Nov 18 2012
12:26 pm

Dooley Will Not Return As Vols Head Coach - UTSPORTS.COM - University of Tennessee Athletics

The University of Tennessee announced today that Derek Dooley will not return as the head football coach of the Vols. The announcement was made by Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart, who will immediately begin a search for a new head coach for the Vols.


Dooley will not coach the Vols in the season finale against Kentucky on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 12:21 p.m. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will serve as interim head coach for Saturday's game.

"I am sorry we could not generate enough wins to create hope for a brighter future," said Dooley. "Although progress was not reflected in our record, I am proud of the strides we made to strengthen the foundation for future success in all areas of the program.

"During the last 34 months, I've given my all for Tennessee, and our family appreciates all this University and the Knoxville community has given us."

Press conference at 2PM.

reform4's picture


Karl Rove sending @MegynKelly to AD's office to see if Dooley still has a chance.

EricLykins's picture

I really wish that there were

I really wish that there were some math I could do, as a Vol fan, to make myself feel better.

Somebody's picture

I just wish there were some

I just wish there were some math I could do, as a fan of public education, that would make me feel better.

Spending $5 million to sack Dooley, plus a couple million more to sack his staff, plus many millions more to buy a coach (and don't forget his staff! they cost extra!) who (they think) can produce wins, all while the University is struggling to make ends meet to, you know, serve students, is unconscionable.

It's like rushing out to spend $5,000 on a new 80-inch TV when you don't have the money to buy clothes, shoes and supplies to send the kinds off to school.

And yes, I know. Some benefactor will write a big check to bankroll the operation. What a ridiculous waste. This is just another example of the same cultural cancer that gave Jerry Sandusky carte blanche to molest kids for a couple of decades at Penn State.

Who gives a baboon's butt whether UT has a winning football season? Why is everyone clamoring for a top-ranked football program, whatever the cost, but everyone bows up and starts getting sweaty if we talk about finding more money to maybe get a little better than average at educating their kids?

We should take a page from the conservative playbook for this one. It's time we completely privatize NCAA football. Completely decouple and sever it from educational institutions, particularly publicly funded institutions. There should be no more shell-games with taxpayer money, where we're willingly lulled into believing the fiction that bloated sports entertainment programs benefit universities, when in truth they are a constant drain on universities.

The math I'd like to be able to do is math where no one can can argue anymore that the financial standing of a public university is affected one way or the other by the results of a few football games.

Stick's picture



bizgrrl's picture

I kind of feel sorry for

I kind of feel sorry for Dooley. Is there something wrong with the Vols or has it been the coaches? I can't imagine who might want to step up and take over this program, unless of course they have a great contract. I'm thinking many people could retire on Dooley's (or Kiffin's or Fulmer's) remaining payout.

Rachel's picture

There's millions of dollars

There's millions of dollars more walking out the door. UT can't afford to keep doing that.

Roscoe Persimmon's picture

There is a very fine line between winning and losing in the SEC

and the talent, coaching, commitment, scouting, conditioning, planning, preparing, and overall effort to get above the line and stay above the line in an ultra competitive conference like the SEC is incredibly demanding. Unfortunately, Dooley and his staff were not able to push the program past that very thin line. They didn't break any rules, didn't bend the rules, and didn't turn a blind eye to obvious shortcomings on and and off the field (that we know of). Hopefully, the university will hire coaches and staff with much more experience, a tenure in the sport without a midlife career change, and the capability and propensity to represent the university well, win or lose.

That fine line is also present in what seperates a successful businesses from a marginal business, what seperates successful people from average people, what seperates the sane from the insane, and the hard work and ongoing efforts to get to the line and get over it are unending and require a daily, hourly, every second type commitment and a disciplined approach to all things involved in the process.

V.M.'s picture

Dooley and staff may not have

Dooley and staff may not have broken any rules, but the distortion that football causes goes far beyond that. Very few of the players on that team are serious students. There is an entire infrastructure built up around the AD to perpetuate a facade of studiousness. Much money is spent on perpetuating this farce. I don't exactly blame the players on this, though it disappoints me when they don't take seriously the opportunity of a college education. (Mens basketball players, in my experience, have been as bad or worse.)

To put a finer point on how football distorts the priorities of a university, Dooley will be getting $102,040 per month through December 2016. That amount of money, each month, would essentially cover the salary portion of two assistant professors for a year. That's 96 person-years of Assistant Prof. salary for Dooley's abject failure as a football coach.

