'Second chance at life' puts Antone Davis in position to make impact with VFL program

Ex-UT player takes over VFL

Former Tennessee football player Antone Davis was a contestant on the show 'The Biggest Loser.' Davis has been named coordinator for the Vol for Life program at the University of Tennessee.

Photo by Trae Patton/NBC

Former Tennessee football player Antone Davis was a contestant on the show "The Biggest Loser." Davis has been named coordinator for the Vol for Life program at the University of Tennessee.

A few years ago, bogged down by weight that ballooned after he left professional football, Antone Davis thought he was destined for an early death.

Today, after a reality-show stint that brought him more fame than his years as a football star, Davis is slimmer and healthier, and ready to share his rejuvenated spirit with his alma mater.

Davis was named the new Vol for Life coordinator Monday by Tennessee coach Derek Dooley.

Davis, 45, was an All-American lineman at UT and spent seven years in the NFL. He takes over a program that Dooley started in 2010 to help players in the areas of character education, life skills, career development and spiritual growth.

"I really hope not to make this about me. This is about the young people I'm going to work with," Davis said. "I'm convinced that's why I'm still alive today. I was 476 pounds and living on borrowed time."

The out-of-control weight problem led Davis to "The Biggest Loser," an NBC reality show in which people compete to lose weight under the supervision of nutritionists and fitness experts.

Davis lost 202 pounds, good for second place in the 2011 installment of the show.

"It gave me an opportunity to change my life in a very focused environment," Davis said. "It gave me a second chance."

Davis capped his UT career by winning the Jacobs Trophy as the SEC's top blocker in 1990. He was picked eighth overall in the NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1991 and spent seven years in the NFL before retiring in 1999.

He invested in restaurants and real estate in Florida after his football career, but moved back to Knoxville with the goal of getting into coaching. He attended UT practices, met with coaches and spoke to players about his experiences.

Then the VFL position opened up when Andre Lott was let go earlier this month.

"It was the perfect fit," Davis said.

Lott, who made $56,000, was let go in part because Dooley wasn't satisfied with his monitoring of at-risk players, according to documents released to the News Sentinel in an open-records request. The annual salary for Davis was not announced.

Davis said he was impressed with the "level of commitment" to the VFL program from Dooley.

"I hope to impact lives," he said. "I've had plenty of opportunities to be in the limelight. I want to come in and show the players I have no ulterior motives other than being a positive impact on their lives. I believe the vast majority of players are grounded and willing to listen."

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 67

Tenn64 writes:

Super hire!

CarlChilders writes:

I can still hear echos of John Ward saying the hole was created by "Fisher, Still, Myslinski, Myers, and Davis".

rampsneggs writes:

Wish we knew what criteria it is that he fit.

ClearVol writes:

Has he kept the weight off?

tennrich1 writes:

I cant think of anyone better...Antone, I am very proud of you and look forward to your leadership with our team..how could anyone disagree with this hire....WELCOME HOME!!!!

jobrando#216494 writes:

Glad ,,,,,he want be around the donut king

kyvol98 writes:

Fantastic choice

CoverOrange writes:

in response to rampsneggs:

Wish we knew what criteria it is that he fit.

football player, restaurant owner, restaurant manager, unemployed restaurant manager...yeah, kind of wondering what the qualifications were.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to rampsneggs:

Wish we knew what criteria it is that he fit.

I was wondering the same thing. Wasn't the same exact thing said about Lott? In fact that same phrase has been stated in regards to the other 10 hires that didn't work out for Dooley. I was once told if you have a problem with everyone, then you are the problem. This seems to be the case on the hill. 10 people have came and gone from the staff under Dooley in 2 1/2 years. Hard for me to think Lott or any other Dooley hire is the problem. I'm wondering how long it's gonna take them to figure this out. I wish they would put a freeze on Dooley hiring ANYONE else until he proves his worth.

volaholic45 writes:

Just a pointer, Antone, pick up a copy of WebEasy Professional 2012 for about $50. It's important, apparently.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Seriously. What makes this guy so much more qualified than Lott? Just curious.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

I was wondering the same thing. Wasn't the same exact thing said about Lott? In fact that same phrase has been stated in regards to the other 10 hires that didn't work out for Dooley. I was once told if you have a problem with everyone, then you are the problem. This seems to be the case on the hill. 10 people have came and gone from the staff under Dooley in 2 1/2 years. Hard for me to think Lott or any other Dooley hire is the problem. I'm wondering how long it's gonna take them to figure this out. I wish they would put a freeze on Dooley hiring ANYONE else until he proves his worth.

