Mark Wiedmer: Are Munchak, Dooley headed for Joker's fate?

UT head coach Derek Dooley slams his cane to the ground in reaction to play against Troy at Neyland Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

UT head coach Derek Dooley slams his cane to the ground in reaction to play against Troy at Neyland Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

NASHVILLE — If Tennessee doesn't yet look at itself as a basketball state, perhaps it should consider undergoing that transformation.

I say this after a weekend of watching some of the most depressing and flawed football ever played in the Volunteer State.

It started on Saturday afternoon when UT's Volunteers turned Neyland Stadium into a video game during a 55-48 win over Troy. It moved the Vols to 4-5 on the season, though they remain 0-5 in the Southeastern Conference. It did nothing to cool Big Orange boss Derek Dooley's hot seat, however.

"Football traditionalists are probably rolling over in their graves right now," Dooley said afterward, and Gen. Robert Neyland surely was, though at least the Big Orange won.

Continue reading at the Times Free Press.

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Comments » 85

notorange writes:

Hey Mark, why didn't you include Gene Chizik? i would imagine his seat is hot also..

tnsportsman writes:

YES FIRE THEM BOTH NOW! Don't care that much about the Titans, Adams is a weird dude!

But, OUR VOLS deserves a TOP NAME Coach Now!

GO VOLS, ALWAYS!

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

I don't know if Munchak or Dooley are headed for Joker's fate....but I sure hope Sunseri is. Today.

fasteddief2010 writes:

On the bright side....the VOLS did stop Troy when it counted the most. Really cannot understand if you are playing a 3-4 why you have 4 down linemen most of the time. Put in three, play 4 LB's and COVER THE DANG MIDDLE OF THE FIELD.

On another note...maybe Sal was not ready for a DC job....kinda shows how much Saban really does micro-manage the D huh?

MikeNPS writes:

in response to BigOrangeFever76:

I don't know if Munchak or Dooley are headed for Joker's fate....but I sure hope Sunseri is. Today.

I don't understand why Sunseri has not already been fired.

brokendownoldvol writes:

Not even a basketball like KY puts up with not as near bad coaching as a supposed football school like TN does . What is TN waiting on?

Tennfan4075 writes:

It could be ironic with all the rumors of John Gruden coming to Tennessee and he actually ends up in Tennessee, but in Nashville not Knoxville.

RockVegas writes:

I know the name of the game is to save money when you can,but when you go after cheap product that's normally what you get in return.Good,Smart guy,Coached under Saban,Coach Dooley's Son.That's what got him the job,but he wasn't ready for it,and really didn't deserve it.The powers that be need to throw the bank at a Big Time Coach,they will come to U.T then.Money talk and Bull-,you know the rest..LOL.Everybody thought we would get a good coach,to pull things together for a lil of nothing,that didn't win before he got here,and now it has backfired.I'm so tired of this.We might drop two of the next three.When does Basketball season start...GBO.

StoneJackBaller writes:

Where's all the Dooley supporters??? If the losses to Georgia and SC were moral victories, was the win over Troy a moral loss?

underthehill writes:

As you say Mark..Dooley has indeed made it clear that Sunseri is responsible for the defense..Dooley's attitude seems to be he has no choice in that matter causing some fans to conclude this was Hart's hire..looks to me like Dooley is being careful to not say anything that might cause questions about his buyout...after all he is an attorney...and apparently smarter about business matters than the UT adm...

volfan1202 writes:

Dooley should have been fired after the South Carolina game (possibly after the 2011 Kentucky game). A new coach should have already been announced to give us a leg up on recruiting for next season. I'm not sure what is going on in Dave Hart's head but it doesn't seem to be any thoughts of restoring UT football to being competitive in the SEC.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to Tennfan4075:

It could be ironic with all the rumors of John Gruden coming to Tennessee and he actually ends up in Tennessee, but in Nashville not Knoxville.

