David Climer: Time to give Derek Dooley some credit

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley leaves the field after the loss to Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Vanderbilt defeated Tennessee 41-18. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley leaves the field after the loss to Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Vanderbilt defeated Tennessee 41-18. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

NASHVILLE - In the spirit of giving, let’s give Derek Dooley a little credit.

He left Tennessee’s program better than he found it. After two weeks on the job, new Vols coach Butch Jones should be thankful.

Sure, it’s easy to take parting shots at Dooley — and the criticism is deserved in large part. When you oversee three straight losing seasons and drop 14 of your last 16 SEC games, your coaching tenure qualifies as a failure anywhere, but particularly at Tennessee.

Likewise, Jones already is finding out how many bridges he must repair in order to get UT’s close-to-home recruiting back up to speed. Dooley and several members of his staff did a lousy job of connecting with high-school coaches. Rather than nurturing those relationships, Dooley alienated a number of those coaches, which is a poison pill when it comes to recruiting.

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Comments » 152

chattabluetick writes:

Like when CPF left. Lets clear the board and quit rehashing this stuff over and over. Get behind CBJ an GBO!

fearthehound writes:

Good article. It's time to start rehabilitating Dooley's image a little. Fine man, great administrator, decent recruiter, not much of a coach overall, horrible game day coach.

Sir_Spanky writes:

“If Derek Dooley had not come when he did, that design would not be what it is,” Hart said. “His fingerprints are all over that building, and he deserves a lot of credit for that.”

$5 mil oughta cover it.

BrassMonkey writes:

He kept us off major NCAA probation. That and beating Cincy and NC State were his only 3 high points. Other than that he floundered and made excuses. Also since we are judging our coaches based on their twitter feeds now he has started a rather humorous one for himself. It seems to fit him well since he was always better at blaming players and cracking jokes then he was at actually coaching.

vol49 writes:

Let's see. Couldn't count. Couldn't manage the clock. Too hard-headed to switch from an obvious train wreck 3-4 back to a 4-3. Alienated former players and most high schools in the tri-state area and across TN. Yea, a little credit alright. Say about a 400 rating out of 5,000,000.

tnbigg writes:

It must be hard to be a sports writer. Most never played any major role in any sports. Most just bloviate whatever they can think up on a moments notice. Most forget what they said the day before and contradict themselves without shame in the name getting something into print. This guy trashed Dooley and now wants what? To seem compassionate? What a moron. Sports writers are pretty much like site trolls. Always making stuff up to evoke controversy. The worst of the worst? John Adams. How these guys remain employed is a tribute to ignorance fueled by stupidity.

SevenT writes:

I loved Derrek Kentucky broke the 'Streak' unnder his watch

vorangel writes:

What baffles me is, why did Dooley never figure out the Orange Pants were losers? Look at the record... Fear the Orange Pants? Only if you're a Tennessee fan. The guy was too interested in being cute.
I credit him for not coaching the Kentucky game. Of course, he didn't coach the one last year, either.

Geofffourmyle writes:

in response to fearthehound:

Good article. It's time to start rehabilitating Dooley's image a little. Fine man, great administrator, decent recruiter, not much of a coach overall, horrible game day coach.

There is little evidence that Dooley was any of the things you suggest.

Walt

UT '81

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to tnbigg:

It must be hard to be a sports writer. Most never played any major role in any sports. Most just bloviate whatever they can think up on a moments notice. Most forget what they said the day before and contradict themselves without shame in the name getting something into print. This guy trashed Dooley and now wants what? To seem compassionate? What a moron. Sports writers are pretty much like site trolls. Always making stuff up to evoke controversy. The worst of the worst? John Adams. How these guys remain employed is a tribute to ignorance fueled by stupidity.

tnbigg,

That was very well said and quite accurate.

FanNotSheep writes:

I think everyone agrees that Dooley was not a great coach. A great coach would have made at least some progress in his third season.

But you won't ever convince me that a great coach would have won lots of games in the first two years after taking over a program that had been destroyed, at least in part, by its own administration.

And I don't think Dooley made the call to hire Sunseri. I think that was on Hart, and who knows what the 2012 record would have been with a different defensive coordinator? Of course, Dooley has to take much of the blame for Wilcox leaving, but Vol fans must share in that too, because if the assistants felt they had any support they might not have abandoned ship.

