David Climer: Is Saturday's game the beginning of the end for Derek Dooley?

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley looks on in the fourth quarter as the Vols play the Alabama Crimson Tide at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley looks on in the fourth quarter as the Vols play the Alabama Crimson Tide at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

NASHVILLE - When times are tough, Williams-Brice Stadium is the football version of the Bermuda Triangle for Tennessee coaches.

Two of them — John Majors in 1992 and Phillip Fulmer in 2008 — have encountered turbulence, lost their bearings and ultimately disappeared from the radar screen.

A third — Derek Dooley — should check the flight plan before taking off this weekend.

With a three-game losing streak heading into his fourth straight game against a ranked team, Dooley’s job security is in free-fall. And as history has taught us, carrying excess baggage into a game at South Carolina can be hazardous to your continued employment at UT.

Continue reading at The Tennessean.

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Comments » 235

south_alabama_vol writes:

Only time will tell us that.

Alumni_06 writes:

well duh

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

I would say the Bama game more than sealed the deal..Pretty much accelerated a serious coach search

ScottEmge writes:

Jon Gruden. Get him.

Tacomeat writes:

Win or lose can a case be made more him to keep his job? I say NO!

If you are a fan of coach Dooley give me 1 reason for why he deserves to stay as head coach of the Vols.

LifetimeVolFan98 writes:

I love how Climer "rewrote" a story that has been posted on KNS ALL firggin' week....nice writing Climer (sarcasm intended). Please come up with original stuff, that is what the Tennessean pays you to do...DA!

snuffysmiff writes:

John Majors didn't lose his job because he lost to South Carolina, he lost it by being John Majors, whose howitzer mouth overloaded his BB butt one time too many.

sec_fan writes:

IF he can win out I think he still has a chance. If he loses to USC and wins out about 50/50. If the loses USC and one of the final four, he needs to update his resume.

lovinwk writes:

The question on the table is this: Do we believe that CDD can get us to a level that is competitive in the SEC? If the answer is "No", the record doesn't matter. We need someone that we can say "Yes" to.

pcorange writes:

A win over South Carolina would give CDD his first win over a ranked opponent. Will that buy him more time? Who knows? I'm not sure South Carolina is nearly as good as everyone thought they were after the beatdown of UGA. We put up 44 on UGA, so they're pretty weak defensively same as us. SC would seem to have a pretty good defense, but Florida blistered them for 44. The point I'm trying to make is that even though SC is currently ranked, a win over them really isn't as impressive with them coming off back to back losses themselves as it would have been had we played them the week after the UGA game. I think CDD has to win this week and then run the table on the teams he's supposed to beat to even have a prayer of being back next year, and that probably still won't be enough.

jdt24boxer writes:

he didnt have the resume to earn the job and has done nothing to say he should keep it. are we the new kentucky of the sec. he has to go.

615VOL writes:

Yes, it is the end. He stabilized the program to a degree but didn't show any tangible improvement. Hopefully we will get a big name into the program who will recruit and win some of these big SEC games and get us back to our winning ways

GloryDays writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

I would say the Bama game more than sealed the deal..Pretty much accelerated a serious coach search

Losing to Mississippi State was the final blow, we all knew bama would kill us but the Vols can't beat MS? We couldn't beat a bad Kentucky team, I am afraid Vandy will beat us. Well coached teams get better as the sesaon goes on, the Vols are getting worse, that is bad coaching! Dooley gets his 5 million in parting gifts, I think that is all he really wants now. Greedy Mike Hamilton got his money and destroyed this program, it a bunch of phooey!

Smoky_Mtn_Vol writes:

Dooley has to go I don't care if he wins out. He is not a good coach or leader. He has way too much talent on that team not to at least have beaten Miss State and competed in the other games we lost bad. You look at teams with less talent than Tennessee and some of them are playing better becuase they have better coaching. It all comes down to coaching and he is not a good coach he has got to go.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

The die may have already been cast. However, a win over the LameCocks on Saturday will only help. With that win, we should be able to win out giving us an 8-4 season with a decent bowl. Dooley cannot p****foot around on Saturday. If Bray is stinking it up....YANK HIM.

Fingers crossed on this one!

Vols 27
LameCocks 24

CrankE writes:

"Is Saturday's game the beginning of the end for Derek Dooley?"

If we're lucky...

Day 1014 of the Hostage Crisis

"You're not going to have Tennessee to kick around anymore." Because we won't "just put our heads in our tails and go home."

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

Will y'all leave the boy alone, please. Let the man heal his hip and then see what he can do. Way, way, way too early to be talking about replacing Dooley.

He can win, especially against mediocre opponents from inferior conferences. Get off his back and let the magic happen.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to Tacomeat:

Win or lose can a case be made more him to keep his job? I say NO!

