Nick Saban defends Derek Dooley's time at UT

HOOVER Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban watered a branch of his coaching tree Thursday.

" Derek Dooley has done a really good job," Saban said to a Wynfrey Hotel ballroom sitting at full attention for SEC Media Days. "I think he inherited a very difficult situation. A lot of things, a lot of lack of continuity, probably created a difficult situation in terms of quality of personnel depth. I think Derek has done a lot of things to create a lot of program stability there."

Saban hired Dooley in 2000 as his recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach at LSU. The two spent the next six years side-by-side, going from Baton Rouge to the Miami Dolphins, before Dooley was named coach at Louisiana Tech.

Last season, Saban's Tide posted a 37-6 win over the Vols in Tuscaloosa. In 2012, the two will meet on Oct. 20 at Neyland Stadium.

"I look for them to have a much better team this year," Saban said. "I think that Derek is going to be just fine and do a wonderful job in the future at Tennessee."

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 98

volinlm writes:

He didn't have to make any comments about Dooley, so I think he was serious. I, for one, agree.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Nick may be a jerk and he may be a tad arrogant, but he can flat out coach and recruit..I believe what the man says to be the truth and CDD will get-r-done this year..HBTV!!!!!!!!!!!

rockypop writes:

The cynic in me thinks Saban needs Dooley to stay around a while longer at UT, so Alabama can pad their record against the Vols.

LiveFaith writes:

in response to rockypop:

The cynic in me thinks Saban needs Dooley to stay around a while longer at UT, so Alabama can pad their record against the Vols.

I'm uncomfortable with kisses from the enemy, their personal friendship, the Aaron Douglas xfer, UT-AL coach swapping, and our AD's previous employment. If they had not been spanking our fanny since 1997, then all these connections would feel a lot better.
Cynical yes, but I don't like being their whipping boy on their way to NCs.

Rumblefish writes:

media speak. nothing more.

bigfan865 writes:

Rockypop, I think you're wrong.
I think Saban is sincere and really does think DD will be successful. He wouldn't have kept DD on his staff so long if he didn't see a lot of positive.
And DD could have avoided all the criticism about coming from LaTech if he had just stayed as an assistant withNick or moved to another assistant job like Muschamp. But DD wanted to have varied experiences and have HC experience before getting a big HC job.
This hot seat issue is BS. The media doesn't like that DD is like Nick and doesn't kiss their fannies. He gives them very little attention and access to TN football and it ticks them off.
We fans should trust Nick's opinion more than the pitiful sports writers. IMO

Rumblefish writes:

although...now that I think about it...when you need another coach in the SEC to defend your job....you're in trouble.

jfink45 writes:

All Vol fand should be concerned with is N C state. We have to win them one at a time!

wallingdad writes:

in response to bigfan865:

Rockypop, I think you're wrong.
I think Saban is sincere and really does think DD will be successful. He wouldn't have kept DD on his staff so long if he didn't see a lot of positive.
And DD could have avoided all the criticism about coming from LaTech if he had just stayed as an assistant withNick or moved to another assistant job like Muschamp. But DD wanted to have varied experiences and have HC experience before getting a big HC job.
This hot seat issue is BS. The media doesn't like that DD is like Nick and doesn't kiss their fannies. He gives them very little attention and access to TN football and it ticks them off.
We fans should trust Nick's opinion more than the pitiful sports writers. IMO

It really does not matter if Saban thinks he is the next savior of UT or if he is the greatest loser of all time. what saban believes or thinks does not matter a bit. Dooley will succeed or fail on his own merits and what he does for himself.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I feel your pain..When CDD beats muskrat and company this Sept.15th, 2012 it will mark his first substantial SEC win..GBO!

rockypop writes:

in response to bigfan865:

Rockypop, I think you're wrong.
I think Saban is sincere and really does think DD will be successful. He wouldn't have kept DD on his staff so long if he didn't see a lot of positive.
And DD could have avoided all the criticism about coming from LaTech if he had just stayed as an assistant withNick or moved to another assistant job like Muschamp. But DD wanted to have varied experiences and have HC experience before getting a big HC job.
This hot seat issue is BS. The media doesn't like that DD is like Nick and doesn't kiss their fannies. He gives them very little attention and access to TN football and it ticks them off.
We fans should trust Nick's opinion more than the pitiful sports writers. IMO

Bigfan, I'm actually glad you challenged my cynical self. My post was a little bit "tongue-in-cheek," because my common sense tells me that Saban really didn't have an agenda when he praised Dooley - other than to offer his support.