But no matter how you lay the blame, the Dooley ship sank. Let's leave it on the bottom of the ocean now and get on board the next one. Maybe if we all row in the same direction, the good ship Jones will have a better shot at reaching its destination safely. All Aboard!

creekroad writes:

in response to tnbigg:

It must be hard to be a sports writer. Most never played any major role in any sports. Most just bloviate whatever they can think up on a moments notice. Most forget what they said the day before and contradict themselves without shame in the name getting something into print. This guy trashed Dooley and now wants what? To seem compassionate? What a moron. Sports writers are pretty much like site trolls. Always making stuff up to evoke controversy. The worst of the worst? John Adams. How these guys remain employed is a tribute to ignorance fueled by stupidity.

Great post...so true

born2ride writes:

I like Dooley and Coach BJ but Jon Gruden is the only one who would have turned the program around.

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to born2ride:

I like Dooley and Coach BJ but Jon Gruden is the only one who would have turned the program around.

Hope you're wrong, because he will never be the Vols' coach. Somebody else will have to turn it around if it's ever going to get turned around.

laraccoon writes:

in response to born2ride:

I like Dooley and Coach BJ but Jon Gruden is the only one who would have turned the program around.

dude , its time to take down the Gruden poster on the ceiling above your bed , that ship aint sailing . Get over it !

Razor784 writes:

Worst article ever posted on here. The program isn't in better shape now than when Dooley arrived. Dooley has his best season in his first year, yeah there were less players, but more talent. How can you give Dooley credit for lowering expectations??? Dooley was the worst hire in UT history, the only thing I give him credit for is getting out of the way so Chaney could win the last game.

TheVolMan writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

tnbigg,

That was very well said and quite accurate.

Ha, the Haters are loving on each other. Show of hands: each of you "hates" Pres Obama, right? The larger issue is you are part of an uninformed angry mob who are addicted to hate... and to being sheep.

John Adams is a tremendous writer, just too intelligent for the angry sheep. Dooley did some good things - no one wanted to succeed more than he. Kiffin was brash, but he led the Vols to two blowouts of UGA and SC. Oh, his team played very disciplined ball with few penalties. JC's ressurection was near - miraculous. But you hate them all. I guess that makes you feel strong. So, keep on hating - that's all you know how to do.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Mostly I just miss Tee Martin. got us to NC. Peyton shoulda but didn't. Go TEE!! We are the champions my friend.

Uhh sorry. Got caught up in the past. 'Course anyone who read this column did too.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to tnbigg:

It must be hard to be a sports writer. Most never played any major role in any sports. Most just bloviate whatever they can think up on a moments notice. Most forget what they said the day before and contradict themselves without shame in the name getting something into print. This guy trashed Dooley and now wants what? To seem compassionate? What a moron. Sports writers are pretty much like site trolls. Always making stuff up to evoke controversy. The worst of the worst? John Adams. How these guys remain employed is a tribute to ignorance fueled by stupidity.

+1

Climer is the worst...I think. Here lately, Adams is looking like he wants to challenge for the title.

KingDanno (Inactive) writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to KingDanno:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm not certain I disagree with some of this... but please do not use Jesus as a "slanderer". He always encourages instead. right?

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are one stupid a-- ho.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

What a crock of dog poo.

Rumblefish writes:

in response to TheVolMan:

Ha, the Haters are loving on each other. Show of hands: each of you "hates" Pres Obama, right? The larger issue is you are part of an uninformed angry mob who are addicted to hate... and to being sheep.

John Adams is a tremendous writer, just too intelligent for the angry sheep. Dooley did some good things - no one wanted to succeed more than he. Kiffin was brash, but he led the Vols to two blowouts of UGA and SC. Oh, his team played very disciplined ball with few penalties. JC's ressurection was near - miraculous. But you hate them all. I guess that makes you feel strong. So, keep on hating - that's all you know how to do.

"John Adams is a tremendous writer, just too intelligent for the angry sheep."

uhhh....JA does nothing more than state the obvious, and throws in blatant jabs to run up his comment #'s. Hardly tremendous...and he's as transparent as a piece of glass. Are you kin of his or something???

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

You are one stupid a-- ho.

Even though I appreciate and even like your name for Collegegrover I don't think he's really stupid. He does like to make stupid remarks so we'll come up with answers for him. He's made some very astute comments in the bball posts. I KNOW stupid is as stupid does...hmmm

ok go ahead.

Rumblefish writes:

in response to TheVolMan:

Ha, the Haters are loving on each other. Show of hands: each of you "hates" Pres Obama, right? The larger issue is you are part of an uninformed angry mob who are addicted to hate... and to being sheep.

