As the Tennessee football program staggers from the sudden and untimely departure of Lane Kiffin … as coach after coach seems to turn down Volunteer overtures … as the UT fan base frets over a wrecked recruiting class … here is some unsolicited advice.
Hire Derek Dooley.
Welcome back to The Campus Game and let me start by saying I do have a dog in this fight. Actually two or three.
As a teacher and coach fresh out of the University of Georgia, I worked at Clarke Central High School in Athens for a few years. There we had a young, undersized tight end with a pretty famous dad that worked a mile or two down the road.
While I never coached Dooley’s position and did not know him too well, he was a consumate student and player on a championship high school program. Smart but not overbearing. Confident but not cocky. Respectful but not obsequious.
Dooley went to the University of Virginia, played under George Welsh, and later earned a law degree. Once the coaching bug bit, he eventually hooked up with Nick Saban at LSU and then the Miami Dolphins.
At Louisiana Tech the past few years, Dooley has been the only D-I head football coach also serving as Athletic Director (at least to my knowledge).
Young, telegenic, and personable, Dooley fits the mold of a rising young head coach … much like Lane Kiffin without all the arrogance and baggage.
The Vols should snag him now.