If you go back and read my previous posts, I think you'll find that I support giving Dooley at least four years - unless the wheels totally come off this season.

All in all, I really think that Dooley has put himself in a couple of untenable situations - first at LaTech, and now at UT. I think his ambition got ahead of his readiness. He took the head job at LaTech before he was ready, and then jumped at the chance to go to UT.

I personally believe he has what it takes to grow into the job at UT but may not get the chance. I continue to hope that he will prove to be the man for the job, because I believe he'll be a stabilizing force for years to come.

BluezVol writes:

in response to LiveFaith:

I'm uncomfortable with kisses from the enemy, their personal friendship, the Aaron Douglas xfer, UT-AL coach swapping, and our AD's previous employment. If they had not been spanking our fanny since 1997, then all these connections would feel a lot better.
Cynical yes, but I don't like being their whipping boy on their way to NCs.

Live Faith - I'm pretty sure UT beat Alabama in '98.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just like we want Muschump to stay!!!

lomas98 writes:

Who cares what saban thinks of our coach. I never heard gene stallings or Steve spurrier back in the day discuss how they think fulmer is doing on the job or that we would even be concerned what they think.

The_Ron_Burgundy writes:

I seriously doubt that Nick Saban believes that if he says that Dooley is doing a good job, that our administration is going to listen to him and continue letting him coach the Vols. Saban made a comment that he believes Dooley is doing a good job. And honestly, I believe that we will see this year. Anybody who believed we would have stellar seasons the past two years with anybody coaching is just plain delusional. Tennessee football was in the ashes. Fulmer left us with a poor recruiting class, and Kiffin just rubbed salt in the wound with only 8 of his players being left on our roster.

Dooley has recruited very well for the situation we have been in. Not many top recruits want to come to a situation that was as messy as it was here.

tanasi2 writes:

It's easy to compliment a coach who you beat every year! Maybe when Tennessee lets Dooley go, Saban will hire him again! I'm hoping for 8 wins this year. If not, I say get rid of Dooley.

MetroplexMojo writes:

Im in Birmingham for work and I think I saw Saban's vehicle at the Krystal..

The driver's seat had a booster seat in it and the rear bumper had a sticker saying "My daughter beat up your honor student"

AlexAndersonAAradio writes:

Bear Bryant defended Battle

titansfan2104 writes:

in response to LiveFaith:

I'm uncomfortable with kisses from the enemy, their personal friendship, the Aaron Douglas xfer, UT-AL coach swapping, and our AD's previous employment. If they had not been spanking our fanny since 1997, then all these connections would feel a lot better.
Cynical yes, but I don't like being their whipping boy on their way to NCs.

Maybe you mean since 07 because from 97-07 they only beat UT 2 or 3 times!!!

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to rockypop:

Bigfan, I'm actually glad you challenged my cynical self. My post was a little bit "tongue-in-cheek," because my common sense tells me that Saban really didn't have an agenda when he praised Dooley - other than to offer his support.

If you go back and read my previous posts, I think you'll find that I support giving Dooley at least four years - unless the wheels totally come off this season.

All in all, I really think that Dooley has put himself in a couple of untenable situations - first at LaTech, and now at UT. I think his ambition got ahead of his readiness. He took the head job at LaTech before he was ready, and then jumped at the chance to go to UT.

I personally believe he has what it takes to grow into the job at UT but may not get the chance. I continue to hope that he will prove to be the man for the job, because I believe he'll be a stabilizing force for years to come.

How many times have you heard about all the coaches that got their start under Pat Summitt? How many times did you hear about the coaching tree that Cuonzo Martin came from?

