Blog Entry

Derek Dooley expected to be named Tennessee coach

Posted on: January 15, 2010 1:10 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2010 3:15 pm

Indications are that Derek Dooley will be named the next coach at Tennessee.

A person intimately involved in the search told Dooley was "a great hire," Friday afternoon although no formal announcement had been made. At least three other outlets had reported that Dooley was expected to be Tennessee's choice. Knoxville radio station WNML first reported that Dooley was the choice at about noon ET. reported that Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton would interview current assistant Kippy Brown at 1 p.m. ET.

Dooley apparently did not tell his Louisiana Tech staff of his departure but reportedly cancelled player meetings to travel from Ruston, La. to Knoxville. The son of legendary Georgia coach Vince Dooley has a 17-20 in three seasons as head coach at Louisiana Tech.

As recently as Thursday night, Tennessee officials met with Utah coach Kyle Whittingham in Salt Lake City according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. Whittingham turned down a job offer according to the newspaper. Earlier this week, reported that Tennessee had offered Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp $3 million per season. Duke coach David Cutcliffe said Friday he was staying at the school.

Dooley is a former walk-on receiver at Virginia who earned a scholarship in his second season. He went to earn his law degree from Georgia in 1994. He practiced law for two years in Atlanta before getting into coaching.

His coaching career started with Georgia in 1996 as a grad assistant under Jim Donnan. From there he went to SMU to three years before joining LSU in 2000. That’s where his career took off. Dooley coached tight ends, running backs, special teams and was the recruiting coordinator under Nicks Saban from 2000-2004

Dooley then followed Saban to the Miami Dolphins. In 2007, he was hired by Louisiana Tech. Dooley seemingly comes highly recommended by Nick Saban and Muschamp. All three were on the staff together at LSU.

Muschamp reportedly recommended Dooley to Tennessee after he was pursued by Vols AD Mike Hamilton. Dooley had recommended by Muschamp and Kirby Smart to Saban at LSU. Smart is now the Alabama defensive coordinator under Saban.

As LSU’s recruiting coordinator, Dooley helped LSU land the No. 1-ranked recruiting classes in 2001 and 2003. 

Dooley is expected to inherit the majority of Lane Kiffin's former staff. It was Cutcliffe's unwillingness to do so that kept the Duke coach and former Tennessee assistant from progressing further in talks with Hamilton.

The leftover members of Kiffin's are still recruiting, according to one of those coaches. Coach or no coach, Tennessee is expected to have a group of recruits in this weekend for official visits.



Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: January 15, 2010 1:53 pm

AZ-UKCATFAN-25 years and counting!

Next time you think about commenting about Tennessee football-DONT! Your head coach is Joker Phillips-the joke is on you. Has he ever been a head coach? He has learned one thing-how to lose to Tennessee in football! Derek Dooley is the next Josh Pashner. A coach coming in to pick up the pieces of a sleazy coach who left in the middle of the night and took recruits with him. You recognize the name?

Since: Feb 15, 2007
Posted on: January 15, 2010 1:50 pm

Derek Dooley seems to be the choice at Tennessee

I don't know his name, but Priscilla's dad was a big time US Army guy.

Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: January 15, 2010 1:49 pm

Derek Dooley seems to be the choice at Tennessee

Bruce Pearl was not an unknown.  Anyone that follows college ball knew his name from his blowin the whistle incident that sent him back to working his way up through the lower levels.  He has won everywhere he went and was on every big schools radar.  Certainly cant be compared to Dooley.

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: January 15, 2010 1:48 pm

Derek Dooley seems to be the choice at Tennessee

This feels an awful lot like UK basketball when they were looking for a coach after Tubbs left.  We ended up getting our fourth choice after Izzo. Barnes, Wright turned the job down.......and look what our fouth option got us........ Billy Freaking Gillespie and a  NIT BID for God's sake!!!  Look UT fans you all have owned us in football since I was 5, but trust me from experience.  Getting your 4th option to coach your team is sad and I doubt you all have much to cheer about for a couple of seasons.  Crap who knows UK may actually beat you this year, I doubt many of your recruits will stick around.   Maybe Phil Fulmer is still sitting around somewhere, give him a call.  Peace.

Since: Nov 30, 2009
Posted on: January 15, 2010 1:47 pm

Derek Dooley seems to be the choice at Tennessee

You know your program is in trouble when a coach chooses DUKE over a team that won a championship in 99

Since: Mar 6, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2010 1:46 pm

Derek Dooley seems to be the choice at Tennessee

I agree about recruiting in the south, but if you saw Auburn even once this year...and seeing you are a Kentucky fan you would see that Chizik implimented A-typical Auburn football.  Now, would Dooley be my first, even after all of their rejections, I would have gone after Houston's coach, but the didn't...all I am saying is, Dooley isn't the worst choice they could have made...I don't care either team just won the National Championship.

Since: Jan 13, 2010
Posted on: January 15, 2010 1:44 pm

Derek Dooley seems to be the choice at Tennessee

Well with all this hype, who knows really whats going on. I can tell you this wins and losses as a HC don't matter as much if you can bring in the right staff, the OC and DC are way more imortant than the HC, Kiffen has showed us that. I think though if we were at this point in the search and we left no stone unturned, really should have gave Kippy the shot before bringing this guy in. I think the kids would have rallied around him and played hard for him

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 15, 2010 1:40 pm

Derek Dooley seems to be the choice at Tennessee

Priscilla was the King's wife.  Lisa Marie is his daughter.

Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2010 1:40 pm

Derek Dooley seems to be the choice at Tennessee

Has everybody forgot about the Chizik hire at Auburn....that is turning out pretty well for the cow college...give Dooley a chance.....remember, Chizik was 5-19.

Completely different scenatios, and completely wrong here. Chizik coached at Auburn, knew Auburn's system, and knew how to recruit the south. Dooley has no ties, barely has won anything, and is walking into a powder keg situation. Tennessee is desperate to salvage what they have and it shows. It's just more proof that Tennessee is no longer considered a Top Tier program.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 15, 2010 1:40 pm

Derek Dooley seems to be the choice at Tennessee

Priscilla was his wife, not the King's daughter, Lisa Marie.

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