Derek Dooley emphasizes support to high school coaches

Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley gave a warm welcome Friday to high school coaches and administrators at the Knox County Coaches' Kickoff Luncheon at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Dooley also gave them a couple of good laughs.

During a 3-plus minute speech, Dooley told the coaches he was all for having the Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic Kickoff Classic jamboree on Aug. 11 at Tennessee's Neyland Stadium — with a little caveat attached to it.

"I'm glad you all started it, and you've certainly got my support," Dooley said. "Just don't tear up the fields too much (laughter), but if you do, we've got a lot of money, we can fix 'em, so that's the good news (more laughter), and I'll be breathing down our groundskeeper's neck to make sure it's right for the first game."

UT's season opener is Sept. 3 against Montana at Neyland Stadium.

The Vols were 6-7 last season, 3-5 in the SEC, and ended with a 30-27 double-overtime loss to North Carolina in the Music City Bowl.

Dooley said optimism looms large with all programs at this time of the year.

"This is the best time for a coach," he said. "We're undefeated, the fans are excited, we're gonna win 'em all, and we're the same way at Tennessee. We're really excited about our season. I think we're going to be a fun team to watch, not that we're going to come out there looking like a big-time team, but I think we're going to get to that point because we have so much youth on our team, and watching them grow and develop and to see how quickly they're going to help bring this program back to the standards of what the fans have, I'm looking forward to it. It's going to happen, I don't know when, but I appreciate all the support you guys (have for) our program, and anything you guys need from us, don't hesitate to pick up the phone."

Dooley said recruiting in-state talent is high on his list.

"I hope that you guys know how supportive we are of high school football, especially in this state," Dooley said. "I'm real proud of the fact that we signed seven guys last year from Tennessee. We want to sign a bunch of guys from Tennessee."

Dave Link is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 27

chattavfl86 writes:

This is a pivotal year for us. We don't need to win them all. That would be naive. However, the team needs to show marked improvement every week so that they can build on it next year for a hopefully stellar 2012 season. GBO!

rockytopwestone writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Amen Brother !

rockytopwestone writes:

in response to Orange_A_Holic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Some of the stupid negitive comments on this sight amaze me. As a 30 plus year Tennessee football fan I say you`re right on target. Preach On !

JV67 writes:

Love what I'm hearing from CDD. The head coach of the top college program in the state really getting involved with the high school coaches is a great way to grow in state talent (plus Dooley seems like a humble and intllegent enough guy that he may learn a thing or two from some them). Grow the talent within TN so we can bring in quality recruits that grew up on The Vols and really care about the program. Dooley gets it people! Get on the Big Orange Bandwagon! GBO!!!

Slystone writes:

Were there any HS Coaches from the Memphis area in attendance?

txvolsfan writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The team knows his expectation!!!
and they are not low, trust me.
DD is very guarded like is mentor Saban and will not risk even the slightest hint of bulletin board material. DD is an attorney and he speaks like one!!!
Why don't you troll on out of here
GO VOLS
TXVOLSFAN

Slystone writes:

in response to 02champs#209256:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You really shouldn't show your maturity on here. My question was legit seeing that several recruits in the Memphis area have chosen other schools outside of UT. Next time read the question an understand the recent events.

dakota10902 writes:

What do you guys think is the biggest hurdle for tennessee coming up this year. I know defense front seven. But is it skill they lack or just amount of defenders?

hamneggs writes:

Here's a news flash for you, we have never recruited Memphis successfully. The whole Albert Means fiasco was due to our inability to recruit Memphis. Derek Dooley is taking a different path by trying to connect with the whole State of Tennessee, not just east and middle. In the long term, Dooley may be able to create solidarity with the part of the State that has been adversarial in the past.

nwcs writes:

It is interesting that Dooley is clearly demonstrating his desire to build a fence around TN instead of just saying it...

pingkr62 writes:

in response to hamneggs:

Here's a news flash for you, we have never recruited Memphis successfully. The whole Albert Means fiasco was due to our inability to recruit Memphis. Derek Dooley is taking a different path by trying to connect with the whole State of Tennessee, not just east and middle. In the long term, Dooley may be able to create solidarity with the part of the State that has been adversarial in the past.

