Just a little over a year ago Vol fans were talking about a new beginning with Lane Kiffin. Now here we are doing it all over again, only this time the new coach is Derek Dooley. I’ve been kind of quiet about the whole coaching thing this week, so I thought it was time I chimed in.
First just let me say that I am disappointed with Lane Kiffin’s decision to leave the University of Tennessee. He really didn’t even give UT a chance. I really feel bad for the players, who will once again have to endure yet another new system. That’s all I’ll say about the former Vols coach, as I would rather focus on the positive and look forward to the future.
I’ll admit I don’t know much about Derek Dooley, except that he is the son of legendary Georgia coach Vince Dooley. That’s a good start for me since he has SEC blood running through his veins. I do like his resume. He has coached under Nick Saban at LSU then with the Miami Dolphins. He has served as head coach and athletic director at Louisiana Tech for the past 3 years. While his overall record at LA Tech is 17-20 he did lead the team to an 8-5 season in 2008 and the school’s first bowl-game win (Independence Bowl) in 30 years. I think coach Dooley brings knowledge and experience to Tennessee, and I expect we’ll see good things from his teams down the road.
I really like some of the things I have read about Derek Dooley. Here’s just a little of what people have to say about him.
“Derek is a very articulate, bright guy. He’s a great coach and a hard-working guy. He was always a very good recruiter in college, which I think is paramount if you’re going to have success as a college coach.”
— Nick Saban, University of Alabama Head Football Coach
“Coach Dooley is such a bright person. He’s made me a better person on and off the field. He’s made me focus every day on every aspect of the game. As a coach, he makes you the best player you can possibly be. He’ll coach you like you’ve never been coached, and he’ll push you to your maximum potential. He is a phenomenal teacher.”
— Randy McMichael, St. Louis Rams Tight End
“He’s the kind of coach that’s got a lot of energy, and he’s somebody that you can relate to on a personal level. He’s great at giving advice while being upbeat at the same time. There aren’t many coaches that will let you have fun while getting the job done at the same time. He has the ability to get that out of you.”
— Joseph Addai, Indianapolis Colts Running Back
I’m excited about the addition of Derek Dooley as the new head coach of the University of Tennessee. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.