Dooleyisms: Memorable sayings from former UT head coach Derek Dooley
Raw video: Dave Hart press conference on Dooley's firing
The outcry reached its fever pitch Saturday night.
As the Tennessee football team took a 41-18 beatdown by Vanderbilt — running the Vols' SEC record to 0-7 this season and 4-19 in coach Derek Dooley's three-season term — former Tennessee players took to social media to vent.
Former Tennessee wide receiver Joey Kent tweeted Saturday: "I'm embarrassed. #Vols"
Former Vols defensive lineman Robert Ayers tweeted: "Did Dooley really bench (quarterback Tyler) Bray? Smh (shaking my head) Somebody please fire this dude. Enough is enough."
He got his wish Sunday.
Tennessee (4-7) announced the firing of Dooley, who wound up with a 15-21 record.
More former players shared their feelings when contacted by the News Sentinel on Sunday.
Dennis Rogan, a 2007 Fulton High School graduate who played defensive back 2007-09, said watching Tennessee cycle downward the past few years has been "very frustrating."
"Having played there, you want to see them do good," he said. "But I've been waiting for this day to come for a while. I could see it coming.
"I'm glad this happened. We can turn this page and try to get back right."
Former Austin-East star Anthony Anderson played for Phillip Fulmer, for Lane Kiffin and for Dooley. He echoed Rogan's comment.
"Honestly, after I lost my first coach, I never had a close relationship with any other coach for the fact that they were coming and going. I appreciate all the coaches I've had," said Anderson, "but it's been a rough three, four or five years, however long (Dooley has) been there.
"I had to turn the TV off for a minute yesterday, because I could not believe how bad we were looking in the second half. It was embarrassing to see what was going on last night."
Nick Reveiz, a former linebacker and Farragut graduate, played for the same Tennessee staffs as Anderson.
When Reveiz left Tennessee after Dooley's first season, he felt the program was in good hands. Tennessee closed with four consecutive wins to reach a bowl game, and Reveiz — in less than a year's time — had developed a nice player-coach relationship with Dooley.
"He treated me well," said Reveiz. "I remember leaving Coach Dooley's office after my senior exit, an interview/meeting, and I went up there to talk to him. I felt like they were going to keep progressing in a good direction. So it was surprising to see a 5-7 season last year, and who knows how it will finish this year?
"It's just a hard time for Tennessee. It's not fun for Coach Dooley and his family. It's not fun for the fan base. It's not fun for the players."
Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will be the interim coach for Saturday's season finale against visiting Kentucky (2-9, 0-7 SEC).
But whomever Tennessee hires as Dooley's successor, former Vol defensive end Todd Kelly (1989-92) hopes the coach can restore the tradition.
"When you look at Dooley, when he came to Tennessee, he walked into a mess. Tennessee was already at the crossroads as a program. He stabilized the program, but it all came down to the wins and losses. I like Dooley as a person. I thought he was a good coach. However, it's just one of those things that when you walk into a mess, it's going to be hard to fix.
"And whoever comes in next, they got their work cut out.
"We need to get that swagger back. That's what's missing: the tradition. The 'T' on the helmet, what does it mean now? Is it still the Power 'T'?"