If Saban had any agenda, it would be that Dooley's success or failure is somewhat of a direct reflection on him. He has the championships and the coaching reputation. Don't you think he also wants to be spoken of in that way too? He's bound to want, "So-and-so comes from the Saban coaching tree," to mean people expect So-and-so to be a great coach.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to LiveFaith:

I'm uncomfortable with kisses from the enemy, their personal friendship, the Aaron Douglas xfer, UT-AL coach swapping, and our AD's previous employment. If they had not been spanking our fanny since 1997, then all these connections would feel a lot better.
Cynical yes, but I don't like being their whipping boy on their way to NCs.

I'm pretty sure the Vols are 8-7 vs the Tide in that timeframe. Can't quite get to where that is spanking our fannies. They did beat us by 31 each of the last two years, but my money says that kind of thing is in the past, now that we have 85 scholarship players and plenty of upperclassmen and depth. I think it's more likely we're going to see games being won by single digits for a while.

bigdisbig writes:

Evidently Saban did not see the Kentucky game.

smokies_old_soul writes:

What turned me against Coach Dooley has been the way he has handled player issues, including discipline. when Darick Rogers was abusive to assistant coaches, he should have been gone. no discussion, no working his way back on the team, no tolerance for that ......... and Dooley said publicly that there are different sets of rules for different players.

you can be the greatest strategist and recruiter in the country, but if you do not have control of your players, you will not succeed.

UT4prez writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I do think we will struggle to score against your D because your D will be that good. However, your O will struggle against our D because your O will be that bad, at least early on. The Gators have dominated without question. History gives you reason to be confident. Simply looking at these teams should not give you confidence. The Gators have just as many concerns as UT and the game is up here. I think the winner will challenge for the East. To me it will come down to our red zone offense. If we are settling for FG attempts UF will win. If we get 3 TDs we win. I look for a low scoring game.

smokies_old_soul writes:

in response to LiveFaith:

I'm uncomfortable with kisses from the enemy, their personal friendship, the Aaron Douglas xfer, UT-AL coach swapping, and our AD's previous employment. If they had not been spanking our fanny since 1997, then all these connections would feel a lot better.
Cynical yes, but I don't like being their whipping boy on their way to NCs.

what planet have you been living on - in 1997, Tennessee was in the middle of an unprecedented 7-game winning streak vs Alabama.

CroKev writes:

What does Saban know?

laraccoon writes:

i noticed Uncle Urban's health improved once he quit the Gators . guess he saw the train wreck of his recruits and couldnt wait to jump ship . maybe he was just embarrassed by the punking he took from Kiffin . oh well i guess Muskrat/Zook wannabe will keep up the underperforming from last season ,

MetroplexMojo writes:

in response to bigfan865:

Rockypop, I think you're wrong.
I think Saban is sincere and really does think DD will be successful. He wouldn't have kept DD on his staff so long if he didn't see a lot of positive.
And DD could have avoided all the criticism about coming from LaTech if he had just stayed as an assistant withNick or moved to another assistant job like Muschamp. But DD wanted to have varied experiences and have HC experience before getting a big HC job.
This hot seat issue is BS. The media doesn't like that DD is like Nick and doesn't kiss their fannies. He gives them very little attention and access to TN football and it ticks them off.
We fans should trust Nick's opinion more than the pitiful sports writers. IMO

No offense, but the hot seat is real. With the soft ticket sales, 5 -7, 6-6 and (probably)7-5 wont cut it.

Of course if Richt, Phillips, Miles, Smith, Muschump, and Chizik went 6-6, they would be fired too.

The_Post_Corrector writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Actually, it would be his first substantial win of any kind, but we all know, it IS POSSIBLY going to happen.

Your POST has been corrected.

fearthehound writes:

in response to UT4prez:

I do think we will struggle to score against your D because your D will be that good. However, your O will struggle against our D because your O will be that bad, at least early on. The Gators have dominated without question. History gives you reason to be confident. Simply looking at these teams should not give you confidence. The Gators have just as many concerns as UT and the game is up here. I think the winner will challenge for the East. To me it will come down to our red zone offense. If we are settling for FG attempts UF will win. If we get 3 TDs we win. I look for a low scoring game.

