For some, today's announcement that Derek Dooley will not be retained as Tennessee's head football coach couldn't have come soon enough.
In his press conference earlier today, Tennessee Athletic Director Dave Hart said, "This is a results-driven profession. You cannot ignore the results at the end of the day."
It's difficult to argue with that point, as Dooley's results and record speak for themselves:
- 15-21 overall
- 0-15 against Top 25 ranked opponents
- 4-19 against SEC opponents
- lost 14 of last 15 against SEC opponents.
Numbers like this just don't get it done at any program, especially Tennessee. These numbers, however, are not the only reason that Dooley isn't being retained.
There have been several debacles that have helped him get to these results. The first one that springs to mind is the too many men on the field penalty against LSU is his first season.
Then it happened again in the bowl loss to North Carolina.
The most recent debacle is what pushed many fans over the edge and started the reports of Dooley's demise.
That would be the game against Missouri. With about 40 seconds and two timeouts remaining, