Good move, Tennessee

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Like a lot of other people who follow SEC football, I thought the higher-ups at Tennessee had lost their minds when they hired Derek Dooley last year. I know he’s Vince’s son, but he had a losing record at Louisiana Tech.

Dumb hire, I told everyone I knew.

I’ve changed my mind.

I think it was a very good (maybe even brilliant) hire based on what I’ve seen so far.

Dooley did a remarkable job in his first season with a team that lacked depth and had so many true freshmen playing key roles. He went 6-7. But that record could have easily been 8-5. Two of those losses (LSU and North Carolina)  were actually wins for a few seconds before officials decided more time remained and the Vols had to swallow losses of the most painful kind.

“I tell everybody I was 8-7 in winning handshakes last season,” Dooley quipped at SEC Media Days on Thursday.

Dooley is good friends with new Florida coach Will Muschamp. The two worked together at LSU and the two families have remained close.

Dooley and Muschamp remind me of each other. They’re both smart, they both have a well-defined plan for building a program and winning, they’re both tough and disciplined. They both coached under Nick Saban.

The Tennessee players have clearly bought into a coach who many questioned when he first took the job.

“Coach Dooley is doing a phenomenal job bringing great recruits in and establishing what he wants — a program of character and integrity,” star running back Tauren Poole said. “It’s just great to have him in the program. I’m excited to see what UT is going to do. We trust him and the values he’s going to instill in the program.”

I’ve changed my mind. Hiring Dooley was a great move by Tennessee.

9 COMMENTS

  1. I said it when you wrote the last article and I will say it again….Oh no not another Dooley. He will be a force to be dealt with for many years to come. Georgia might have waited one year to long to replace Ritch.

  2. Mushchamp loved the Gators first! If he’s successful, he’s staying!
    FYI, it should be “dumb hire” 😉
    The SEC will always have great coaches, that’s what makes it so tough to win, and so successful in the post season.

  3. At this point little is known about either coach, although Dooley has a bit of track record. My concern about both is that they seem lacking in imagination and will simply mediocre along with the same old schemes and hope to out-recruit to win. In a close game with good fundamentals (line play, speed, etc.) it looks like Spurrier can take either of them, just as he has every other SEC coach. Even Satan of Alabama can’t handle Spurrier unless he has vastly superior player talent.

  4. Tommy- some people may come and go, but the standards of UF football will remain at a premium only to attract the best coaches. Most people felt sick and devasted two years ago when Coach Meyer first resigned, but not as much last year after a sub-par season. In my opinion, the only person we should be deeply concerned about losing and replacing is when Mr. Jeremy Foley decides to retire.

  5. Wait until Weiss takes Spurrier to school! Weiss got it done in the NFL and had success, offensively, in college – something Spurrier couldn’t do! Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the things Spurrier did for UF; however, he chose to coach a team that plays UF every year, so, he’s an enemy now! Just because he has UF ties, many Gator fans have cheered him on – not me! I cant wait to see Weiss take him to school!