Our New Head Coach

Well guys for the second time in two years we as vol fans are trying to get to know a new coach and his staff. Unfortunately for us this coach comes from the Nick Saban line and doesn’t do media interviews all that often and puts his staff and the new freshman off limits to the media. Now I can understand he is busy…I mean he is evaluating tape on our current players, evaluating recruiting tapes, trying to put together the program his way and all that jazz. But Coach Dooley you need to get us the fan base behind your program too. Don’t get me wrong I fully support coach double d and all that he is doing here but I think the transition from WAC to the SEC may be taking some getting use to. From fully closing practice to the media and not letting anyone watch (including people who work there unless they are directly involved with practice) to not even contacting our only recruit for next season who was committed to us? Things have changed and Dooley needs to get it together quickly.

So here we are as Vol fans stuck on the outside looking for any leaks in a program that until recently it was relatively easy to find out what was going on inside. For the foreseable future we wont have any interviews allowing us to meet the new coaching staff or the new players and in my opinion that stinks. We are the most passionate fan base around and to really be successful here Dooley is going to need to become part of us and as of right now he is not (He is working towards it just not taking the easy path).

Now I am not trying to be anti Dooley I just think he needs to be a little more friendly until we know what he can do. As several people have pointed out Saban came into Alabama and did this but he had a national championship and a nfl head coaching job on his resume. Dooley does not.  Dooley does hail from the south though and that is as good considering what just happened when we looked outside of our area for a coach. Son of the legendary Vince Dooley, Vince grew up in Athens and went to Clarke Central high school alongside Chuck Smith, our defensive line coach. Not wanting to grow up in his father’s shadow at UGA Derek left and walked on at UVA as a TE. He earned a scholarship with the Cavaliers following his second season and helped the school to three bowl appearances, including an ACC championship in 1989. He graduated in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in government and foreign affairs, and went on to earn his graduate law degree from Georgia in 1994.Dooley practiced law at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough in Atlanta for almost two years before embarking on his coaching career. I like the idea that he is really smart and always has a plan for what he is doing. I think this analyzing every detail attitude that he has from his Law career will help greatly in the coaching world.

Dooley started his career as a Graduate Assistant and UGA for one year in 1996 before accepting the position of wide receivers coach at SMU. He was there from 97-99 and gained the title of assistant recruiting coordinator his last two years on that staff. He was hired away by Nick Saban at LSU as the TE’s coach and recruiting coordinator. It is these ties to the Bayou and Texas that I am hoping we can begin to capitalize on. Dooley was at LSU from 00-04 serving the final two years as the RB’s coach and Special Teams coordinator. He was the only coach to be taken with Saban to the Dolphins in 05 where he served as the TE’s coach and worked with the special teams there. Upon Saban’s hiring at Alabama in 07 Dooley had the opportunity to follow him back to the SEC, if he had done so in my opinion there would be no doubt that Dooley would be a highly succesful coordinator for Saban by now. However Dooley took to his own and accepted the head job at LA Tech. He battled his way through and comes out with an almost .500 record but more importantly he has been battle tested and knows what it takes to be a head coach (just not how to treat the fans). Dooley would have left with a winning record last season if they had not been ravaged by injuries and playing with 3rd and 4th string guys as starters late in the season. Even with those injurys they were beating LSU at LSU through halftime, and lost three games by a combined 5 points and Boise State by ten whey Boise was blowing everyone else out of the water. Rumor has it even that LSU fans had him tabbed to be the next head coach there once Les is inevitably forced out.

Derek joined the Staff here at UT with less than two weeks till signing day but managed to pull together a group of players who were hurting and keep guys from declaring from the draft prematurely and transferring. He also held together a top recruiting class while adding several nice additions to the fold with less than two weeks worth of relationships. Derek Dooley knows what he is doing I just wish he would fill us in on the plan. I like the idea that he knows what LSU is like and was beating them for over the game last year, also what Saban is like and so I look for LSU or Bama to be  a big upset in our favor maybe this coming year.

Hope you feel like you know a little more about coach Dooley now….



About Steven Harris

Steven Harris is a fifth year senior at the University of Tennessee. Majoring in sports journalism, this blog provides an outlet for Harris to share his thoughts on the state of the University of Tennessee's athletic department''s Volunteer teams. View all posts by Steven Harris

One response to “Our New Head Coach

  • Rich

    I hope we don’t go back to the Phillip Fulmer Era of closed practices and no fun for the fans. We want to be included to feel excited about the team.

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