Dooley is gone;thats a done deal. Hart is the only reason that it hasn't become official..Sad to say Gruden has now become a long shot at UT..Gruden likes a challenge but he has a cake job that pays at least 5 Million or more..IMO UT will probably be looking to the NFL for our new coach and why not?? It's certainly working well for Penn State

underthehill writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

Where's all the Dooley supporters??? If the losses to Georgia and SC were moral victories, was the win over Troy a moral loss?

I am not a Dooley fan but I do believe he deserves to be treated in a respectful and fair manner by his employer.. either let it be known he will be retained for another year if UT wins out or make some agreement with him that is acceptable to both parties.. this constant bickering over this issue needs to be put to rest...

bkgunter writes:

That photo says it all. A now crippled program impotently slamming its cane into the ground. Because of the play against Troy. Not the Men of Troy, but lil' old Troy State. It's hard to even type that. But here we are.

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

in response to underthehill:

As you say Mark..Dooley has indeed made it clear that Sunseri is responsible for the defense..Dooley's attitude seems to be he has no choice in that matter causing some fans to conclude this was Hart's hire..looks to me like Dooley is being careful to not say anything that might cause questions about his buyout...after all he is an attorney...and apparently smarter about business matters than the UT adm...

Dude, I hate to say it but it is beginning to look like a sceme to bring UT down and really hard. Fulmer leaked info on the mulletheads that was detrimental to their program years back and now Hart, Buddy Hacket, and the LB coach that went back to AL all are in it to destroy us. I truly believe that Buddy was a Hart hire. Dooley would have neveer changed from 4-3 to 3-4 in such a risky year. This is a plot to totally destroy Vol FB as we know it. I think Hart should be canned, along with the entire defensive coaching staff.

I also hate to say it but Dooley would probably make a pretty good AD. Just my opinion. Feel free to bash.

Go Big Orange! Change back to 4-3 before it's too late. Vandy is going to pick us apart.

RockVegas writes:

in response to Volunteer-Varmint:

Dude, I hate to say it but it is beginning to look like a sceme to bring UT down and really hard. Fulmer leaked info on the mulletheads that was detrimental to their program years back and now Hart, Buddy Hacket, and the LB coach that went back to AL all are in it to destroy us. I truly believe that Buddy was a Hart hire. Dooley would have neveer changed from 4-3 to 3-4 in such a risky year. This is a plot to totally destroy Vol FB as we know it. I think Hart should be canned, along with the entire defensive coaching staff.

I also hate to say it but Dooley would probably make a pretty good AD. Just my opinion. Feel free to bash.

Go Big Orange! Change back to 4-3 before it's too late. Vandy is going to pick us apart.

I agree with you.We might give away two of the next three.I'm like Charles Barkley,I Might Be Wrong But I Dought It...BASKETBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE.

Orangepuddinskin writes:

Tennessee will still be a Football state as long as James Franklin is at Vandy. LMAO.

Hart can still change our fate though. What are you waiting for for? Or we can all bleed out watching this team.

underthehill writes:

in response to Volunteer-Varmint:

Dude, I hate to say it but it is beginning to look like a sceme to bring UT down and really hard. Fulmer leaked info on the mulletheads that was detrimental to their program years back and now Hart, Buddy Hacket, and the LB coach that went back to AL all are in it to destroy us. I truly believe that Buddy was a Hart hire. Dooley would have neveer changed from 4-3 to 3-4 in such a risky year. This is a plot to totally destroy Vol FB as we know it. I think Hart should be canned, along with the entire defensive coaching staff.

I also hate to say it but Dooley would probably make a pretty good AD. Just my opinion. Feel free to bash.

Go Big Orange! Change back to 4-3 before it's too late. Vandy is going to pick us apart.

Dooley's statement about having no say in the defense is enough to convince me Sal was hired by Hart..every head coach at any level has that responsibility..or shoud have..