John Adams is a tremendous writer, just too intelligent for the angry sheep. Dooley did some good things - no one wanted to succeed more than he. Kiffin was brash, but he led the Vols to two blowouts of UGA and SC. Oh, his team played very disciplined ball with few penalties. JC's ressurection was near - miraculous. But you hate them all. I guess that makes you feel strong. So, keep on hating - that's all you know how to do.

and fyi...you're entire post was "hatin" on orangecountyvols. maybe you're too stupid to see the irony.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

"John Adams is a tremendous writer, just too intelligent for the angry sheep."

uhhh....JA does nothing more than state the obvious, and throws in blatant jabs to run up his comment #'s. Hardly tremendous...and he's as transparent as a piece of glass. Are you kin of his or something???

L M A O U 2 r He he category.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Stole?? How does a person steal what is given?

Never mind I know your answers.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

So, in his defense Climer offers that he didn't get the Vols in worse trouble with the NCAA and most of his players stayed out of trouble?

I thought that was part of the responsibilities of any coach.

Lowering the expectations of the program to a 40 year low isn't a positive either.

GoVols025 writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm gonna make your day punk. You get the 2012 award for "Biggest POS on GVX." You're not a Vol fan.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The truth is some of you never backed Coach Dooley from day one. That's been my only real argument. You don't start dissing the coach before he has a chance to do his job. I don't know if you were one of these posters or not.
BTW all of your predictions were made by all the experts before you. Does that make you "stupid"? No of course not. I really don't think calling you names is the answer to your posts. I might joke about it but it's not sincere. I also did not want to get into a rehash of the past three years. To me Dooley's main failure was quitting before he was fired. Perhaps that's the case. Or insisting on the 3-4 when it obviously wasn't going to help.
I have liked some of your post that weren't so blasting of the coaches. To me it's all just theoretical at this point. If Dooley had stayed if he hadn't? darned if I know what could have been. I can't say I was happy with the last year of his tenure. But I also can't say another year wouldn't have made any difference. But that's ok 'cause you and others will say it for those who think it wouldn't have changed for the better.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, this from a man/child? that promised Bill Cowher as UT's next HC..Please stay grounded, and always take your meds.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Like I said? I knew exactly what you'd say. AND you have every right to do so. But I don't think you're intricate. "Brilliant"? I guess you have me there.hehe

BTW if you want to get what evidently YOU paid for then maybe you should consider paying for it. I guess.

HtownVol writes:

I think that dooleys (non)coaching ability was so obvious if you just look at what UT did under Dooley in the 2nd half vs good teams.

How many times was UT within a score at the half and came out and got blown away in the 2nd half?

the first 2 years it was due to "depth"

Yet it still happened a few times this past season.

Dooley had some talent and enough depth to not get blown out like they did.

I was never joking when I said that Dooleys halftime speech is..

"good game guys".

He is nothing more than the coaches kid who ended the streak.

GO VOLS

jopad writes:

in response to born2ride:

I like Dooley and Coach BJ but Jon Gruden is the only one who would have turned the program around.

As usual your posts are among the most negative on this site. You must be a very unhappy person with your life. Now, show the readers where and how Gruden turned a college program around or sucessfully served as head coach at a college, ANY COLLEGE!! Don't insult the intelligence of the readers by offering up your flawed opinions as fact. I am really tired of people like you who post regularily and nothing pleases them. Get behind CBJ and drop the idea of Gruden ever even considering coming to the Vols. We're better off with Jones.

eVOLved writes:

Can you imagine FCDD talking to the players in his whiny, nerdy way, and they're all looking at each other thinking, "What is he talking about? Why is he talking so gay?"

GoVols025 writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And the leader for the 2013 award for "Biggest POS on GVX." You are not a Vol fan.

jt45 writes:

in response to TheVolMan:

Ha, the Haters are loving on each other. Show of hands: each of you "hates" Pres Obama, right? The larger issue is you are part of an uninformed angry mob who are addicted to hate... and to being sheep.

John Adams is a tremendous writer, just too intelligent for the angry sheep. Dooley did some good things - no one wanted to succeed more than he. Kiffin was brash, but he led the Vols to two blowouts of UGA and SC. Oh, his team played very disciplined ball with few penalties. JC's ressurection was near - miraculous. But you hate them all. I guess that makes you feel strong. So, keep on hating - that's all you know how to do.

The part about John Adams was hilarious.

BigOrangeRock writes:

Time to shut up. Dooleft is gone.

Noogaorange writes:

in response to born2ride:

I like Dooley and Coach BJ but Jon Gruden is the only one who would have turned the program around.

