When I first received news that Derek Dooley, from LaTech, would be the next coach at the University of Tennessee, I was concerned at first. I judged the book by its cover. I saw the name of LaTech and my immediate emotions took over that this was a major flop. I am not saying that I now believe he is the "savior" of our program, or anything along those lines. I am saying however that after looking deeper in to his resume, I realized that he is qualified for this postion. I use the word qualified because I am not sure he has completely proven himself as a head coach yet. He did do some good things in his short stay at LaTech, in bringing in some great recruits for a team of that nature. But what else has Derek Dooley done, I have gathered a brief history of where coach Dooley has come from.
Coach Dooley, as everyone knows, is the son of legendary Georgia coach, Vince Dooley. He attended the University of Virginia as a walk on wide receiver who eventually earned a scholarship. After UVA, Dooley attended law school at the University of Georgia, and practiced law for 2 years in Atlanta upon graduating. In 1996, Dooley returned to UGA as a graduate assistant. He was there for one year before serving as co-recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach at Southern Methodist University (SMU) from 1997-1999.
Next Dooley went to LSU, where he remained until 2004. While at LSU, he served as recruiting coordinator and secured 2 number 1 recruiting classes in 2001 and 2003. Dooley also coached running backs and tight ends at LSU, including Joseph Addai. Next, Dooley followed Coach Nick Saban from LSU to the NFL and the Miami Dolphins. While with the Dolphins Dooley coached the tight ends. After 2 years with the Dolphins Dooley arrived at LaTech, and eventually at UT.
Dooley provides a great resume for this position. But I was even more impressed in listening to him talk. He will not be a coach that is in the news everyday, or the most exciting guy in the room. But he seems to be honest, and very hardworking. I believe he will be a great recruiter, just as he has proven to be in the past. And I believe that in time, he stands a chance to do great things in this program. It will take time, and Tennessee fans are not known for their patience. But that is what it will take. We need to support coach Dooley and give him a real chance. He seems to be a man of great integrity thst will "give his all for Tennessee today."