Apparently Coach Dooley should have ran this hire by you before he announced it. Get over yourself.
He doesn't have to prove anything to you.

thevoice writes:

Hope this fine fellow is making more than $56,000/year. Seems like such a small price to pay for team cohesion and character development. Good luck Mr. Davis.

thevoice writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

Apparently Coach Dooley should have ran this hire by you before he announced it. Get over yourself.
He doesn't have to prove anything to you.

Without tossing insults and sticking only to subject matter, Dooley does indeed have a lot to prove to those among the Vol Nation (not sure if Rich is of that, but I am). Notwithstanding those posting on GVX, the economic health of the UT Athletic Department does indeed depend on prospective supporters having faith in the program. This is a different era: folks don't have as much dispensable income to throw at a cause just because of the cause.

Orange_Juiced writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Seriously. What makes this guy so much more qualified than Lott? Just curious.

What do you know about him that makes him less qualified? The guy has passion and can communicate very effectively. If you watched "The Biggest Loser" as I did...you can see the man's incredible work ethic. He is a spiritual man. He must have some amount of organizational skills since he is a business owner...things Andre may or may not have had...but still doesn't mean Antone is less qualified than Andre.

Unfortunately, none of us know the dynamic that existed with Andre and the VFL program. All we can do is make assumptions based on what we get fed to us from the media. From my perspective, I didn't see a whole lot coming from the VFL as of late, which only allows me to assume that it just wasn't working.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Tenn64:

Super hire!

Totally agree, AD may have been a part of the biggest loser, but he is the biggest winner in my book..Great hire.

Huttdawg100 writes:

He's a little too old. These kids weren't born when Davis was at UT. I think he might have some difficulty connecting with this generation. I think Inky was the obvious choice, and the guys on 1180 AM are saying Inky was never contacted.

VFL sounds good. It really does. But some decisions have to be handled by the head coach in a timely manner. If Rogers was a problem last summer, last fall, through the spring and into this camp, why not handle your business earlier?

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

Apparently Coach Dooley should have ran this hire by you before he announced it. Get over yourself.
He doesn't have to prove anything to you.

Ahhh, I see nothing changes here. When someone doesn't have a logical answer to a question they just throw garbage. You must not be very business savvy. Generally when there's a lot of turnover at a place, you can almost ALWAYS point at how it's managed. That's what I see here. And until we can maintain ANY sign of continuity amongst the staff. I'll continue to feel that way. If that's too much for you to bare then I don't know what to tell you.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

As a business owner and manager (restaurant), I can only assume he has some administration skills. As for experience with the kind of work the other aspect of the position probably entails, this is an exerpt from his Wikipedia page:

"Davis earned the University of Tennessee's Chancellor Citation for his community service efforts during his college career, including his contributions with the "Just Say No" campaign, the American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and the Knoxville Community Parks Association. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in urban studies in December 1990."

Seems like a good choice. Time will tell. You know he bleeds orange too.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Orange_Juiced:

What do you know about him that makes him less qualified? The guy has passion and can communicate very effectively. If you watched "The Biggest Loser" as I did...you can see the man's incredible work ethic. He is a spiritual man. He must have some amount of organizational skills since he is a business owner...things Andre may or may not have had...but still doesn't mean Antone is less qualified than Andre.

Unfortunately, none of us know the dynamic that existed with Andre and the VFL program. All we can do is make assumptions based on what we get fed to us from the media. From my perspective, I didn't see a whole lot coming from the VFL as of late, which only allows me to assume that it just wasn't working.

You don't get it do you? It's not that he's NOT qualified. I don't think Lott WASN'T qualified. It's the fact that the same exact "broken record" statements are made every time we hire someone. Then a year later, the exact statements are made when that "qualified" person is no longer here and someone else is hired. Point being, the people being hired IMO are not the problem. If everyone we hire is a one and done then what is the damn problem? And don't give me a worthless line of bulls---. Man up and give me a logical answer.

FWBVol writes:

Some of you on here crack me up. I remember reading complaints about the defense under Wilcox, the offensive line under Harry Hiestand and the secondary under Terry Joseph...And then when those guys leave you say Derek Dooley has problems because he can't keep his staff together and it's an indication that he isn't a good leader.

Do I know what is happening behind closed doors in the athletic department? No, and neither do 99 percent of the people that post on this forum.

I do know Derek Dooley didn't have much time to put a coaching staff together in 2010 and that with the exception of Wilcox, who I think had a three-year contract, all the other coaches had two year contracts.

Lance Thompson probably left when Sal Sunseri was named defensive coordinator. Harry Heistand has a great record as an offensive line coach, but he just didn't fit at Tennessee. Terry Jospeh pretty much said the rumors and speculation surrounding what might happen this year was enough to convince him to look elsewhere. The same is true of Eric Russell to Washington State where is special teams coordinator and assistant head coach.

Wilcox and Sirmon left for their home area in the Northwest.

I know I'm going to be accused of drinking Doolaide and wearing orange-colored glasses, but sometimes things can be as bad or good as one decides to make them. I choose to look for the positives in a situation.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm a Tennessee man. I will pull for Derek Dooley to do well as our head football coach because that means our team is doing well. To wish him failure is to wish the Volunteers failure this year and only extends the rebuilding process.

I believe all the pieces are in place to start a climb back towards the top. Even if Tyler Bray goes pro after this year we've got two capabale quarterbacks waiting for their turn. Our running game will start to get some swagger back with a veteran offensive line and a top-notch RB coach in Jay Graham.

Our defense will be aggressive and take the fight to the opposition. And we have a favorable schedule that should allow us to win at least eight games.

So if you don't like Dooley, fine, but please don't wish him failure because when you do you wish the team failure as well.

lofter writes:

"Wish we knew what criteria it is that he fit."

That is a valid comment. It seems to me that the VFL program should be a Dave Hart hire - not just the football program.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to thevoice:

Without tossing insults and sticking only to subject matter, Dooley does indeed have a lot to prove to those among the Vol Nation (not sure if Rich is of that, but I am). Notwithstanding those posting on GVX, the economic health of the UT Athletic Department does indeed depend on prospective supporters having faith in the program. This is a different era: folks don't have as much dispensable income to throw at a cause just because of the cause.

You can't tell some of these dudes anything.

BigBadVol writes:

I just laugh at all the posters that question everything. They all know better than the coaches and administrators on how everything should run. Antoine Davis is obviously a class individual that loves UT. It's a great hire IMO, but let's focus on the negative.(sarcasm)

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Orange_Juiced:

What do you know about him that makes him less qualified? The guy has passion and can communicate very effectively. If you watched "The Biggest Loser" as I did...you can see the man's incredible work ethic. He is a spiritual man. He must have some amount of organizational skills since he is a business owner...things Andre may or may not have had...but still doesn't mean Antone is less qualified than Andre.

Unfortunately, none of us know the dynamic that existed with Andre and the VFL program. All we can do is make assumptions based on what we get fed to us from the media. From my perspective, I didn't see a whole lot coming from the VFL as of late, which only allows me to assume that it just wasn't working.

I apologize. I shouldn't have flipped out on you. I just think there's reason to be concerned with the lac of continuity over there. Hard to have a winning program with all these one and dones.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Some of you on here crack me up. I remember reading complaints about the defense under Wilcox, the offensive line under Harry Hiestand and the secondary under Terry Joseph...And then when those guys leave you say Derek Dooley has problems because he can't keep his staff together and it's an indication that he isn't a good leader.

Do I know what is happening behind closed doors in the athletic department? No, and neither do 99 percent of the people that post on this forum.

I do know Derek Dooley didn't have much time to put a coaching staff together in 2010 and that with the exception of Wilcox, who I think had a three-year contract, all the other coaches had two year contracts.

Lance Thompson probably left when Sal Sunseri was named defensive coordinator. Harry Heistand has a great record as an offensive line coach, but he just didn't fit at Tennessee. Terry Jospeh pretty much said the rumors and speculation surrounding what might happen this year was enough to convince him to look elsewhere. The same is true of Eric Russell to Washington State where is special teams coordinator and assistant head coach.

Wilcox and Sirmon left for their home area in the Northwest.

I know I'm going to be accused of drinking Doolaide and wearing orange-colored glasses, but sometimes things can be as bad or good as one decides to make them. I choose to look for the positives in a situation.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm a Tennessee man. I will pull for Derek Dooley to do well as our head football coach because that means our team is doing well. To wish him failure is to wish the Volunteers failure this year and only extends the rebuilding process.

I believe all the pieces are in place to start a climb back towards the top. Even if Tyler Bray goes pro after this year we've got two capabale quarterbacks waiting for their turn. Our running game will start to get some swagger back with a veteran offensive line and a top-notch RB coach in Jay Graham.

Our defense will be aggressive and take the fight to the opposition. And we have a favorable schedule that should allow us to win at least eight games.

So if you don't like Dooley, fine, but please don't wish him failure because when you do you wish the team failure as well.

Great post just one issue. Hiestand was not a great line coach. His Bears squads got worse every year and he finally was let go. He did very poorly here with probably the best group of talent on the team at that time. He tried to get a center to use his right hand and set the kid back when other college centers were left handed (LSU). If you can't tell I really am glad he is gone and in fact quite pleased he is at notre dope.

Cousin_Eddie writes:

I thought Inky would have been the obvious choice, but I don't know if he had interest or was even considered. Congrats to Antone, though. Keep these guys on the straight and narrow!

SavTnVol writes:

in response to CarlChilders:

I can still hear echos of John Ward saying the hole was created by "Fisher, Still, Myslinski, Myers, and Davis".

OMG...Sure wish we could hear him makes those types of calls again..I'd start listening to the radio broadcast again...JOHN WARD: YOU DA MAN!!!!

punkin writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Ahhh, I see nothing changes here. When someone doesn't have a logical answer to a question they just throw garbage. You must not be very business savvy. Generally when there's a lot of turnover at a place, you can almost ALWAYS point at how it's managed. That's what I see here. And until we can maintain ANY sign of continuity amongst the staff. I'll continue to feel that way. If that's too much for you to bare then I don't know what to tell you.

Dooley is doing exactly what he was hired to do.

Surely you can figure that out by your lonesome.

standfast#211788 writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Some of you on here crack me up. I remember reading complaints about the defense under Wilcox, the offensive line under Harry Hiestand and the secondary under Terry Joseph...And then when those guys leave you say Derek Dooley has problems because he can't keep his staff together and it's an indication that he isn't a good leader.

Do I know what is happening behind closed doors in the athletic department? No, and neither do 99 percent of the people that post on this forum.

I do know Derek Dooley didn't have much time to put a coaching staff together in 2010 and that with the exception of Wilcox, who I think had a three-year contract, all the other coaches had two year contracts.

Lance Thompson probably left when Sal Sunseri was named defensive coordinator. Harry Heistand has a great record as an offensive line coach, but he just didn't fit at Tennessee. Terry Jospeh pretty much said the rumors and speculation surrounding what might happen this year was enough to convince him to look elsewhere. The same is true of Eric Russell to Washington State where is special teams coordinator and assistant head coach.

Wilcox and Sirmon left for their home area in the Northwest.

I know I'm going to be accused of drinking Doolaide and wearing orange-colored glasses, but sometimes things can be as bad or good as one decides to make them. I choose to look for the positives in a situation.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm a Tennessee man. I will pull for Derek Dooley to do well as our head football coach because that means our team is doing well. To wish him failure is to wish the Volunteers failure this year and only extends the rebuilding process.

I believe all the pieces are in place to start a climb back towards the top. Even if Tyler Bray goes pro after this year we've got two capabale quarterbacks waiting for their turn. Our running game will start to get some swagger back with a veteran offensive line and a top-notch RB coach in Jay Graham.

Our defense will be aggressive and take the fight to the opposition. And we have a favorable schedule that should allow us to win at least eight games.

So if you don't like Dooley, fine, but please don't wish him failure because when you do you wish the team failure as well.

FWB: I agree 100%. Stay positive. GBO.

Goodvol_1 writes:

Dooley was handcuffed with his first coaching hires. The timing was bad and most coaches would not leave at the time we were looking. Obviously, their wasn't much chemistry because of his limited choices. It appears to me he tried to get good coaches in place. The problem is they weren't good coaches for Tennessee. The turnover is based on the need to get the right kind of coaches in place. I believe he has done it. The coaches we have in place seem genuinely happy to be a part of this staff. I believe the stability will be there.

As far as Andre Lott, I believe he did fit the right criteria. The problem is that doesn't mean you can get the job done. Obviously, in Dooley's eye's he didn't. Maybe Andre enjoyed hanging out with the players and having fun but didn't handle the business side of the deal. Maybe with Antone being older, he'll have the maturity to handle the business end of the deal, too. All the players need to do is educate themselves with what Antone did at Tennessee and they should have respect for the man. Also, if his job is to unite all the former Vols, he may be in a better position to get more of the "older" Vols involved. I think it is a great hire and I wish him well.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to lofter:

"Wish we knew what criteria it is that he fit."

That is a valid comment. It seems to me that the VFL program should be a Dave Hart hire - not just the football program.

MAYBE Dooley's conducting an experiment for Hart? Maybe they know what they're up to and we don't? MAYBE Dooley's on the right tract? Maybe he's not? Some times you just gotta try stuff. VFL certainly sounds good to me. It was Dooley's idea evidently and not Hart's. If Hart wants it he can take it whenever. "VFL is mine! I did it!" lol You think Dooley didn't run it by Hart. I think he did. don't know though really.

Millisa writes:

Welcome Back Antone :) :) :) Hopefully Andre can help out too

Orange_Juiced writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

I apologize. I shouldn't have flipped out on you. I just think there's reason to be concerned with the lac of continuity over there. Hard to have a winning program with all these one and dones.

No problem Rich. I feel your passion as well. My thoughts on the matter are such that you've got a new program that you are trying to build from nothing. I've been a part of new things and can say you don't always get it right...or get the right people on the first go around. With the coaches, I think a lot of people are correct in saying that some didn't fit and needed to go...some felt the boat was sinking and left for what they felt was dry land...and one or two were run off. In the case of Andre, I think he was a high school asst coach and probably a great mentor to a bunch of high school kids that didn't parlay over to the college guys. I may be wrong with this complete speculation, but I just think he didn't fit. I do however feel that Antone will make a great fit for the reasons I stated in my first post. He is mature and passionate and spiritual and must have organizational skills as a businessman...something I'm not so sure Andre has gotten in his professional career.

As far as CDD and what is a turnstile of coaches and administrators goes...just like he is trying to build a roster and is making necessary adjustments in his first 2 1/2 years...I believe so goes the coaching and admin side of it. Some times ya gotta make changes...and sometimes a lot of changes...to tweek it and get things right. I'm not saying I'm 100% right about this because just like all of us...I'm on the outside looking in...but I've been in similar environments and I am trying to give CDD the benefit of the doubt.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Ahhh, I see nothing changes here. When someone doesn't have a logical answer to a question they just throw garbage. You must not be very business savvy. Generally when there's a lot of turnover at a place, you can almost ALWAYS point at how it's managed. That's what I see here. And until we can maintain ANY sign of continuity amongst the staff. I'll continue to feel that way. If that's too much for you to bare then I don't know what to tell you.

Business savvy is not required to recognize your Toddy-like arrogance. You seem to want to be a full fledged Dooley basher, you just lack the courage.