Why are you talking to this slimy troll? Now get inside and get your bath. How many times do you have to be told? DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!

GerryOP writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The question of the day remains "How will you score points?"

GerryOP writes:

Abso-freakin-lutely amazing. Saban is suckin' up to Dooley hoping we don't beat 'em too badly, and the idiot naysaying negaVols continue to trash Coach Dooley.

Chris Fowler was right.

UT4prez writes:

in response to fearthehound:

Why are you talking to this slimy troll? Now get inside and get your bath. How many times do you have to be told? DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!

I very rarely do. Every now and then I try to talk sense into someone. Funny, they pretty much never respond when I do. I guess they don't like my food because I'm not over the top.

volzrock54 writes:

in response to CroKev:

What does Saban know?

He knows how to coach, win championships, recruit... Now having said that I would want coach Dooley around to if he pretty much gave me an easy win every year.. Dooley isn't and will not be a good coach at UT..

GerryOP writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Actually Lil' ZZGataBoy, UF could save a lot of money by just staying home on 9/15. With your Head-Coach-In-Waiting going bonkers on the sidelines, no starting QB, your leading wide receiver with 16 receptions last season, and no RB who has ever had more than 328 yards rushing in a season or more than 84 in a game, how are you going to score?

UT4prez writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Actually Lil' ZZGataBoy, UF could save a lot of money by just staying home on 9/15. With your Head-Coach-In-Waiting going bonkers on the sidelines, no starting QB, your leading wide receiver with 16 receptions last season, and no RB who has ever had more than 328 yards rushing in a season or more than 84 in a game, how are you going to score?

With their sisters and cousins.

GerryOP writes:

in response to UT4prez:

With their sisters and cousins.

Oh ... I see.

NoogaVol55 writes:

"Derek has done a lot of thing to create program stability."...was he not aware our whole coaching staff jumped ship this off-season?

I hope Dooley is the right guy...I really do, but he has to win NOW.

usafvol writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

They won't after this year doofus..

SevenT writes:

Saban is simply telling Dooley he can have his old assistant coach job back after his poor showing at Tennessee.

AHOUSE writes:

in response to HOW_BOUT_DEM_COWBOYS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How_bout your grade in the english class?

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

although...now that I think about it...when you need another coach in the SEC to defend your job....you're in trouble.

Franklin Roosevelt has the record Rumblefish record . He caught it in a mud hole in Minn.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Haters are going to hate. But the haters will be pushing away the women and children in order to get themselves back on the bandwagon. Just wait.

Miserable. Losers. All of them.

arkyvol writes:

the conference being what it is, i can't blame saban for wanting another weekend off.

arkyvol writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

Haters are going to hate. But the haters will be pushing away the women and children in order to get themselves back on the bandwagon. Just wait.

Miserable. Losers. All of them.

"haters"?

i don't hate dooley. i just think he is a miserable excuse for a sec head football coach.

GerryOP writes:

in response to HOW_BOUT_DEM_COWBOYS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Uh huh, had to change your name again I see. I'll tell you where to send your $30 after we yank a knot in yo' Gatas tail on 9/15,

GerryOP writes:

in response to HOW_BOUT_DEM_COWBOYS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I get a kick out how you Gata clowns keep bragging about your "big" win over UT last year. Hell fools, everybody beat us last year ... even Kentucky!

laraccoon writes:

them Gator fans think going 6-6 last year was great . if the refs hadnt given them the Vandy game on two bad calls they would have been sitting home during bowl season too .Dooley aint had half the talent to work with then Muschump had last year .

underthehill writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nasty..the vast majority of UT fans could not possibly be identified as Dooley Droolers..it's more like they are hopeful and realistic..UT has to be better..but are they better enough..we'll soon see...it's not certain UT will win or lose to NC State and/or Fla..and not certain they will lose to either..and not likely they will get embarrassed if the defense is competitive..

frblalack writes:

in response to AlexAndersonAAradio:

Bear Bryant defended Battle

Annnd your point is? Why wouldn't he defend Battle? Battle was 59-22-2 at UT. And of course he was a very good college football player in his own right.

All Vols - All the Time - Vol for Life!!!

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