Albama Arkansas Auburn Florida Georgia Kentucky LSU Mississippi State Missouri Ole-Miss USC Tennessee Texas A&M Vanderbilt
Latest News

UT’s Dooley Says New A.D. Hart Has Re-Energized Him

When a new athletic director arrives on campus, coaches tend to pucker up a bit.  That’s because ADs — like most new bosses — often like to put their own people in place around them.  In the case of Derek Dooley at Tennessee, it would seem he’d have plenty of reasons to worry about the intentions of his new boss, Dave Hart.

Speak to those close to the Tennessee program and you’ll soon learn that even the assistant coaches believe Dooley’s job won’t be safe unless he wins eight football games this fall.  Coming off a 5-7 season, a streak-ending loss to Kentucky, and facing a further decline in season-ticket sales, Dooley’s seat is warm to say the least.

Couple that with the fact that Hart — who came from Alabama (no banjo on his knee, though) — has close ties to new Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri and is rumored to be tight with Alabama defensive coordinator/up-and-coming coaching prospect Kirby Smart and you might expect Dooley to be looking over his shoulder these days.

Not so.  At least not according to the coach:


“Dave has had a real re-energizing effect on me in a positive way.  He, of course, has a great background of understanding big-time college athletics.  He was the son of a coach, so he gets coaching.  He gets the day-to-day problems that come with coaching, and he’s just been incredibly supportive of everything we’re doing.

We have a lot of dialogue.  We talk at least every week, and he’s very much in tune with our issues.  My only hope is that we allow Dave to do his job, and that’s the only hope I have.  If Dave’s allowed to do his job, then we’re going to have success as a department…

I think we’re on the same page (regarding expectations), and I think what I appreciate about Dave is that he also understands the world of coaching.  He understands that (there’s) things you can control, and certainly we need to show significant improvement on that. He understands things you can’t control that you have to learn to manage day to day.

We’re on the same page, and I’m appreciative of Dave’s kind of taking on this role.  I think he’s going to be great for Tennessee.”


Sounds good.  But Dooley better get off to a good start this fall and provide proof of progress if his relationship with his new boss is to remain positive.

As for the coach’s odd comment regarding Hart being allowed to do his job, rest assured that some UT fans will wonder if Dooley might be targeting Tennessee chancellor Jimmy Cheek with that remark.



Hopefully Hart knows how to use a defibrillator because that is the only thing that might help re-energize Dooley and his downward spiraling football team.


"We’re on the same page"


Dave Hart understands that Dooley must win 8 games and go to a decent bowl in order to return for the 2013 season.


Derek Dooley understands that he must win 8 games and go to a decent bowl in order to return for the 2013 season.


From what I've learned regarding David Hart, he is a matter-of-fact type guy. I have little doubt that he has made clear the expectation and that Dooley is "on the same page"


Begs the question, why wasn't Dooley energized enough to begin with? losing to KY didn't do it? Going 5-7 didn't do it? Dooley is a little boy trying to do a grown man's job.


I know this will be met with skepticism, but I've heard from people I know in the athletic department that Dooley is gone no matter what. 10-2, he's gone. Hart wants his own guy and no one believes Dooley can get it done.


What surprised me is how low of an opinion the people in the athletic department seem to have of Dooley as a person. If he's had one thing going for him, it's the whole "well at least he's a good guy" thing. I've heard he's not. Yelling at the grounds crew, having graduate assistants go get his car after work, stuff like that. I'm sure other coaches do that, and I'm not saying it's a big deal, it was just kind of surprising to hear because the perception has been "Derek Dooley; average coach but great guy". 


Who really knows. 


Cheek is the Chancellor of the University, not the president.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator



Sorry, when dealing with 14 presidents and chancellors across the SEC, we're in the habit of just writing president because that's a term everyone understands.  Perhaps we should just write "El Numero Uno Honcho."


We'll correct it though.


Thanks for reading,


Follow Us On:
Mobile MrSEC