Olcrow writes:

Good hire in my opinion,Inky would've been too.I remember Antone fishing the Boys/Girls Club tournaments(Tim Irwin)during his Philadelphia playing days.He was and I am sure still is a very personable person.If there's any bass fisherman out there he had a bass boat with the Eagles colors and Tim had one with Vikings colors.

Olddogsrule writes:

VFL started as a football program. It might expand to other sports. Andre Lott's a super guy, but Dooley had a job description for VFL Andre didn't fulfill. Everyone knows when Dooley got here the program was in a shambles. He had 2 weeks to research candidates and hire almost a complete staff. Then expected the new staff, which isn't familiar with the program to locate, evaluate, and sign all their new recruits. The AD can't reasonably expect that staff and team to be in the top of their respective national, much less regional rankings the first year. Dooley got to evaluate the performance of the new staff, and they get to see his management style, and we saw some asked to find other opportunities, others seek out those opportunities on their own, and some just fired. And now the assistant coaching staff will be a better fit. Actually, I expect to see a couple of assistants replaced this year, unless by some fortunate turn of serendipity, everyone is the correct fit for the program. Individual offensive, defensive, kicking rushing, special teams, etc. performance will improve, recruit quality will go up, but wins won't yet be what's needed to acheive top ranking on regional or national scales. Repeat the cycle for another year or two and Dooley will have stability with the right assistant coaches, who want to be here, player size, strength, and skill sets, team depth, and tradition of winning to compete with any top 5 school in the nation on the field and in recruiting. Cut the legs out from under the rebuilding program Coach Dooley has so embarked on by letting him go, and we won't go back to where we were when he arrived, it will be worse. Potential high quality coaches and recruits will give UT a wide birth. What coach looks for a truckload of BS dumped in their driveway for a loss. Recruits will wonder when those crazy fans will be running off new coaches and the team will have to start learning new offensive and defensive schemes all over again. Running off head coaches every three years if they're not achieving top 10 performance is a recipe for not ever being in the top 25! Let Dooley do it his way, until the AD and trustees decide there is no longer a verifiable reason to keep a coach on a rebuilding program. Such reasons (not excuses-go fly a kite) are many, not the least of which is the lack of the VFL program director getting it across to all the atheletes that making dumb decisions affects them and their teammates for life, apart from simply losing games and reflecting badly on the coaches and school. Go Dooley, Go Vols, Smokey Rules!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Orange_Juiced:

No problem Rich. I feel your passion as well. My thoughts on the matter are such that you've got a new program that you are trying to build from nothing. I've been a part of new things and can say you don't always get it right...or get the right people on the first go around. With the coaches, I think a lot of people are correct in saying that some didn't fit and needed to go...some felt the boat was sinking and left for what they felt was dry land...and one or two were run off. In the case of Andre, I think he was a high school asst coach and probably a great mentor to a bunch of high school kids that didn't parlay over to the college guys. I may be wrong with this complete speculation, but I just think he didn't fit. I do however feel that Antone will make a great fit for the reasons I stated in my first post. He is mature and passionate and spiritual and must have organizational skills as a businessman...something I'm not so sure Andre has gotten in his professional career.

As far as CDD and what is a turnstile of coaches and administrators goes...just like he is trying to build a roster and is making necessary adjustments in his first 2 1/2 years...I believe so goes the coaching and admin side of it. Some times ya gotta make changes...and sometimes a lot of changes...to tweek it and get things right. I'm not saying I'm 100% right about this because just like all of us...I'm on the outside looking in...but I've been in similar environments and I am trying to give CDD the benefit of the doubt.

Again, my bad. I responded to the first post thrown at me and by the time I got to yours I was juiced up a bit. Then I read what you put again and saw it as a simple disagreement with my opinion. Again, my fault. I just ask this. If all of this was happening with Florida and Muschamp what do you think 90% of the folks on here would be saying? Honestly, what would you be saying? Most would be cracking jokes and saying how UF is a sinking ship. Most would be making little jokes about Muscrat/Muschimp/Muschamp and how he's in over his head. The same ones who don't like Dooley being called silly names (which I don't use) would be calling Muschamp names. The ones who go ballistic if one questions what's going on at UT would be the very ones doing that. If something takes place at UT, I generally try to step back and view it as I would if it happened at another school. Some can't or won't do that. And the turnover over there is concerning to me. Will it be an issue for years to come for Dooley? And yes, if it were happening at UF or Bama, I would be scratching my head and wondering what the heck was going on with them.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to Cousin_Eddie:

I thought Inky would have been the obvious choice, but I don't know if he had interest or was even considered. Congrats to Antone, though. Keep these guys on the straight and narrow!