I agree with you about C.D.D. trying to improve relations with coaches and players in the Memphis area, but I need to correct you on a couple of things. First, the Albert Means thing was not because UT could not recruit him, This whole mess was started by his head coach and an Alabama booster named Logan Young. Mr. Young paid Albert Means' coach to "steer" him to Alabama. As the story goes, many of the other schools who were recruiting him backed off his recruitment because it was well known what was going on with Mr. Young and the coach. Secondly, U.T.has had success recruiting the Memphis area even back to the Neyland era. Through out the years, no one school has ever dominated recruiting Memphis due to it's proximity to other schools such as Memphis, Ole Miss, MS State, Vandy, Arkansas and Alabama. Another issue has been Memphis High School prospects could rarely qualify academically.

Slystone writes:

in response to dakota10902:

What do you guys think is the biggest hurdle for tennessee coming up this year. I know defense front seven. But is it skill they lack or just amount of defenders?

Good question Stock - Biggest hurdle will be the October schedule. They have Georgia, Bama, LSU, South Carolina and Buffalo. They go 1 and 4 would be disappointing. Win the home games and play fiercely on the road would indicate Dooley and staff coaching is making the progress we all want to see.

jdcdjc writes:

in response to Slystone:

You really shouldn't show your maturity on here. My question was legit seeing that several recruits in the Memphis area have chosen other schools outside of UT. Next time read the question an understand the recent events.

Believe you are still missing the point, this was "Knox County Coaches Kickoff Luncheon" not Tennessee coaches.

Slystone writes:

I got it, but he desperately needs to connect with the Memphis area coaching system. There is far more talent in Memphis/West Tn these days than in East Tn.

hamneggs writes:

in response to pingkr62:

I agree with you about C.D.D. trying to improve relations with coaches and players in the Memphis area, but I need to correct you on a couple of things. First, the Albert Means thing was not because UT could not recruit him, This whole mess was started by his head coach and an Alabama booster named Logan Young. Mr. Young paid Albert Means' coach to "steer" him to Alabama. As the story goes, many of the other schools who were recruiting him backed off his recruitment because it was well known what was going on with Mr. Young and the coach. Secondly, U.T.has had success recruiting the Memphis area even back to the Neyland era. Through out the years, no one school has ever dominated recruiting Memphis due to it's proximity to other schools such as Memphis, Ole Miss, MS State, Vandy, Arkansas and Alabama. Another issue has been Memphis High School prospects could rarely qualify academically.

Didn't Fulmer get directly involved in the Yount/Means recruitment violation because he was fed up with the Alabama success in Memphis over the years and the means by which they were achieving that success? My point was not that we recruited Albert Means but the way we handled it may have caused more negative results than we bargained for and Dooley's moves may improve our relations there.

Vol4EVA writes:

I can't wait for FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE! Go Big Orange!....I'll hang up and listen to your comments....

jack_2222#231746 writes:

Dooley gets it.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So true!!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to Slystone:

Good question Stock - Biggest hurdle will be the October schedule. They have Georgia, Bama, LSU, South Carolina and Buffalo. They go 1 and 4 would be disappointing. Win the home games and play fiercely on the road would indicate Dooley and staff coaching is making the progress we all want to see.

Of the ones you listen,sir, I think they will win 3 outta 5.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Anyone have an idea on how many years the UT faithful will be satisfied with 7 or 8 wins? I know we haven't won 8 in many years - once we get to 8, will that be enough to hang on to Dooley for 6-7 years? Just wondering. I am still jittery about the recruiting level - I just don't see the potential yet of the recruits he is bringing in. Hope I am surprised with the results.

