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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