Man you just keep out doing yourself don't you?

ANOTHER STUPID POST!

Good grief - ride to another site please.

GBO VFL17

VolGrad writes:

Wearing your scars as badges of honor is one thing. Showing them to everybody is just way over the top.

We all have our own strong opinions regarding the positives and negatives of the previous regime. And we're not going to change each other's minds about it.

Let's move on.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Exactly the kind of BS I was referring to..I will admit you have been less obtuse lately, but every now and again it rears it's ugly head.

tdvol1989 writes:

This article is just pure baiting. It will just start the arguing, unjustifiable defending, and well-deserved criticism all over again. But, I'll bite.

If you look at Dooley's record and recruiting objectively, maybe it was not so bad. He was at UT at a time when the SEC was at its highest level. But, if you watched the games, there is no defending the football follies product he put on the field. His press conference highlights on bamboo, WWII, and Showering made us a laughing stock. We did not just lose games. We did it in the ugliest manner imaginable. There is no point listing the specifics, but suffice to say Derek Dooley presided over the most embarrassing stretch of Tennessee football imaginable. I am not certain at all that Butch Jones is walking into a better situation.

So, the only credit I will give Dooley is having the guts to take the job. That's it. Now, let's move on and stop using him and his time at UT as a benchmark or starting point or baseline expectation. The last 3 years were in no way Tennessee Football.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to tdvol1989:

This article is just pure baiting. It will just start the arguing, unjustifiable defending, and well-deserved criticism all over again. But, I'll bite.

If you look at Dooley's record and recruiting objectively, maybe it was not so bad. He was at UT at a time when the SEC was at its highest level. But, if you watched the games, there is no defending the football follies product he put on the field. His press conference highlights on bamboo, WWII, and Showering made us a laughing stock. We did not just lose games. We did it in the ugliest manner imaginable. There is no point listing the specifics, but suffice to say Derek Dooley presided over the most embarrassing stretch of Tennessee football imaginable. I am not certain at all that Butch Jones is walking into a better situation.

So, the only credit I will give Dooley is having the guts to take the job. That's it. Now, let's move on and stop using him and his time at UT as a benchmark or starting point or baseline expectation. The last 3 years were in no way Tennessee Football.

Good thoughts, but if you're only giving Dooley credit for taking the job then you're obviously missing his biggest contribution. That would be keeping UT's nose clean after LK had a microscope placed over the fb program by the NCAA. ESPN and other anti-UT media types were really wanting to put the screws to UT and he kept things in order (he just didn't win).

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to jopad:

As usual your posts are among the most negative on this site. You must be a very unhappy person with your life. Now, show the readers where and how Gruden turned a college program around or sucessfully served as head coach at a college, ANY COLLEGE!! Don't insult the intelligence of the readers by offering up your flawed opinions as fact. I am really tired of people like you who post regularily and nothing pleases them. Get behind CBJ and drop the idea of Gruden ever even considering coming to the Vols. We're better off with Jones.

born2ride, brassmonkey, rtrchatt, wannabeprofessionalhandicapper, glennfordsfoible, little zz and many, many other scum only post to get a rise out of folks and stir the pot. I am one of the worst about responding but if we ignore them they would go away

KVCrockett writes:

Adams and Climer, put em on a scooter and point em out west. Dumb and dumber.

GoVols025 writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Liar... The Cowher thing was pure BS. Just more of your teenaged egotistical BS. You are not a Vol fan. You're just a playground punk.

Volbound1700 writes:

I don't believe the premise that Dooley left it better than he found it at all. Sure it isn't a train wreck but it isn't much better. Dooley did not recruit the players needed to win in the SEC and the ones he did recruit well are either not on the team or didn't develop under his coaching. Lane Kiffin left us with a 7-6 team that had beaten Georgia and South Carolina. Dooley leaves us with a team that has won 2 SEC games in two years. I say we are worse off.

VolzsFan writes:

The program was dismantled by Hammy and Kiffin. It was a national power, filling seats, fans wondering about our ranking each week, players all over the NFL, one year removed from an SEC Championship game, an era where every 3 or so years UT was in the SEC Title game. Now it is just another former want a be program that hit a great era with the Hall of Famer and is back to it's pre 1990 mediocre ways. The fans will have to adjust their expectations. What DD gave you is the new norm for UT football. Embrace.

VolGrad writes:

<raising my glass> Here's to better things ahead....

Go Vols! This is Big Orange Country!!!

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