If you are a fan of coach Dooley give me 1 reason for why he deserves to stay as head coach of the Vols.

If you are a state university that has been cutting the athletic program and other budgets all across the board, how can you justify paying Dooley to not coach? As this article mentioned we are still paying Fulmer!! Folks, Gruden is not coming, nor is any other reputable coach, what we will get is another Dooley type coach that will have to rebuild even more. Yes, Dooley sucks but he is the only realistic option we have now.

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

in response to ScottEmge:

Jon Gruden. Get him.

Why? For what? Color analysis on your radio broadcasts?

The Jon Gruden phenomenon is what's wrong with you people. Y'all get something in your mind and won't let go of it; Bruce Pearl is swell, Nukeese is Percy, Eric Berry will destroy Tebow, Peyton for Heisman, ESPN hates us, fear the Kiffin, fear the pants, Bryce Brown will win multiple Heismans, Tebow can't throw, spread wont work in SEC, Florida will suck when Wuerffel leaves, when Grossman leaves, when Leak leaves, when Percy leaves, when Tebow leaves, when Rainey and Demps leave, when Gillislee leaves, and now the latest, WE WANT GRUDEN.... and on and on...

GRUDEN IS NOT COMING TO UT, AND SO WHAT IF HE DOES! Gruden strikes fear into NOBODY. Derek Dooley himself would win more games at UT over the next 3 years than Gruden.

Sheesh.

VolsInYourMouth writes:

I hate this for coach DD. I like the guy, i really do. He's a class act. I just don't think he has what it takes to get UT back to a legitmate threat in the SEC. I just don't know who else we could go get right now? Maybe give coach DD another year despite how this year turns out? I dunno. But, I sure hate this coaching carousel that we're on at UT. It's not good.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to ScottEmge:

Jon Gruden. Get him.

Stop being stupid.

StoneJackBaller writes:

The beginning of the end was the loss to Kentucky.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

Why? For what? Color analysis on your radio broadcasts?

The Jon Gruden phenomenon is what's wrong with you people. Y'all get something in your mind and won't let go of it; Bruce Pearl is swell, Nukeese is Percy, Eric Berry will destroy Tebow, Peyton for Heisman, ESPN hates us, fear the Kiffin, fear the pants, Bryce Brown will win multiple Heismans, Tebow can't throw, spread wont work in SEC, Florida will suck when Wuerffel leaves, when Grossman leaves, when Leak leaves, when Percy leaves, when Tebow leaves, when Rainey and Demps leave, when Gillislee leaves, and now the latest, WE WANT GRUDEN.... and on and on...

GRUDEN IS NOT COMING TO UT, AND SO WHAT IF HE DOES! Gruden strikes fear into NOBODY. Derek Dooley himself would win more games at UT over the next 3 years than Gruden.

Sheesh.

I fully agree with you. There are some less than intelligent fans who keep dreaming of some big name coach coming in here and producing an immediate winning team. Gruden is not leaving his cushy job at espn to come clean up this mess at UT.

And you are right, nobody fears Gruden - never did, never will.

SummittsCourt writes:

This continual talk of replacing Dooley whether real or not is not doing recruiting any favors. It needs to stop immediately.

allvol8 writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

Why? For what? Color analysis on your radio broadcasts?

The Jon Gruden phenomenon is what's wrong with you people. Y'all get something in your mind and won't let go of it; Bruce Pearl is swell, Nukeese is Percy, Eric Berry will destroy Tebow, Peyton for Heisman, ESPN hates us, fear the Kiffin, fear the pants, Bryce Brown will win multiple Heismans, Tebow can't throw, spread wont work in SEC, Florida will suck when Wuerffel leaves, when Grossman leaves, when Leak leaves, when Percy leaves, when Tebow leaves, when Rainey and Demps leave, when Gillislee leaves, and now the latest, WE WANT GRUDEN.... and on and on...

GRUDEN IS NOT COMING TO UT, AND SO WHAT IF HE DOES! Gruden strikes fear into NOBODY. Derek Dooley himself would win more games at UT over the next 3 years than Gruden.

Sheesh.

Not to mention he is NOT a proven HC in college FB.I like him..but he only won the SB once..

thevoice writes:

in response to Tacomeat:

Win or lose can a case be made more him to keep his job? I say NO!

If you are a fan of coach Dooley give me 1 reason for why he deserves to stay as head coach of the Vols.

The results of the ceramic dog can be seen on the field. It was a brilliant idea.

MGVOL22 writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

Why? For what? Color analysis on your radio broadcasts?

The Jon Gruden phenomenon is what's wrong with you people. Y'all get something in your mind and won't let go of it; Bruce Pearl is swell, Nukeese is Percy, Eric Berry will destroy Tebow, Peyton for Heisman, ESPN hates us, fear the Kiffin, fear the pants, Bryce Brown will win multiple Heismans, Tebow can't throw, spread wont work in SEC, Florida will suck when Wuerffel leaves, when Grossman leaves, when Leak leaves, when Percy leaves, when Tebow leaves, when Rainey and Demps leave, when Gillislee leaves, and now the latest, WE WANT GRUDEN.... and on and on...

