good read. An in-depth interview describing the Dooley-way of doing bidness! Sounds like this Dooley dude guy has a firm handle on the controls and knows what he is doing.

Anybody not already on board better hop on. Got a feeling the Dooley-bus is going to fill up fast!

118 -- Fear The Dooley Dude...

Ironcity writes:

I hope your right but to say I am concerned would be an understatement. Curious to see what X has to say tomorrow on Basillo's blog. He usually has good insight.

rockydog writes:

Well, I hope this clears things up for some people. I am like everyone else and wish we had 22 5-star studs lined up already, but that is fantasy. Dooley had a good finish last year with little time. We, as fans, need to give him some time to fully implement his plan. Although his process may cause a little anxiety as compared to other programs, it sounds concrete and well- thought out. Rome wasn't built in a day, and the UT program won't be rebuilt in a day, month, or even a year. Here's to looking for brighter days ahead. Go Vols!

dvhill100 writes:

We seem to have the correct HC. Only time and victories will tell.

sambad writes:

He will do well.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

I like this guy more and more. And I'm not 'drinking the kool-aid' as some say. I know 2010 will be tough to even get to .500.

Let's give him a chance.

tiredvolfan writes:

Well here we go again a player wants to change schools, so lets make it almost impossible for him to do that even if its cost him his education, but keep the one thats breaks the law that fine. i was really thinking he might be different guess not.Verytiredfan

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

I know it's just words so call me a fool. But this Dooley cat really inspires me. I understand that the VolNation wants instant results(i.e. lots of wins). This may or may not happen in 2010. I don't know. With the inexperience and lack of depth it wouldn't seem likely. But Coach Dooley seems to bring something to the table that could defy the obvious. Something intangible. We as sports fans have seen time and time again groups of ordinary athletes accomplish extraordinary feats. It's that core group that Dooley alludes to. That group that sells out and gives everything that have on the field on Saturdays. What inspires them to do that? What brings out the very best of an athlete? Whatever it is, I truly believe that Coach Dooley possesses it. We just saw in the NCAA Tourney that Coach Pearl possesses it. If you build the foundation solid the house will stand firmly. Somebody higher than us gave us that principle. So Coach Dooley build the character, build the talent, build these young men, build that foundation. Tennessee shall stand firmly as it has for many years. I'm pretty excited about the construction crew. GO VOLS!

Georgia_Dave writes:

Georgia Dave still believes 7-5 record in 2010. But if it's not that good, we believe this well thought out approach will win in time. Much better than last year's flash-in-a-pan approach. Wish B. Brown would stay, but we're going to be fine without him. I just hope we get some big horses in front line to protect QB and open holes for RB's. And don't forget posters, 1st 2 committs for 2011 are from GEORGIA!

VolsINFan writes:

Coach Dooley is going to do fine with the '11 recruiting class. He and the coaches were working hard to come from behind to square away the class for this coming season, and had a late jump for next season.

I understand why a lot of us follow the recruiting so much, but a lot of times a verbal means nothing. I put more into when they are signed on the line.

Go Vols!

VolFaninDC writes:

in response to rockydog:

Well, I hope this clears things up for some people. I am like everyone else and wish we had 22 5-star studs lined up already, but that is fantasy. Dooley had a good finish last year with little time. We, as fans, need to give him some time to fully implement his plan. Although his process may cause a little anxiety as compared to other programs, it sounds concrete and well- thought out. Rome wasn't built in a day, and the UT program won't be rebuilt in a day, month, or even a year. Here's to looking for brighter days ahead. Go Vols!

Yeah, the only thing is we've been talking about rebuilding since 2005. How long should it take?

