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UT’s Dooley Says He Doesn’t Think About His Job Status

Derek Dooley might be the only person in the state of Tennessee who isn’t thinking about his job security.  At least if you believe what the coach told WGFX-FM in Nashville yesterday:


“I really do not think about that.  And I mean that.  Any of that stuff is beyond my control.  All that’s going to do is bring a lot of anxiety to me, the team, all that, which is unnecessary.  It’s so important that we just maintain our focus on what’s next and go 1-0, and that’s what we’re trying to do here.”


For the record, the Volunteers are 3-5, 0-5 in the SEC.  That 1-0 that Dooley speaks of is in regards to what he’s calling UT’s “second season,” a four-game stretch of Troy, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

If he’s trying to block out his job status, Dooley had better not look into the stands on Saturday.  It’s homecoming at Tennessee, but the school has partnered with the AARP to provide discounted tickets to seniors.  Youth-league teams are reportedly being given tickets for free (not an altogether unwise move in terms of building a fanbase for the future).  Yet Neyland Stadium is still expected to be more vacant when Troy arrives that at any point in recent years.

That fan apathy could ultimately be what costs the third-year head coach his job.



I'm not "connected" over on the hill so I don't know what the powers-that-be are thinking and planning. But, I have been around long enough to know that when fan apathy sets in and seats are empty, something is going to be changed.. Will Dooley succeed if given another year or two? I don't have a crystal ball but the track record indicates "No". But, I don't blame Dooley for this situation. It lies at the feet of past A.D.'s and big money boosters who continually botch both hirings and firings of coaches. The football program undoubtedly had declined in Fulmer's final few years but it certainly was far from being in shambles,Why would you announce his firing in mid-season before having another coach lined up? It's not like we were totally desparate at that time. It's not all that easy to lure away a successful coach at a high-level, high profile school and I think UT found that out the hard way. But, most any coach at a mid-major school, whether they are experienced enough or not, would jump at the opportunity to coach in the SEC. There is no reason any SEC team should have to "settle" for a coach without a proven record or at leastt a top-notch assistant from a high profile school. The California Kid had little experience and was a jerk who did not fit into the SEC culture. Dooley knew the culture but had not proven he could coach winning football. It befuddles me why a school with UT's tradition and resources would hire either of these coaches, I do believe that Dooley has to win the remaining games, and look good doing it, in order to have any chance of saving his job.  





Dooley is just not Grudenough.


Here are the teams that Tennessee has defeated in the Dooley era:






Vanderbilt (twice)






North Carolina State

Georgia State



Look like he's making improvement?



three years in and i'm still waiting for someone to come up with an explanation for why dooley is where he is that doesn't have to do with his last name.  


 @sojourner Because absolutely no one else wanted the job.  Hamilton went to Gruden, Will Muschamp, TCU coach Gary Patterson, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun and David Cutcliffe.  All of them turned him down.  So in a panic, he decided to hire Dooley.  Let's face it, Kiffen leaving in the middle of January made it almost impossible to find a big name coach so close to signing day.  Probably would have been better to go the Arkansas route and have an interim until December 2010 and then start a coaching search.


Am I the only one who finds it infuriating that Dooley continues to use this sort of dialog when speaking on his coaching tenure?  The first season at UT he called 'year zero' because of the lack of depth.  Now he says that the cupcake schedule at the end of this season is 'second season'.  Dooley, you're not fooling anyone.  You're trying to make people take it easier on you by making things seem better than they are.  No one else in the SEC is talking about the next 4 games being a new season.  The standings from the first 8 games still count.  It's ridiculous.


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