My guess is Inky was looked at the first time, but he doesn't have the necessary skills/qualifications/experience. Lott had experience running a similar program at the high school level. Davis has the college and NFL experience, a degree in urban studies, experience with a lot of similar programs/organizations, and business/management experience.

Inky hasn't done anything outside of the UT football program really. He's obviously a great guy and bleeds orange, but I doubt he has the qualifications needed for the program.

UTByrd writes:

in response to Olddogsrule:

VFL started as a football program. It might expand to other sports. Andre Lott's a super guy, but Dooley had a job description for VFL Andre didn't fulfill. Everyone knows when Dooley got here the program was in a shambles. He had 2 weeks to research candidates and hire almost a complete staff. Then expected the new staff, which isn't familiar with the program to locate, evaluate, and sign all their new recruits. The AD can't reasonably expect that staff and team to be in the top of their respective national, much less regional rankings the first year. Dooley got to evaluate the performance of the new staff, and they get to see his management style, and we saw some asked to find other opportunities, others seek out those opportunities on their own, and some just fired. And now the assistant coaching staff will be a better fit. Actually, I expect to see a couple of assistants replaced this year, unless by some fortunate turn of serendipity, everyone is the correct fit for the program. Individual offensive, defensive, kicking rushing, special teams, etc. performance will improve, recruit quality will go up, but wins won't yet be what's needed to acheive top ranking on regional or national scales. Repeat the cycle for another year or two and Dooley will have stability with the right assistant coaches, who want to be here, player size, strength, and skill sets, team depth, and tradition of winning to compete with any top 5 school in the nation on the field and in recruiting. Cut the legs out from under the rebuilding program Coach Dooley has so embarked on by letting him go, and we won't go back to where we were when he arrived, it will be worse. Potential high quality coaches and recruits will give UT a wide birth. What coach looks for a truckload of BS dumped in their driveway for a loss. Recruits will wonder when those crazy fans will be running off new coaches and the team will have to start learning new offensive and defensive schemes all over again. Running off head coaches every three years if they're not achieving top 10 performance is a recipe for not ever being in the top 25! Let Dooley do it his way, until the AD and trustees decide there is no longer a verifiable reason to keep a coach on a rebuilding program. Such reasons (not excuses-go fly a kite) are many, not the least of which is the lack of the VFL program director getting it across to all the atheletes that making dumb decisions affects them and their teammates for life, apart from simply losing games and reflecting badly on the coaches and school. Go Dooley, Go Vols, Smokey Rules!

Nice post. Let us add a little more perspective to it. It seems that some of these posters are of the "win at all costs" attitude. See Penn State. Yes, I would love it if UT won all their games but that is not reality.
There is and always will be issues that are much more important than winning games. Watch the video "Hoops for Hope", totally inspiring.
Back to Dooley. With everything he walked into at UT, I figured 7 to 8 wins in year 3 would be quite acceptable. Also, it is not out of the realm of possibility to go to the SEC championship game this year. Year 4 should be our measuring stick but not yet.
Once again, I am pleased with the progress CDD has made so far.
Go VOLS!!!!!

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Ahhh, I see nothing changes here. When someone doesn't have a logical answer to a question they just throw garbage. You must not be very business savvy. Generally when there's a lot of turnover at a place, you can almost ALWAYS point at how it's managed. That's what I see here. And until we can maintain ANY sign of continuity amongst the staff. I'll continue to feel that way. If that's too much for you to bare then I don't know what to tell you.

I can't argue about your theory on business 101, but none of us know the inside story.

I'm sure at any business you have good and bad apples, but you don't see CEO's on TV blasting everyone for their shortcomings.