NoSirRee writes:

This time last year everyone was enjoying the breath of fresh air that Kiffin brought along with a little swagger. Now that we got burned, in what I saw as a perfect storm (his dream job happened to be available to him given USC's likely trouble). And yes, despite objections to the contrary USC is a considerable step up from Tennessee at this point. OMG, yes I said it! What's wrong with me!?!?!? Oh yeah, thats right I'm not a fan and a miserable person, blah blah blah. If you have to resort to name calling... Now everyone is so shy about a new coach Mike Hamilton backtracks so far the other way we end up with this empty suit. The most annoying part to me is the wasted time we'll spend under Dooley. Can't we take a page out of Alabama's handbook under how to not spend a decade hiring Mike Shula type coaches?

cloudodust writes:

Okay. A mix of Wally Cleavers' and Evil Roy Slade's will do...and don't forget to make a nice donation to local law enforcement. Hey, it works for Urbie...

DaddyVol writes:

Let's get excited. Only about 104 days til

"IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE"

orangecountyvols writes:

2 people Will Rogers never net...........Biggunzz
and NoSirRee

AtlantaTide writes:

How can anyone not like this guy? I sincerely respect CDD's approach which of course reminds me of another excellent HC not well liked on this site. Laying a foundation 'on the fast track' simply does not work well. He may win, he may win big, but the man will not be a loser. And that's from his peers...

Southland writes:

Kiffin a breath of fresh air?????? you've got to be kidding. A breath of hot air and he brought out the worst kind of fans of Tennessee. I said from the start Kiffin would bolt to the West Coast if he did a fair job and a job came open there. I had no idea USC would come open and it is foolish to be honest for them to hire him as coach. They will long regret that decision. To compare Dooley and MIke Shula is unfair. Shula didnt have an ounce of class. Dooley does. Will Dooley leave UT for Georgia since we all know Ritch is in trouble. No. Dooley might fail at UT but he will not take the Georgia job even if he looks good at UT.

Cldvols1 writes:

Dooley is a man of character and will recruit those types of players to carry out his plan. I have all the faith in the world in CDD and his staff. Anyone who calls themselves a Vol fan and says otherwise is in fact not a TRUE Vol fan! GBO

Halls3 writes:

in response to MYFAVORITECOLOR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sorry but NSR is right. USC is a step of from UT right now. Just look at your reasoning. 2 to 3 losses per year is top 4 or 5 in the SEC & UT is towards the middle to back of the pack. And yes Dooley did do good at LA Tech in a short period, 17-20 is just what UT needs. Dude come on. How long are UT fans gonna let this idiocracy from Hamilton to continue. He's taken a program that when first hired was expected to compete for national titles & now has it to just trying to get into a bowl game. Like NSR said, UT has hit the late 90s early 00s of Alabama. The question is, how long will it take to get out of it & will Hamilton still be around to see it. I say 6 years, 4 of Dooley being mediocre & 2 rebuilding with a solid coach who brings UT back. This is just my opinion & maybe I'm wrong but I don't see how 17-20 at LA Tech translates to Ws in the SEC.

Halls3 writes:

in response to Southland:

Kiffin a breath of fresh air?????? you've got to be kidding. A breath of hot air and he brought out the worst kind of fans of Tennessee. I said from the start Kiffin would bolt to the West Coast if he did a fair job and a job came open there. I had no idea USC would come open and it is foolish to be honest for them to hire him as coach. They will long regret that decision. To compare Dooley and MIke Shula is unfair. Shula didnt have an ounce of class. Dooley does. Will Dooley leave UT for Georgia since we all know Ritch is in trouble. No. Dooley might fail at UT but he will not take the Georgia job even if he looks good at UT.

