UT replaces douchey lightly qualified coach with nice lightly qualified coach

Submitted by wolverine1987 on January 16th, 2010 at 11:50 AM

I wonder what the Tennessee faithful are feeling about the Derek Dooley hire. Kiffin amazed people with his ability to find great jobs despite having little experience (2 years as an offensive coordinator before being hired by Oakland, a bad year and change there, and a mediocre year at UT). He was mainly noted for being a great recruiter.

Well Derek Dooley's credentials don't exactly seem comprehensive either. His main experience prior to Louisisana Tech was as a special team coach, tight ends coach, and running backs coach in college. No offense to Fred Jackson and other coaches at those positions, but those position coach jobs are lowest priority on almost any college team. He never was a a coordinator, and at Tech he hasn't set the world on fire either (tough job though). He also has been recognized as an outstanding recruiter. When you compare Kiffin and Dooley, you see a lot of similarities in terms of credentials, but one guy is a nice guy, while the other is a douche with a hot wife. Looking at it purely in terms of credentials, it doesn't seem like an upgrade to me.



January 16th, 2010 at 12:05 PM ^

a guy that stays and grows than a guy that uses and leaves. Although I'm not pro-Kiffin by any means hes stupid but he's not dumb. This would happen in any major program when a head coach leaves this late. I did'nt have a problem with RR when he left because he did'nt f#ck over the recuits. They still had a chance to go somewhere else. GOD make it UM vs. Uconn right now!!!


January 16th, 2010 at 3:03 PM ^

I think you've nailed Kiffin's problem. In ethics we differentiate between "knowledge" and "wisdom" for this reason: One is the ability to apprehend facts, data, information. The other is the ability to marshal that information in the pursuit of what is virtuous or good. In the Hebrew wisdom literature a man behaving like Kiffin is considered "childish" and and is referred to as a "fool" (a term that refers to moral, not intellectual, capacity).

It's a dangerous thing to put the success of your enterprise in the hands of a fool.

• Putting a fool in a place of honor is like handing the axe to your executioner (Prov. 26:6).
• Like a warrior who wounds everyone, so it is for him who hires a fool (Prov. 26:10)

I think it also speaks to the folly of those in leadership at USC (and Tennessee) that they would hire him – especially given the unveiling of Kiffin’s character when he failed the test of leadership at Oakland. In other words, they get what they deserve when they put their future(s) in the hands of a fool.


January 16th, 2010 at 12:37 PM ^

to be a good coach? Many a coordinator have tried and sucked at coaching.

Perhaps what you are getting is someone who understands the game, has worked for a quality college coach and learned what it takes to succeed in college football. Obviously, time will tell, but it appears you are selling the candidate short merely because he was not a coordinator.


January 16th, 2010 at 12:41 PM ^

I'm not selling him short, I am questioning his credentials, but not being definitive in the criticism. And it's not based on not being a coordinator, it's based upon the fact that his position coach responsibilities have been at the low end of the coaching ladder. O-line and D-line coach, QB coach, Secondary coach are all higher level positions than TE, RB and special teams coach in the college game.


January 16th, 2010 at 12:49 PM ^

...after the latest installment of the annual FBS Head Coach merry-go-round, I have one thing to say:

*Two Cheers for RichRod!*

Seriously, if someone says they want to throw RR under the bus, who would clearly be better? You can't even say Urban Meyer right now, don't get me started with Jim Harbaugh, and I don't think Brian Kelly would fit in A2.

Tennessee shows the problem when the timing's not so hot and you suddenly look like yesterday's leftovers.

The ironic thing is that TN probably got the best coach, long-term, as their #5 choice.

That is, until Mark Richt gets thrown under the bus.

So, anyway, hooray for UM, I think we have a Top 10 coach, we just need to get the right guys on the bus.


January 16th, 2010 at 12:49 PM ^

It's really simple. Tennessee is taking a risk. If he's Jim Tressel, a guy from Youngstown St. who had some success at lower levels but was very unproven, then it's a brilliant hire. (Or Gene Chizik for those of you who want an analogy that includes Division One football coaches who had moderate to no success before inheriting an upper-tier job.) If he's Bill Callahan, a guy who had his only success in the NFL on a team essentially built by Jon Gruden and then proceeded to flame out, well...then you are Nebraska for the last 10 years.