The University is a state run school and the Administration has to deal with state employment policies, trust me when I say this, the Government/state has way too many loopholes for worthless people to jump through and save their jobs, it sometimes takes years to get rid of dead weight inside, so maybe Dooley is guilty and maybe he has to take his time to get rid of the dead weight. You never know when you hire someone how they are going to turn out 6 months or 12 months later, but yes you can always be second guessed by anyone.

SummittsCourt writes:

great hire! VFL!

chattabluetick writes:

Congrats on the huge weight loss and being named the director of VFL. Welcome back ANTONE! We know you bleed BIG ORANGE.

standfast#211788 writes:

in response to Olddogsrule:

VFL started as a football program. It might expand to other sports. Andre Lott's a super guy, but Dooley had a job description for VFL Andre didn't fulfill. Everyone knows when Dooley got here the program was in a shambles. He had 2 weeks to research candidates and hire almost a complete staff. Then expected the new staff, which isn't familiar with the program to locate, evaluate, and sign all their new recruits. The AD can't reasonably expect that staff and team to be in the top of their respective national, much less regional rankings the first year. Dooley got to evaluate the performance of the new staff, and they get to see his management style, and we saw some asked to find other opportunities, others seek out those opportunities on their own, and some just fired. And now the assistant coaching staff will be a better fit. Actually, I expect to see a couple of assistants replaced this year, unless by some fortunate turn of serendipity, everyone is the correct fit for the program. Individual offensive, defensive, kicking rushing, special teams, etc. performance will improve, recruit quality will go up, but wins won't yet be what's needed to acheive top ranking on regional or national scales. Repeat the cycle for another year or two and Dooley will have stability with the right assistant coaches, who want to be here, player size, strength, and skill sets, team depth, and tradition of winning to compete with any top 5 school in the nation on the field and in recruiting. Cut the legs out from under the rebuilding program Coach Dooley has so embarked on by letting him go, and we won't go back to where we were when he arrived, it will be worse. Potential high quality coaches and recruits will give UT a wide birth. What coach looks for a truckload of BS dumped in their driveway for a loss. Recruits will wonder when those crazy fans will be running off new coaches and the team will have to start learning new offensive and defensive schemes all over again. Running off head coaches every three years if they're not achieving top 10 performance is a recipe for not ever being in the top 25! Let Dooley do it his way, until the AD and trustees decide there is no longer a verifiable reason to keep a coach on a rebuilding program. Such reasons (not excuses-go fly a kite) are many, not the least of which is the lack of the VFL program director getting it across to all the atheletes that making dumb decisions affects them and their teammates for life, apart from simply losing games and reflecting badly on the coaches and school. Go Dooley, Go Vols, Smokey Rules!

Old Dogs: You are just going to have to stop posting on here. You make too much sense.

hueypilot writes:

great posts by old dogs rich reborn fwb et al The level of civility is encouraging esp as game week starts. The trolls must be sleeping. Good riddance

kcbigorngX writes:

OldDog you just made a Scooby-snack out of the crawfish from Cleveland.

Funny how Dooley bashers don't respond to posts like yours.

givehim6 writes:

in response to ClearVol:

Has he kept the weight off?

I'm sure if Davis was putting the weight back on Dooley would not have hired him.

frblalack writes:

GREAT VOL FOR LIFE!!!

Congratulations Coach Dooley & Coach Hart...just goes to show we've got the best administration and coaching staff in the SEC!

Mr. Davis will get the attention of the "at risk" players...hopefully there won't be as many in the future. Welcome back Mr. Antone Davis...a True Vol for Life!!!

Inspired already!!! Go Big Orange!

GreerVol22 writes:

I think this is just Lott act 2. As I said in the last VFL article, there is a special skill set that has to go with this job. Herding at risk players alone requires an almost detective quality. Not that they have to be followed every minute but its close. And reaching fans and players at a VFL level requires charisma on a completely different level.

Don't get me wrong. Lott, Davis and Inky are all Vol, but can they do what i just described? My guess is many VFL's would fail.

BigOrangeRock writes:

in response to MerlotGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes he does, ha ha.

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