Southland 80% of UT fans, not upset by Fulmer's firing, loved Kiffin. Ate up every word & didn't listen to reasonable people, like you & myself, who said what Kiffin truly was. Go find my posts about Kiffin, I said he would bolt immediately & was chastised for it. Of course now that 80% have back-tracked b/c apparently everybody really hated what Kiffin stood for. Kiffin took his dream job, you know, the one everyone would bolt their 9-5 for in a heartbeat, mine being sports broadcasting which will never happen. I think Kiffin b/c he knows the atmosphere will unfortunately succeed at USC but mainly b/c of what Pete Carroll has built, kinda like the next guy at Florida or Bama would succeed b/c of the success of Meyer & Saban. As for the Dooley/Shula comparison, I think it is fair. Both sons of famous coaches, both unproven & put into big time situations, one failed & the other has a good chance of doing so. And yes I know Dooley is a Saban disciple but that don't mean a hill of beans when it comes to Xs & Os on gameday & his record speaks volumes for me. Now had it been Peterson from Boise State, he dominated the WAC & BCS from the time he got their, Dooley struggled in his 1st & 3rd season. The 3rd season struggles bother me. At that point 75% of the team is yours so that reflects on you, but again this is all just one person's opinion on a planet with over 6 billion opinions so if no one likes it that's fine but I'd be willing to bet at least 30-40% of UT fans think the way I do about this whole situation & another 20 or so are indifferent at this point.

nola_vol writes:

For fans, the journey TO the top is far more satisfying than starting the season expected to vie for the NC. If you're a Bama fan, all you have to look forward to this season is meeting expectations--no chance to exceed them and no chance to surprise anyone. All season long, 80% of sports talk in B'ham will be about which players are under-achieving.

How many times next Fall will Bama fans be feeling miserable while holding a halftime lead? "Good games"--where the score is close and every down counts--will be "terrible" games for Bama fans, all because they start the season with high expectations. The best Bama fans can hope for at the end of this season is to sigh, "Whew... we made it." Even if they have a great January in 2011... they will be miserable all Fall, even being successful.

The most enjoyment you'll ever have as a fan is that rebuilding season when you're expected to win 6 and your team pulls out 9 wins and goes to a nice bowl. When you talk about individual players, it'll be what a great game they had, and how they're improving, and the "surprising" performances will be good performances.

2010. The glass is half full. It's a great time to be a Vol!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to fourthbestinseceast:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL.

Hope it doesn't turn into Fort Apache The Bronx.

Down_The_Field writes:

congrats hooker! your starting to break the "gloom and doom" trend that's the KNS staff has for this program.

TommyJack writes:

It was a good Hooker piece, IMO.

striker4545 writes:

Dooley's focus: Win enough games to not get fired. Bonus focus, if you do win enough force the University to pay millions more to keep you or simply take the best offer that comes along.

rockydog writes:

in response to VolFaninDC:

Yeah, the only thing is we've been talking about rebuilding since 2005. How long should it take?

Unfortunately, it is going to take more time than either of us would like. That happens when you have to keep changing architects. We are on our third coach since 2005. One couldn't cut it anymore, one left, and one is a work in progress. Its been trying, but keep the faith. I truly believe we have the right man at the helm now. Even if you disagree (and that is your right), support the Vols. Let's show all the outsiders that we are standing together and standing strong. Go Vols!

tnsportsman writes:

IMO Coach Dooley is doing all the right things in building Tennessee back to SEC championship caliber.

If I have a worry it's recruiting on this article's explanation of CDD's methododology. Sure we all want nice upstanding young men playing for UT, but the world of sports unfortunately is taking the risk with these highly talented players with personal issues. All the winning team for the most part do, FL, AL, OR, OK to name a few. Maybe CDD can break this mode, I certianly hope so!

IMO, CDD's abilities are X's & O's, Details, Sideline Coaching, Hard Nose, Hard Hitting football. This will win football games at UT!

I'm still holding firm on 8 or more regular season wins this year!

GO VOLS!

gnm53108 writes:

Thanks for the article Dave.

Good read.

