©2012 NPT FILE PHOTO BY SETH BUTLER
Former University of Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley, pictured here at SEC Media Days on July 19, 2012 in Hoover, Alabama, was fired from his position on Sunday after three years of leading the Volunteers on the gridiron.
|Published: 1:59 PM, 11/20/2012
||Last updated: 2:00 PM, 11/20/2012
Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
KNOXVILLE-Just a little over 34 months after inheriting one of the worst situations, Derek Dooley found himself out of a job on Sunday morning.
Dooley, who was hired in a 72-hour search in January of 2010 after Lane Kiffin jilted Tennessee after one year, was fired by athletic director Dave Hart in the aftermath of a 41-18 loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday night in Nashville.
It was Tennessee's eighth consecutive loss to a SEC foe.
Tennessee has not defeated a team in SEC play since knocked off the Commodores in overtime last year. That victory was the fourth and final win over a league team in Dooley's win, with three others coming during his initial campaign in 2010.
Those results were the biggest factor in Hart's decision to fire the coach, who came to Knoxville via Louisiana Tech.
"(Dooley) grew up in this, as did I and this is a result-based profession," Hart said at a Sunday afternoon press conference. "You can't ignore the results at the end of the day."
Saturday night's loss, which came 363 days after the Vols' last SEC win, capped off a tumultuous three-year period for Dooley.
The son of former Georgia coach Vince Dooley, rehabilitated a depleted roster and appeared to have a done a number of things to attempt to restore the Tennessee program to a level it had not achieved since winning the SEC Eastern Division title in 2007.
When Dooley assumed the coaching reigns, he was the third coach in as many seasons.
"Quite honestly he was given a pretty short stick to take into that battle," Hart said. "Given those facts, he did a good job in a lot of areas in putting a solid foundation under our football program."
Dooley was forthcoming in acknowledged the challenges that he faced at Tennessee and was candid about the situations he assumed when he became coach of the Vols. On his way out the door, Dooley
also acknowledged what Hart did on Sunday, that he thinks he has made the Tennessee job for his
"I am sorry we could not generate enough wins to create hope for a brighter future," Dooley said in a statement released by the University on Sunday morning. "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."
Although establishing a foundation, which a new coach will attempt to build on, was not enough to continue the Dooley-era into a fourth season. As Hart said in his opening statement on Sunday, college football is a results-oriented business.
"He did a lot of things to help a foundation, but what people (see) is Saturdays," Hart said. "And we had a lot of Saturdays, that had a of things that you couldn't put your arms around and hug in terms of performance levels.
"I will tell you while the results, which are very important are not what he wanted, not what the team wanted and not what our fan base wanted," Hart said. ""That is part of the profession that we are in and Derek knows that."
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