GRUDEN IS NOT COMING TO UT, AND SO WHAT IF HE DOES! Gruden strikes fear into NOBODY. Derek Dooley himself would win more games at UT over the next 3 years than Gruden.

Sheesh.

Thank you....I cannot for the life of me figure out why everyone wants Gruden...Really what has he really done? And what are he REAL Tennessee ties? Graduate Assistant in 86 & 87 .. and his wife was a UT cheerleader...ummm ok.

People act like if we get Gruden all will be well....

How about REAL Vol fans stand behind their school/team....I stand behind Dooley because he is Tennessee's head coach and I love TENNESSEE...if he is gone, I will stand by the next guy, etc...

thevoice writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

This continual talk of replacing Dooley whether real or not is not doing recruiting any favors. It needs to stop immediately.

Okay, that's it. Everyone stop it!!

thevoice writes:

in response to VolsInYourMouth:

I hate this for coach DD. I like the guy, i really do. He's a class act. I just don't think he has what it takes to get UT back to a legitmate threat in the SEC. I just don't know who else we could go get right now? Maybe give coach DD another year despite how this year turns out? I dunno. But, I sure hate this coaching carousel that we're on at UT. It's not good.

UT is among the top 10 winningest football programs of ALL TIME, even before Fulmer took over. It think we deserve better than a $2M/yr coach, unless we want $2M/yr head coach results. Look at other schools wth success; they're paying $3M to $6M/yr.

thevoice writes:

in response to MGVOL22:

Thank you....I cannot for the life of me figure out why everyone wants Gruden...Really what has he really done? And what are he REAL Tennessee ties? Graduate Assistant in 86 & 87 .. and his wife was a UT cheerleader...ummm ok.

People act like if we get Gruden all will be well....

How about REAL Vol fans stand behind their school/team....I stand behind Dooley because he is Tennessee's head coach and I love TENNESSEE...if he is gone, I will stand by the next guy, etc...

Then why do we have political elections? So we can vote them out if we prefer someone else. Doesn't mean we don't like or support our country. What's the difference here?

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

I wish this article would be the beginning of the end of your time writing for the KNS. You and John Adams could retire together in Greenland.

Vols_fan_27 writes:

If our Vols Upset USC this weekend there is still a good chance this team goes 8-4 to finish the season. That in my opinion (based off of financial situation) gets Dooley another year. I know that I will get criticized for this but look at Majors' first few year... not spectacular... but this is a guy that is beloved by all Vol fans. Right now, I just want to see a win... GBO!

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

I fully agree with you. There are some less than intelligent fans who keep dreaming of some big name coach coming in here and producing an immediate winning team. Gruden is not leaving his cushy job at espn to come clean up this mess at UT.

And you are right, nobody fears Gruden - never did, never will.

I suspect you'll change your tune in a few years.

Cousin_Eddie writes:

If bleacherreport is correct, Gruden makes 4.3 million per year to announce 17 MNF games per year. If that's accurate, there's no way he's gonna give that up to work 100 hours a week 52 weeks a year.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/11...#/articles/1176563-the-15-most-shockingly-overpaid-people-in-sports/page/9

OrangeBloodFlood writes:

Oue defense was good in the first game against NC St but we have gotten worse as the season progressed, same with Tyler Bray.....sounds like coaching to me...or lack thereof

volnsc writes:

Would Gruden bring any stability to UT? Nope. He's off to the NFL at the first opportunity. Can UT right now afford to pay the coach they would want what would be demanded. Not sure. UT is not in the best financial condition at present. I personally believe a .500 finish will get CDD another year. Plus not sure what he was told at the time of his hiring. Cubbard was bare at his arrival. He has done some good things and some not so good. Next years team will be quite good. There is an acceptable recruiting class shaping up for depth. And the coffers will have another year to get replenished if needed. So, sit back and enjoy the ride. When Spurrier leaves, the Shamecocks return to their rightful place. It's about time for Saban to move again. Can't believe Muschamp will continue at the pace he is going. So things might look a bit better brighter in a year or so.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to MGVOL22:

Thank you....I cannot for the life of me figure out why everyone wants Gruden...Really what has he really done? And what are he REAL Tennessee ties? Graduate Assistant in 86 & 87 .. and his wife was a UT cheerleader...ummm ok.

People act like if we get Gruden all will be well....

How about REAL Vol fans stand behind their school/team....I stand behind Dooley because he is Tennessee's head coach and I love TENNESSEE...if he is gone, I will stand by the next guy, etc...