TLepage writes:

we will probably go 5-7 or 6-6 next year.... Realistically, thats the best we could do with ANY COACH.... Dooley and his staff are here now, and it is what it is... We as fans, need to sit back and watch.... Whether you liked the hire or not, we need to give Dooley three years and see what he can do.... I hope works out, but it may not..... Only time will tell..... And i think we should apply the same philosophy to this year's recruiting class.... All we can do is what until signing day.... In the end, none of us know how well he will recruit at UT and if he will win here.... I was skeptical of the hire at first, but i've realized that what's done is done and as a fan all i can do is cheer for my team and hope for the best.....

givehim6 writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I was going to post the same thing he sounds like a young Phil, I'm sure lots of Phil Fulmer fans will see the resemblance in philosophy. Phil was able to get the Vols to a very good place within 4 to 5 years of taking over. Might see another NC.

NeylandWest writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think he sounds like Dooley.

I like that.

Pullingguard writes:

Well come February 2011 we will get a road map of where the vols are headed, either to the Seminary for some years to come or to winning football in the SEC.. Recruiting players who have good character and solid moral fiber is like a bride seeking a husband, but come time for support, advancement, and performance it does not always work out... And fans will not be doing much back slapping, saying; but he is a good boy with fine character, that is; if they are not winning.... Lets just hope Coach Dooley is highly successful, time will tell.

TommyJack writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

2 people Will Rogers never net...........Biggunzz
and NoSirRee

and Luke LaDuka. (AKA FHCPF)

PennVol writes:

Bottom line - Dooley will be measured by wins. If we can do it with solid character and building a strong foundation - great! If this approach doesn't produce wins, we'll be looking for another coach in a few years. We all know that. Somehow we gotta get the talent coming to UT to compete in the SEC.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

I’m not going to sit here and lay final judgment on Dooley until I’ve seen him coaching games. However, I’m pleased with his approach thus far. I think what I like most about him is that he’s not telling Vol fans what they WANT to hear… he’s telling fans what they NEED to hear. That takes some serious gumption when speaking to SEC fans. Plus, I think he understands the concept of being successful (i.e. establish a foundation first). Kiffin came in (and yes, I drank the Kool-aid… but have since pee’d it away) and said what appeared to be all the right things to charge us up. But the fact of the matter is his focus was not in the right place. He was essentially putting the cart before the horse. He wanted to go after all the great talent, but never spent the time to determine if that talent was the right fit long term (coaches and players). He didn’t take time to build relationships… he forced them. Dooley is much more methodical in his approach and I think long term it will pay dividends.

On this site however, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you predict a good season, the trolls and ‘Fulmer-lovers’ are jumping down your throat telling you you’re not being realistic. If you predict a subpar season, the fans with blinders on are telling you that you’re a pessimist and not a true Vol fan. Then of course there are those who just want to blame Hamilton for everything.

None of us (or at least I’m assuming so) are psychics and fortune tellers… well except maybe WitchDoctor :) I think we have the potential to be a good team this year, but there are too many big question marks to know for sure. Lack of depth and experience certainly does not make a good equation for success, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t be either. When Bama started the season in ’08 at 12-0 it took everyone by surprise seeing how they went 7-5 the year prior. So I don’t think it’s impossible to pull of a good season, but realistically it may take a little time to get there. Give the guy a chance to prove himself before you start labeling this a bad hire, or to fire Hamilton, or whatever other knee-jerk reactions you’re calling for. And to all the opposing fans who come to this site… I think it’s pretty clear that you’re never going away, but just remember that your teams were once in the crapper as well, and it’s not unlikely that you’ll end up back there again at some point. Enjoy your success, but maintain a little humility.

richvol writes:

in response to Cldvols1:

Dooley is a man of character and will recruit those types of players to carry out his plan. I have all the faith in the world in CDD and his staff. Anyone who calls themselves a Vol fan and says otherwise is in fact not a TRUE Vol fan! GBO

I like Dooley and his approach to coaching and I never felt comfortable with Kiffin as he embarrassed Tennessee on an almost daily basis with his foolish remarks.

One can still be a fan even if they don't like Dooley but a lot of these fans can never be pleased and some others are just ignorant about football.