January 16th, 2010 at 1:02 PM ^

Look I hate the sweater vest as much as the next guy, but calling him "very unproven" is a stretch, given his record at YSU (via Wikipedia; note first year worse than RR):


Youngstown State University
At the end of the 1985 season, Jim Tressel left OSU to become head coach at Youngstown State University. In Tressel's first season as coach, Youngstown State finished with a 2–9 record. In his second season, Youngstown State finished the season with an 8–4 record and won the Ohio Valley Conference championship. From 1989–1994, Youngstown State would play in the Division I-AA National Championship game four times. In 1991, Tressel won his first National Championship, defeating Marshall; the victory made him and his father the only father-son duo to win National Championships in College Football.
YSU won two more National Championships in the following three years: against Marshall in 1993 (who had defeated them in 1992) and Boise State in 1994. 1997 brought Tressel his fourth National Championship with a 10–9 victory against McNeese State. He earned his 100th win against Indiana State. 1999 marked Tressel's ninth visit to the Division I-AA playoffs, but the team lost to a Paul Johnson coached Georgia Southern in the title game. 2000 presented Tressel with more success, leading Youngstown State to a 9–3 season and its 10th playoff appearance. During the 1990s, Youngstown State had a record of 103–27–2, the most wins by any Division I-AA team and fourth most of both Division I-A and I-AA combined.[citation needed] Tressel's overall record at Youngstown was 135–57–2. He was also named Division I-AA Coach of the Year in ’91, ’93, ’94 and ’97.[2]


January 16th, 2010 at 1:36 PM ^

In my opinion, moving from Division II or FCS to a big-time FBS team like Ohio State is similar to the transition between college and the pros. Being a good coach at a lower level doesn't necessarily translate to being a good coach at a higher level.

For instance, Muddy Waters was a big success at Hillsdale and Saginaw Valley State (where he was the first coach), but flopped at Michigan State. Michigan State was coming out of a bad situation, but Muddy didn't show any signs that he'd get them out of it.

tn wolverine

January 16th, 2010 at 1:11 PM ^

I can tell you. I've been listening to all the local sports talk shows here (Kingsport, Tn) and it's all the same. The main sentiment is Kiffin was "never one of us". He didn't understand how lucky he was to be given an SEC scool to coach (the SEC is the only conference that matters you know). He didn't understand or follow the tradiions here, so that rubbed UT fans the wrong way. They all wanted a coach that would embrace and follow the traditions...but hadn't been here before in any way. The majority were dead set against David Cutcliffe because "he was a step backward" even though he was here before and would embrace the Vol walk and Coach Neyland's maxims. They aren't totally happy about the Dooley hire except that he's more "one of them" and they sort of understand the spot they were put into by Kiffin. Most are in the let's give the guy a chance and support him because he's our new coach camp. You have to realize how they are down here though. The day after winning the National championship in 1998 they were all calling and bitching about how bland the offense was. Never mind that they just won the National Championship the offense wasn't acceptable. That's the mentality here you should win every game and by 30 or more points.


January 16th, 2010 at 2:22 PM ^

In a poll from one of their newspapers. The comment field is very pro-Dooley, though a few want the AD fired and replaced with Phil Fulmer. I agree with them. Hamilton was an idiot for hiring Kiffin in the first place.

The game has bypassed Fulmer as a coach, remarkably similar to how it did Lloyd Carr, but Fulmer would be a grounding presence in the AD office there and a great link between tradition and now.

Anyway, here's a link to the article:



January 16th, 2010 at 1:25 PM ^

if he wasn't Vince Dooley's son? If his last name was Smith or Macadangdang with the same record I really doubt he'd be looking for a home in Knoxville right now. It's sort of ironic given that the douchebag who just left TN has only gotten where he's gotten by dint of the fact that Monte Kiffin is his father.

Dooley may turn out to be a great coach, but I'm skeptical he got the job purely and only because of his record.


January 16th, 2010 at 3:08 PM ^

You know this already, but...

He played a good chunk of three games this year (I don't remember if any of them were starts). No touchdowns, six interceptions, completion percentage of 51.5%. He looked worse than Culpepper, who frankly didn't look very good. He's at the point in his career where if he were a legitimate NFL quarterback he'd have shown something. Anything.

Clair Voyant

January 16th, 2010 at 1:28 PM ^

IMHO, Tennessee took what they thought was high risk, high reward gamble with Kiffin and they lost. Now Tennessee has short notice and limited options so they go with a relative unknown in Dooley.

Tennessee AD has to be reeling at this moment, This moves buys him time to get things in order and settled. If Dooley is not going to work out at least he provides a short term gap to explore better options at a manageable pace.


January 16th, 2010 at 1:43 PM ^

Also, 4 years ago at this time, Derek Dooley was the Tight Ends coach for the Miami Dolphin. Even if the dude is an awful coach at Tennessee, that is a downright impressive climb.


January 16th, 2010 at 1:48 PM ^

Only three years experience as a head coach with only one winning season. There seemed to be better candidates out there. Maybe Tennessee thinks his two years in the pros will help him attract recruits because he has "been there"

Bobby Boucher

January 16th, 2010 at 2:38 PM ^

Okay, but how's his recruiting record. Will this hire combined with the whole Lane "The Weasel" Kiffin fiasco give us a better shot at landing Torian Wilson? Another great O-lineman would make this class more complete.