UKblue02 writes:

in response to RockVegas:

I agree with you.We might give away two of the next three.I'm like Charles Barkley,I Might Be Wrong But I Dought It...BASKETBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE.

Agree RV, UK never had any luck playing with that oblong ball anyway, the round one works much better...

CCLC writes:

" It's time for us to turn to each other, not on each other."

tensie2004 writes:

Alot of Dooley supporters said after the very terrible Kentucky game last year, remember how bad that was, that Dooley deserved another year, we could not afford the buyout. Sounds sort of like what we have been hearing all this year for next year. ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE!!! Only a fool keeps doing the same thing year after year and expects different results" . Hope the Vols are no longer fools after this season.

underthehill writes:

in response to UKblue02:

Agree RV, UK never had any luck playing with that oblong ball anyway, the round one works much better...

Blue..I know UK fans enjoy competition in basketball and it looks like they may get some from the Vols this year..I'm looking forward to it and I know you are..

underthehill writes:

in response to CCLC:

" It's time for us to turn to each other, not on each other."

If the UT adm waits until the season is over to make known their plan..it will continue till then..

UKblue02 writes:

in response to underthehill:

Blue..I know UK fans enjoy competition in basketball and it looks like they may get some from the Vols this year..I'm looking forward to it and I know you are..

You are right uth, even though i have to order a tums pizza and stuff during the ut games, i do enjoy the competition...Vols should be a tough game for any team this year, i hope maymon is ok to go..I truly believe the vols will go dancing this year.

redskinvol1 writes:

FIRE DOOLEY NOW!!

Geofffourmyle writes:

Tony Bassalope is on the record:

"The fact that Derek Dooley is still the football coach this morning at the University of Tennessee is insulting.

Allowing Derek Dooley to continue this charade of being a 'coach' with a 'program' is one giant MIDDLE FINGER to this fan base. And what does this fan base do week after week but care profusely? I'll say again. We are TENNESSEE and WE ARE BETTER THAN DEREK DOOLEY FOOTBALL!!!!

When Dooley called that timeout while UT was up 18, to count the players on a Troy field goal attempt, which was an all time low. Troy comes back out and goes on fourth down and scores a TD and you know the rest. Troy was about to get blown out right then and there and Dooley's team is so poorly prepared that they can't even blow that team out."

http://tonybasilio.com/index.php?page...

I just hope the poor guy doesn't have an aneurysm.

baywatchvisitor writes:

I don't usually post but I cannot help but wonder why no one has mentioned Sean Payton's name as a potential head coach (just entertain the idea for a moment). I will shut up and listen to your comments...GBO

brod writes:

win the last three games. just win. then decide the fate of dooley. if he is a lame duck in the bowl game then so be it.

underthehill writes:

in response to UKblue02:

You are right uth, even though i have to order a tums pizza and stuff during the ut games, i do enjoy the competition...Vols should be a tough game for any team this year, i hope maymon is ok to go..I truly believe the vols will go dancing this year.

During the years UT put good teams on the floor ..the KY game was the highlight of the basketball season for the Vols ..and win or lose ..the ones I enjoyed the most..I really like Martin and like the way he is accepting the challenge of competing with KY..and win or lose ..it is the games I am looking forward to the most..

HooRay_Vol writes:

in response to underthehill:

Dooley's statement about having no say in the defense is enough to convince me Sal was hired by Hart..every head coach at any level has that responsibility..or shoud have..

Apologize to Fulmer. Fire Hart and get Fulmer in as AD. Fill all positions with people who know what TN football is all about. This mess started with Kiffin, a Cal kid that had no business being our coach in the first place.....although he can recruit!

sameolvolalum writes:

To those who may know: Has there been any verifiable conversation with Mr. Gruden? Has the mention of Mr. Sunseri's demotion or removal been read or heard by anyone? Have there been ANY conversations or ANY other communications with ANY coaches? Please speak up if you know. Shut up if you're guessing. thus far.....it's all heresay.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to underthehill:

I am not a Dooley fan but I do believe he deserves to be treated in a respectful and fair manner by his employer.. either let it be known he will be retained for another year if UT wins out or make some agreement with him that is acceptable to both parties.. this constant bickering over this issue needs to be put to rest...