Dooley will win and he will do it the right way...one that we can be proud of.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to NoSirRee:

This time last year everyone was enjoying the breath of fresh air that Kiffin brought along with a little swagger. Now that we got burned, in what I saw as a perfect storm (his dream job happened to be available to him given USC's likely trouble). And yes, despite objections to the contrary USC is a considerable step up from Tennessee at this point. OMG, yes I said it! What's wrong with me!?!?!? Oh yeah, thats right I'm not a fan and a miserable person, blah blah blah. If you have to resort to name calling... Now everyone is so shy about a new coach Mike Hamilton backtracks so far the other way we end up with this empty suit. The most annoying part to me is the wasted time we'll spend under Dooley. Can't we take a page out of Alabama's handbook under how to not spend a decade hiring Mike Shula type coaches?

Folks, and i'm seriously about this one, post like this really give me encouragement....really...I have been around long enough as some of you to remember landing many 5*'s that never panned out and some who never made it to campus....Looking back, we have had far more success with the "middle of the curve" type athletes in years past...and i think CDD is the man to slowly build that base...thats why i really dont like the one and doners in Baskeball very much...it just doesnt build loyality into a program thats so important...Do any of us really think these at UK are loyal to the wildcats program? No! they got what they wanted and are moving on...well close...no championship...but they werent there long enough to even know where the library is...so lighten up on CDD...this is a marathon...not a sprint...

richvol writes:

in response to nola_vol:

For fans, the journey TO the top is far more satisfying than starting the season expected to vie for the NC. If you're a Bama fan, all you have to look forward to this season is meeting expectations--no chance to exceed them and no chance to surprise anyone. All season long, 80% of sports talk in B'ham will be about which players are under-achieving.

How many times next Fall will Bama fans be feeling miserable while holding a halftime lead? "Good games"--where the score is close and every down counts--will be "terrible" games for Bama fans, all because they start the season with high expectations. The best Bama fans can hope for at the end of this season is to sigh, "Whew... we made it." Even if they have a great January in 2011... they will be miserable all Fall, even being successful.

The most enjoyment you'll ever have as a fan is that rebuilding season when you're expected to win 6 and your team pulls out 9 wins and goes to a nice bowl. When you talk about individual players, it'll be what a great game they had, and how they're improving, and the "surprising" performances will be good performances.

2010. The glass is half full. It's a great time to be a Vol!

Great and accurate insight...

tmartin writes:

Did he say, "Stay the Course"???????

bspurlingcac#225603 writes:

If Dooley is a good coach he will win at Tennessee in 2-4 years. If he is a great coach he will win Championships in 3-5 years. If he is average he will get fired in 4-5 years.

It is my hope that he is a good to great coach and we that we all can see that by the way the players respond on the field.

He said it himself...It is a great place to coach. Tennessee has everything to offer and should be a championship program again. Time will tell....Go Vols!!!

TommyJack writes:

in response to NoSirRee:

This time last year everyone was enjoying the breath of fresh air that Kiffin brought along with a little swagger. Now that we got burned, in what I saw as a perfect storm (his dream job happened to be available to him given USC's likely trouble). And yes, despite objections to the contrary USC is a considerable step up from Tennessee at this point. OMG, yes I said it! What's wrong with me!?!?!? Oh yeah, thats right I'm not a fan and a miserable person, blah blah blah. If you have to resort to name calling... Now everyone is so shy about a new coach Mike Hamilton backtracks so far the other way we end up with this empty suit. The most annoying part to me is the wasted time we'll spend under Dooley. Can't we take a page out of Alabama's handbook under how to not spend a decade hiring Mike Shula type coaches?

