Derek Dooley Introduced as Vols Football Coach - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


Derek Dooley Introduced as Vols Football Coach

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Derek Dooley and team celebrate LaTech's 2008 Independence Bowl win Derek Dooley and team celebrate LaTech's 2008 Independence Bowl win
Photo Courtesy: Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal/AP Photo Courtesy: Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal/AP

Updated 10:05 p.m.

What they're saying about new Tennessee coach Derek Dooley:

"Derek is a very articulate, bright guy. He's a great coach and a hard-working guy. He was always a very good recruiter in college, which I think is paramount if you're going to have success as a college coach."
-- Nick Saban, University of Alabama Head Football Coach

"Derek is exactly what I hoped he would be. As far as I am concerned, he has exceeded everyone's expectations, including the 65,000 alumni (at Louisiana Tech). He is making people stand up and take notice of Louisiana Tech.

What we have is a man who has a vision for this program and this university; he wants to make it something special. He has a plan. It is an energetic, aggressive plan, and I could not be more proud to have him as our AD and our football coach."
-- Terry Bradshaw, former Louisiana Tech and Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback, on Dooley's tenure at Louisiana Tech

"Coach Dooley is such a bright person. He's made me a better person on and off the field. He's made me focus every day on every aspect of the game. As a coach, he makes you the best player you can possibly be. He'll coach you like you've never been coached, and he'll push you to your maximum potential. He is a phenomenal teacher."
-- Randy McMichael, St. Louis Rams Tight End

"He's the kind of coach that's got a lot of energy, and he's somebody that you can relate to on a personal level. He's great at giving advice while being upbeat at the same time. There aren't many coaches that will let you have fun while getting the job done at the same time. He has the ability to get that out of you."
-- Joseph Addai, Indianapolis Colts Running Back

"I really admire and look up to him. Not only is he a great coach, but he is a great man. He comes from a background of tradition of winning, and he represents what you expect from in a coach. You can believe and fully trust him. He is a high-character man and a player's coach."
-- Robert Royal, Cleveland Browns Tight End

Updated 9:45 p.m.

KNOXVILLE (WRCB) - With a southern drawl and using phrases like "dust off your brithces", new Tennessee coach Derek Dooley delivered his first news conference 45 minutes after arriving on campus.

"Tennessee is the essence of college football; I have vivid memories of Tennessee, following them as a youngster," Dooley said.

"I'm not going to sell this program and what we are going to do in a sound bite; it's impossible," he said. "I can guarantee you that we are going to represent this program with integrity and class.

"I am excited about what the future holds at Tennessee," he said.

Dooley replaces Lane Kiffin who bolted for Southern California after 14 months.

"How can you ask for anything more than the University of Tennessee?", Dooley asked.

"The times of worrying about what happened is over," Dooley later said.

Dooley praised Vol legends Johnny Majors and Phillip Fulmer and promised that he will not use quick sound bites to put down other programs or their coaches.

"Everything we're going to do is going to be done with a foundation of integrity with every aspect of the program," Dooley said. "We're going to represent this institution with class on and off the field."

Updated 7:07 p.m.

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Louisiana Tech's president has nothing but positive things to say about his former coach and current Vols football coach Derek Dooley.

"We are grateful for the contributions that Derek made to Louisiana Tech Athletics and we wish him luck in his new position," said Louisiana Tech President Dan Reneau. "Despite this unexpected change, Louisiana Tech will continue to focus on building a progressive and nationally-respected athletics program."

"We've already begun the process to find Louisiana Tech's next football coach and we will complete this process as quickly and thoroughly as possible," said Van De Velde. "It's our objective to put the right person in place to lead our football program and to continue to energize our fan base."

This past season, Dooley's Bulldogs finished 4-8 but lost five games by single digits and played 4th ranked Boise State down to the wire before falling 45-35 and led LSU at the half at Tiger Stadium before falling 24-16.

Updated 6:35 p.m.

CHATTANOOGA ( - The University of Tennessee is introducing Derek Dooley as the 22nd head coach in school history during a Friday press conference at 9 p.m. Eastern time inside Neyland Stadium's Peyton Manning Locker Room Complex.

Dooley, 41, comes to the Vols after three seasons as head coach at Louisiana Tech, where he also served as athletics director since March 2008. Dooley compiled a 17-20 overall record in three seasons with the Bulldogs, including an 8-5 mark in 2008 that was highlighted by the school's first bowl game and bowl victory in 30 years at the Independence Bowl. For his efforts, the Louisiana Sports Writers' Association named him Coach of the Year.

Dooley began his coaching career in 1996 as a graduate assistant at Georgia under defensive coordinator Joe Kines. After serving as wide receivers coach and co-recruiting coordinator at SMU from 1997-99, Dooley joined the staff at LSU under head coach Nick Saban as recruiting coordinator from 2000-02 and running backs coach and special teams coordinator from 2003-04. While LSU's recruiting coordinator, Dooley helped the Tigers land No. 1 classes in 2001 and 2003.

He left LSU with Saban to serve as tight ends coach for the Miami Dolphins from 2005-06, before being named to his first head coaching position at Louisiana Tech on Dec. 17, 2006.

Dooley, son of former Georgia coaching legend Vince Dooley, was a walk-on wide receiver at Virginia before earning a scholarship after his second season and leading the Cavaliers to three bowl appearances and the 1989 ACC championship.

"We are excited to welcome Derek and Allison to the University of Tennessee family," said UT Athletics Director Mike Hamilton. "Derek is one of the bright young coaches in America. He understands our league and the competitive environment in which we compete.

"He took a very difficult first head coaching job and has made significant strides there in a short period of time. He is incredibly bright, a tireless recruiter and excellent on-the-field coach."

Dooley is married to Dr. Allison Jeffers Dooley, an OBGYN. They have two sons, John Taylor (11) and Peyton (8), and a daughter, Juliana (6). Dooley earned his bachelor's degree in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia in 1990, and his law degree from the University of Georgia in 1994. Before embarking on his coaching career, Dooley practiced law at a private law firm in Atlanta for two years.

Original Report

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - The University of Tennessee plans a 9:00 p.m. news conference on Friday to introduce Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley as the new Vols football coach.

Dooley, 41, resigned as head coach and athletics director of Louisiana Tech on Friday afternoon.

According to UT Athletics Director Mike Hamilton, "He is incredibly bright, a tireless recruiter and excellent on-the-field coach."

Dooley started his college coaching career with a one-year stint as a graduate assistant at the University of Georgia in 1996. Dooley spent the 1997–99 seasons as wide receivers coach at Southern Methodist University, while also holding the duties of assistant recruiting coordinator during his final two years. In 2000, Dooley was hired by Nick Saban at LSU as the Tigers' recruiting coordinator/tight ends coach, a capacity in which he served until 2002. Dooley then spent the 2003-04 seasons coaching the Tigers' running backs and special teams. In 2005, Dooley left LSU with Saban when the latter became head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

On December 17, 2006, Dooley was hired as the new head coach at Louisiana Tech University, where he went 17-20.

Dooley has a law degree from Georgia and a bachelor's degree in government and foreign affairs from Virginia, where he played receiver.

Dooley is also the son of legendary University of Georgia coach and athletics director Vince Dooley.

The 2007 season was the first at Louisiana Tech for Dooley. The team went from a 3-10 record in 2006 before Dooley to a 5-7 record in his first season and an 8-5 record in his second season.

Dooley is a coach who knows the SEC recruiting landscape well and comes to Tennessee with the endorsement of Alabama coach Nick Saban and Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, who reportedly recommended Dooley for the job. 

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