Gruden has excelled at the highest levels of football where Dooley has proven to be an average at best MAC coach.

It's really not that hard to understand how things could be much better with a coach that has actually won meaningful games and proven experience running a team.

MemphoVol writes:

Have our losses this year suprised anyone? Why all the noise now about firing Dooley? Everyone knew going into this year that we would be a long shot to win the East. Give this thing some time people. The wheels didn't come off in a year or two and it's going to take more than a year or two to fix. Piling on by our fan base does not help our team or recruiting.

rocky_topper writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

The beginning of the end was the loss to Kentucky.

Bingo! Totally agree!

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to Vols_fan_27:

If our Vols Upset USC this weekend there is still a good chance this team goes 8-4 to finish the season. That in my opinion (based off of financial situation) gets Dooley another year. I know that I will get criticized for this but look at Majors' first few year... not spectacular... but this is a guy that is beloved by all Vol fans. Right now, I just want to see a win... GBO!

There was a time when UT expected to win games.

We're not gonna get back to that under Dooley.

Keeping him is not an option at this point.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to MemphoVol:

Have our losses this year suprised anyone? Why all the noise now about firing Dooley? Everyone knew going into this year that we would be a long shot to win the East. Give this thing some time people. The wheels didn't come off in a year or two and it's going to take more than a year or two to fix. Piling on by our fan base does not help our team or recruiting.

We are in year 3 of Dooley's rebuild project and look worse now than we did in year one.

Winning the East never crossed my mind heading into the season, not being completely humiliated by every SEC opponent we have faced to this point was a reasonable expectation though.

Dooley has failed to meet even the most conservative expectations.

Orangeblood64 writes:

I think Dooley should change his name to Do-little or better yet Do-Nothing. Please Gruden...save us.

Cousin_Eddie writes:

Gruden had a winning record a whopping 6 out of 11 years in the NFL and has a career record of 100-85. I don't get the hype.

OrangeBloodFlood writes:

Why is everyone bashing "Chuckie"?,the reason most of us think he could do well at UT is because he is known nationally and to suceed at UT you have to be able to recruit nationally.I like Dooley but felt when he was hired that he was getting in over his head.He didn't win at La.Tech, what made us think he could win here? Lets be honest....we wound up with Dooley because everyone else turned us down because of the situation at the time.
And HEY, Chuckie cooked wings at Hooters, do you think DD has ever had to work a job like that? Think about it ! Nick Saban grew up "hard"and that is reflected in his coaching.I for one think Chuckie could do for UT what Saban has done for Ala.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to Cousin_Eddie:

Gruden had a winning record a whopping 6 out of 11 years in the NFL and has a career record of 100-85. I don't get the hype.

He isn't Dooley, Kiffin, or Fulmer.

Vols fans have needed some sort of hope to latch onto the past decade. Why not let it be to a Super Bowl winning coach with some vague 20 year old association to the school and an alumni wife?

Hope is a good thing, sometimes the best thing.

Stooley_Dinks writes:

I love it! We are getting daily articles on getting a new coach. Climer actually fed Dooley's words back to him. There can be no doubt where he stands. I even feel a little sorry for Dooley...but he still needs to go.

For all of you crying about the impact of the change, how do you know that recruits would not prefer a new coach over Dooley? All the excuses for staying positive and holding hands in unison love for our wonderful coach are stale and enabling a program to wallow in misery.

Hey, we did not fire Fulmer for this. Hack if you want. I took my share of swings at Phil too. But, not even the most ANTI of Anti-Fulmers can argue that going from Fulmer to Dooley is what they had in mind. I know Kiffin threw a wrench in there, but Fulmer to Dooley. Seriously?!? Is that the best we can do? No!

Vols_fan_27 writes:

Why do people think that gruden is the answer? He should be 3rd or 4th on the list. I like the guy buy just don't see it working. Find someone proven to turn around a program... Like i said before... Someone like a Charlie Strong that has proof of turning a program around with An SEC background... GBO!

UTengr36 writes:

Kentucky was the beginning of the end for Dooley.

OrangeBloodFlood writes:

Lane Kiffin almost beat Bama while playing a walk-on at center, say what you want,the man could coach.His "dream" job just came open at the worst time for UT fans and I for one don't blame him for taking it.I appreciate some things DD has done such as the VFL program,something that should have been done long ago.Bottom line....Ala. is getting the "jimmies"and "joes" and that what it boils down to.We have to be able to recruit with them before we can compete with them !

GerryOP writes:

in response to Tacomeat:

Win or lose can a case be made more him to keep his job? I say NO!

If you are a fan of coach Dooley give me 1 reason for why he deserves to stay as head coach of the Vols.

He's 2 1/2 years into a 5-6 year rebuilding program and UT committed to give him the time he needed to do the job he was hired to do. That's why he has a six year contract with a large buyout.

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