The question is, how do you KNOW this is a Shula type hire? Hmmm? Picked any good lottery numbers lately? Do you read Tarot cards?

snoopbob87 writes:

I would love for the UT coach to be able to build a team with character and performance. IMO he will not be able to win enough games to satisfy the Vol nation. Alabama, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss,and Auburn are so far ahead of us with skill players and killer speed that we may not be able to even keep it close. We must have someone that can recruit, right now. Otherwise we will be looking at just coming close it games.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to MYFAVORITECOLOR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I take it you were being sarcastic when you said "look what he did at LT in a short period of time." Going 4-8 in the WAC? Like it or not, USC is the premier coaching job in college football, and it has nothing to do with how well they might do in the SEC. Location, prestige, media market (also the media darling). They could have taken just about any coach they wanted. They didn't come after Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Les Myles, Mark Richt, Steve Spurier or Houston Nutt. They wanted Lane Kiffin. It nearly caused a riot on campus. Why? Because we were losing a bad coach? Before USC took Kiffin from us, 99% of the posters thought he was the best thing that ever happened to UT. Now, we're all glad he's gone, right?

FWBVol writes:

in response to amyinsparta:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CDD didn't say he will never recruit any great players with some character issues. What he said was, "You'd like to take as few risks as you can. But inevitably there are some great players that might have some risks associated with them. Well, it's important that you don't take too many of those guys."

I think this is the sensibile approach. NuKese Richardson, Bryce Brown etc. had great star power, but we will never see it on the field in Neyland.

Yes, we need great players, but only if they will be around three or four years and stay out of trouble.

99gator writes:

i know its the offseason and there is nothing else going on......

however, kiffin said things that made fans happy and now (while different) dooley is saying things fans want to hear and people are happy.

as someone mentioned earlier, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

time will tell. the question is, will people stand by dooley while tennessee takes its lumps for a couple of years.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

I take it you were being sarcastic when you said "look what he did at LT in a short period of time." Going 4-8 in the WAC? Like it or not, USC is the premier coaching job in college football, and it has nothing to do with how well they might do in the SEC. Location, prestige, media market (also the media darling). They could have taken just about any coach they wanted. They didn't come after Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Les Myles, Mark Richt, Steve Spurier or Houston Nutt. They wanted Lane Kiffin. It nearly caused a riot on campus. Why? Because we were losing a bad coach? Before USC took Kiffin from us, 99% of the posters thought he was the best thing that ever happened to UT. Now, we're all glad he's gone, right?

I agree with alot of your post, but I think Kiffin took the job because he liked S Cal area, and he was taking alot of heat from some people for how he conducted himself and how he was allowing the NCAA to set its sights out for UT. Kiffin was not USC first choice as you make it out though, and people were rioting(if you want to call it that) because he screwed UT right before signing day. I hated the Kiffin hire and critcized him about alot of things and took heat for it, but alot of people felt the same as I did about him. He lost 6 games and got blown out by VT and Ole Miss with lots of talent to work with. He underachieved and lied and cheated. I still dont know why so many Vols fans blindly supported him. As for Dooley, he was a desperation hire too(just like USC and Kiffin) so I hope he can get the job done at a major program in a major conference. If he's not competing for the SEC by year 3, he wont see year 4. UT fans will never be happy with under 10 wins once a coach has established himself.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to 99gator:

i know its the offseason and there is nothing else going on......

however, kiffin said things that made fans happy and now (while different) dooley is saying things fans want to hear and people are happy.

as someone mentioned earlier, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

time will tell. the question is, will people stand by dooley while tennessee takes its lumps for a couple of years.

This one will...Just not convinced the Vols are gonna be the ones taking all the lumps the next couple of years.

GerryOP writes:

in response to gnm53108:

This one will...Just not convinced the Vols are gonna be the ones taking all the lumps the next couple of years.

I'm with you gnm, I don't think things are as bleak as some folks think.

117 -- Fear The Dooley Dude...

Smokey_Told_Me writes:

in response to The_Four_Horsemen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The bell that Coach Fulmer was most clear on was the "Dinner Bell". LOL.

... Smokey knows where the bones are buried.

NashvillePreds writes:

Recruit players who have a solid character, and may not be the most talented on the field?????

I'm looking for a reason to believe, I really am.

Dooley = ZERO SEC Championships

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