CincyOhVol writes:

in response to rockytopwestone:

Amen Brother !

Dooley talks a good game but can he coach one?

Four years as a head coach and only one winning season.

I'm not down on Dooley but until he walks his talk I won't be impressed.

rockytopwestone writes:

in response to CincyOhVol:

Dooley talks a good game but can he coach one?

Four years as a head coach and only one winning season.

I'm not down on Dooley but until he walks his talk I won't be impressed.

If not for one stupid mistake ( LSU ) and crazy call ( bowl game ) he would have had a winning season last year. This with a undermaned team that to some degree overachived alot of the time.

BillsBrother writes:

in response to hamneggs:

Didn't Fulmer get directly involved in the Yount/Means recruitment violation because he was fed up with the Alabama success in Memphis over the years and the means by which they were achieving that success? My point was not that we recruited Albert Means but the way we handled it may have caused more negative results than we bargained for and Dooley's moves may improve our relations there.

You are missing the target with your line of thinking. TN has consistently pullled ballplayers out of the Memphis area. Certainly not all of them, but there seem to be a couple each year wearing orange.

VolGrad writes:

in response to dakota10902:

What do you guys think is the biggest hurdle for tennessee coming up this year. I know defense front seven. But is it skill they lack or just amount of defenders?

The defensive line and linebackers ARE the biggest question mark. There is a lack of a superstar in either area, but the biggest concern is depth, especially on the DL. However, a couple of guys have really "developed" into surprises and Malik Jackson is the best example of that at DT. He came in as a DE last year and has put on over 30 lbs of muscle and maintained his quickness. Despite the loss of mammoth Montori Hughes, who never realized his potential, Daniel Hood has also surprised at the DT spot, supplanting the aforementioned Hughes before the springs drills were completed. While the backups are adequate, there is still a dearth of size there at the DT spot.

With linebackers (again) going down with injuries, that is probably the most unproven area on defense. The guys we have available are for the most part untested. Nobody really knows what to expect there, especially with the loss of Herman Lathers for an unknown period of time and uncertainity regarding Austin Johnson. Johnson, Lathers and King were supposed to lead the unit this year. Now...?

Our biggest hurdle, regardless of personnel, is the same as it has most always been, the first half of the season. Actually, the 4 middle games from Oct 8th to Oct 29th are the most difficult stretch of games. Back to back to back to back strong SEC foes will definitely test the positional depth of our team in all areas.

Go Vols!!!

BlueHound writes:

We need to see improvement from week to week. Not all games will go our way, but does the team persevere? They did last year. From 2-6 to 5-6 and here comes Kentucky, and every naysayer/troll predicting the Wildcats were going to break the streak and send the Vols home with no bowl. Later in the bowl game, against a team most would say had superior talent, Vols win in regulation except for an oddball ending, which can never happen again, because of the resulting rule change. Do/will the players play hard every week? I believe they will for CDD and staff. Can the staff recruit well enough to compete for championships against the absolute best programs in all of college football? We will see. I believe...the future is bright...

redbullet writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree! He has yet to prove himself but, not many coaches could have done as well with the leftover mess he started with! a lot of people didn't think we would even win 3 or 4 games with nearly-- all freshmen! We will get there and sooner than a lot of you think! He has a good plan and he is working the plan. There are so many sceptics trolling on here. give us a couple more years, and for the doubters that keep putting down his recruiting, with all the strong teams already built to win, how do you convince a high school player to move far from home and play for a team that is not in the top 3 or 4? The players all see N.Championship possibilities at schools like Ala. and LSU ect...after they go to those schools it's too late to change and come to Tenn. but I will predict right now-- in another year or two we will be able to pick the best players out there, because we will be at the top by then!
GO VOLS!

murrayvol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You don't belong on a sportsboard if you can't recognize coachspeak.

Pathetic excuse for a troll you are.

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