Tennessee Reportedly Hires Derek Dooley
The Sports Animal, Knoxville's flagship sports station first reported Friday afternoon that Dooley, the son of legendary Georgia coach Vince Dooley, will accept the Tennessee job.
Dooley, a former walk-on football player at Virginia, began his coaching career in 1996 as a graduate assistant at Georgia. Dooley later served under Nick Saban at both LSU and with the NFL's Miami Dolphins from 2002-2006.
He accepted the head job at Louisiana Tech in 2007. Dooley compiled a 17-20 overall record in three seasons with the Bulldogs. In 2008, Dooley went 8-5 and won the school's first bowl game in 30 years in the 2008 Independence Bowl.
Dooley, returned to coaching in 2002 after two years practicing law in a major Atlanta law firm, giving up a lawyer's salary for a $10,000 a year coaching position.
The hiring of Derek Dooley brings to a close a whirlwind search by athletic director Mike Hamilton that initially focused on Texas coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp, then skipped to Air Force's Troy Calhoun and Duke's David Cutcliffe. Many of the issues associated with Cutcliffe boiled down to the staff that Cutcliffe would bring with him to Knoxville. Cutcliffe insisted on bringing his entire staff, while Hamilton and crew wanted to retain many of the coaches on the previous staff for their connection to the currently committed recruits.
How well Dooley, a comparatively unknown coach, will be received by the reeling Tennessee fan base, remains to be seen.