Meanwhile, the administration at UT is going through a rhetorical/branding exercise claiming it wants to elevate the school to a top-25 Research University. Dooley's compensation package highlights the distance between the university's actual values and message. That isn't a communications problem. It's much more fundamental.

I agree with somebody up above. We should privatize college athletics. It's a peculiarity of the US that universities are a site for athletics.

Rachel's picture

One reason why I'm proud of

One reason why I'm proud of the Lady Vols: Pat always made sure they paid serious attention to you know, SCHOOL.

Stick's picture


The rule of thumb is: If you start to see football and basketball players show up in your class in any kind of numbers then the class is too easy.

Rachel's picture

One of my life's more

One of my life's more interesting experiences: for one year in undergraduate school I was the statistics tutor for the athletics dept (great paying gig too - paid $5/hr when minimum wage was $1.60).

Tennis players and swimmers were usually pretty bright - might have just needed a bit of help. Nothing really stands out in my memory about the basketball players.

But the football players - lord, help them. I once had a linebacker try to pay me $50 to take an exam for him - an exam that required photo id for entrance. Geniuses they were not.

EconGal's picture

Football players

The minimum wage was $1.60 from 1968 to 1971. That would have placed you and young Phillip Fulmer at UT as undergraduate students at the same time.

Any stories about Fulmer? Bobby Majors? Curt Watson?

The linebackers of that era included Jamie Rotella, Bill McGlothlin, Ray Nettles and Jackie Walker.

I'm kind of surprised that UT even had photo IDs in 1970. Wow.

Rachel's picture

Ok, this would have been in

Ok, this would have been in '72 or '73 so I guess the minimum wage was a bit higher (I know it was $1.60 in 1970 cause I made $2.06 at my summer job at the Carrier Air Conditioning factory and was grateful to be making that much above minimum). But $5/hr was still really good money.

I was an undergraduate from fall'70 - spring'74 and yes, we had photo ids (I found mine the other day in a box of old junk). Contrary to what younger people may have heard, there WERE cameras back then.

And ok - I looked the guy up (not naming names; no need to embarrass him) and he was a defensive back, not a linebacker. Either my memory is bad or all those guys just looked really big to me. At any rate, I certainly couldn't have passed for him.

Somebody's picture

Some interesting research

R. Neal's picture

Vols' financial woes may end

V.M.'s picture

Five or six years ago, before

Five or six years ago, before the AD was brought back into the campus administration, I looked at the budget and the football program gave $1M/yr to the so-called "academic side" of the university. (Should there be any other side?) Coincidentally, $1M/yr was also what the AD received from student fees from the campus at the time. A shell game. After much criticism, and poorly timed statements on pay raises for coaches in 2007-2008 when the university's budget was crumbling around it, the football program and Fulmer (before he was fired) promised to increase the "gift" from football to the academic side of the university to $5-6M. This while the department still received about a million from student fees, and cut the subsidy of student and faculty ticket prices. The shell game continues....

Somebody's picture

Just wait. If they decide to

Just wait. If they decide to yank all or some of the 'donation' to academics, they won't re-balance the student fees and ticket subsidies.

Factchecker's picture

I'm kind of surprised that UT

I'm kind of surprised that UT even had photo IDs in 1970. Wow.

Starting in about 1973, UT cafeteria meal cards used optical hand scanners for I.D. They were buggy at first, as I recall, but then seemed to work pretty well, though had the annoying bright flash like that of a copier machine with the cover lifted.

fischbobber's picture


It is not really relevant, beyond the return of student fees, whether or not football is an intrinsic fit in a top twenty-five research university.

It is however, relevant in the sense that every person that shows up to the game has an impact on our local economy. We are a big event town, and when our big events suffer, our whole town suffers. Without the major influx of football dollars, our local economy is hard pressed to grow.

Two football coaches have now taken the fall for sagging attendance. One may argue that it is just or unjust, but that this town is highly dependent on a decent football program as a major contributor to it's economic prosperity is just the way it is.

The reasons for stagnant attendance go far beyond the coach.

U.T. needs both a coaching change and a culture change in order for the program to regain its luster. The is no excuse to not have every school child that wants to see a game in a half empty stadium. That's where I'd start.

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