I suspect he already knows

BeRealistic writes:

Peyton Manning-HC & OC, Chavis-DC, just saying. LOL

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

"If Tennessee doesn't yet look at itself as a basketball state, perhaps it should consider undergoing that transformation."

Why are people so confused about this? The key to winning isn't some kind of secret formula held by the Masons and only distributed to the Illuminati. You pay good money for successful coaches.

But NO! To brain trust columnists like Mark Wiedmer it's easier to just make puns about being a basketball state because the key to winning at football is so freaking complicated that we can't possibly understand it. Well, I'll go ahead and give you the Colonel's secret spice list:

Want to attract recruits? Hire a good coach. Want to beat teams with better recruits? Hire a good coach.
Want to win championships? Hire a good coach.

But...Oh no...there are no assurances that the next coach will be good...should we risk it? A lot of people have pointed to Notre Dame as a cautionary tale and saying, "Look at how long it took them to be successful we don't want to do that. I guess we better stick with Dooley."

Notre Dame is poised to play for a National Championship BECAUSE they ran through the coaching carousel, not because they stuck with Ty Willingham hoping that he would suddenly become a better coach.

I admire Notre Dame. At least their administration didn't settle. But here in TN, winning is so very complicated (and it took Johnny Majors 8 years to win SO THAT'S HOW LONG IT MUST TAKE EVERY SUCCESSFUL COACH) that we better just resign ourselves to our fate.

Pathetic.

jimr07 writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

YES FIRE THEM BOTH NOW! Don't care that much about the Titans, Adams is a weird dude!

But, OUR VOLS deserves a TOP NAME Coach Now!

GO VOLS, ALWAYS!

So, who is the top name coach you would recommend?

cltvol writes:

The thing that chaps met most is when CDD 'lawyered up' on the DC issue by saying his focus is offense and special teams.

Exiled writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

YES FIRE THEM BOTH NOW! Don't care that much about the Titans, Adams is a weird dude!

But, OUR VOLS deserves a TOP NAME Coach Now!

GO VOLS, ALWAYS!

Who would you get? And don't say Gruden. I just don't know who is out there or who would come. Who do you have in mind?

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

Methinks that Mr. Hart is being very quiet for a couple of reasons. Hopefully, he is thinking at least two things: one, let the season play out, keep the team cohesive, and hope that UT finishes with a winning season. I'm beginning to think that he and the powers that be have already made a decision about Coach Dooley. The circumstances are too similar between now and 2008. But I don't think that Hart wants a repeat of 2008, where, as we all know, Fulmer was fired before the season was over. It was bad timing, all around, then. Number two, you would have to think that Hart and the powers that be are working behind the scenes to find someone else. Maybe they have found somebody already. If they haven't, then surely they are looking. But all of this is pure speculation, nothing more.

It's kind of sad, really. Tennessee has a legitimate SEC offense, but also has a lower-tier Big 12 or Pac-12 defense. Facts are facts.
And as many others have posted, you cannot beat the best teams in this league with a poor defense. And during this season, there is no guarantee of a win in each of the next three games. The Troy game proved that every UT opponent has a chance, even the Cats. Hart realizes this and I would think that "Silent Dave" is currently addressing his options.

Glentenn writes:

The emotional side of me says fire Dooley now, but the logical side of me wonders whether just finding a new defensive coordinator is a better solution. Our offense is excellent, seemingly due to equal parts Tyler Bray, Chaney and Dooley. Seems like finding a quality defensive coordinator would be a better spend of money than paying $7-9 million in buyouts. If there is no major improvement next year, then fire the whole staff and start from scratch.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to UKblue02:

Agree RV, UK never had any luck playing with that oblong ball anyway, the round one works much better...

