a 4-8 final season is not convincing proof that dooley "...left the program in a lot better shape than he found it." neither is stringing together 4 or 5 cupcake wins iced with vandy and kentucky. fact: this is his sixth season as a head coach (three in the bush leagues) and he's still looking for his second winning season. dooley is a case study in athletic director incompetence. hamilton (the word "desperate" was correctly used) couldn't get the serious coaches to return his calls. so the vols ended up with this stiff. to top it off, he gave him a seven million dollar buyout!!!--dooley! for gawd's sake! if his name was on anybody's short list, i've yet to hear about it. sour grapes? dykes is 5-0; dooley was 4-8. that's typical of the doolaid drinkers in k-ville.
In Derek Dooley’s final season at Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs finished 4-8. That record was good enough for a desperate Tennessee program that had been jilted by Lane Kiffin and turned down by about five other coaches in the immediate aftermath of Kiffin’s jump to Southern Cal.
Sonny Dykes — another coach’s son — took over the program Dooley had worked for three years to build and he’s had almost immediate success in his two-and-a-half-year tenure. Tech is currently ranked in the Top 25 as they prepare to face Texas A&M tomorrow in Shreveport.
One Bulldog player — center Stephen Warner — says the coaching switch helped off the field as well as on.
“There was such a big change. Coach Dykes is a whole lot more personable than Coach Dooley was. He’s a guy who’s going to ask you how you’re doing when he passes you in the hallway, instead of not knowing who you are…
And our whole attitude is just better. Anyone on this team would lay down whatever it took for this program. That’s a lot different from the way it was a few years ago — from ‘it’s about me’ to ‘it’s about us.’”
In all fairness to Dooley, we don’t know what the relationship between the coach and Warner was or is. There could be a bit of “you promised to play me and didn’t” going on here.
But for Tennessee fans who watched their team throw in the towel last year in a season-ending loss to Kentucky, Warner’s comments might hit pretty close to home.
Dooley faces an important test tomorrow night at Mississippi State.