UK did have Coach Bryant in the late 40s and early 50s. He put out some good teams. Not that I'm trying to make your football season any worse or anything.

jenna1009001 writes:

I wouldn't be surprised if both go. I hope that the Titans gets a whole new coaching staff. Dooley may slip by if he addresses the defense. I really think that Dooley made the same mistake that fulmer made in the year that he got fired. He hired a coordinator that had a sceme that required a different type of football players.

I hope whoever is coaching next year will pay closer attention to whom they hire and how they match up with the players Tennessee has. I think Suneri isn't a bad coorindator, he just isn't a good coorindator for the players that Tennessee has.

I want to see Neyland stadium get roudy again and is filled for every game. I want to see the fans to cause the stadium to shake

crappieking writes:

Stop wasting time with the head coach in training and his pathetic staff. Get rid of all of them. Hart is a joke.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to sameolvolalum:

To those who may know: Has there been any verifiable conversation with Mr. Gruden? Has the mention of Mr. Sunseri's demotion or removal been read or heard by anyone? Have there been ANY conversations or ANY other communications with ANY coaches? Please speak up if you know. Shut up if you're guessing. thus far.....it's all heresay.

Please look up the definition for "heresay" and stop using it incorrectly. Also, if I told you that I knew that Gruden had contact with prominent boosters in recent weeks you would say that I'm a liar and demand proof...so how about you treat this message board like it's a message board and not a court (wherein your "heresay" statement would actually be appropriate).

BTW: I don't know anything about Gruden. Sure would like to see him in UT Orange, but he isn't the only option out there. Anyone would be better than Dooley.

WinkeyVol writes:

One of Coach Dooley's biggest assets when he was hired was his promise to stay with us no matter what. We were raw from Kiffen leaving and Dooley's promise never to leave us seemed really important back then.He will never resign because of his promises and I believe if he leaves he will have to be run off with a stick.

jimr07 writes:

in response to sameolvolalum:

To those who may know: Has there been any verifiable conversation with Mr. Gruden? Has the mention of Mr. Sunseri's demotion or removal been read or heard by anyone? Have there been ANY conversations or ANY other communications with ANY coaches? Please speak up if you know. Shut up if you're guessing. thus far.....it's all heresay.

I am not in the know, but Gruden has consistently said he likes what he is doing now. And, I do not understand the fascination over him. Never was a college head coach.

jimr07 writes:

in response to baywatchvisitor:

I don't usually post but I cannot help but wonder why no one has mentioned Sean Payton's name as a potential head coach (just entertain the idea for a moment). I will shut up and listen to your comments...GBO

Funny.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to baywatchvisitor:

I don't usually post but I cannot help but wonder why no one has mentioned Sean Payton's name as a potential head coach (just entertain the idea for a moment). I will shut up and listen to your comments...GBO

Baywatchvisitor, if the Vols don't win out this season and changes are made, I'm willing to entertain almost any coach to right the ship. The primary exceptions for me have been, are, and will continue to be Butch Davis and Bobby Petrino, for reasons I have mentioned several times on this forum.

jobrando#216494 writes:

Munchak was a cheap in house hire for Bud. Fire him Bud. The report card for that game was straight F by the Tennessean. Not kind at all. KNS has been very nice to the VOLS on grading in comparison to the Titans.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to illinoisvolfan:

Baywatchvisitor, if the Vols don't win out this season and changes are made, I'm willing to entertain almost any coach to right the ship. The primary exceptions for me have been, are, and will continue to be Butch Davis and Bobby Petrino, for reasons I have mentioned several times on this forum.

Petrino to the CATS

UKblue02 writes:

in response to illinoisvolfan:

UK did have Coach Bryant in the late 40s and early 50s. He put out some good teams. Not that I'm trying to make your football season any worse or anything.

No worries illinoisvolfan, only way to go from where we are is up...

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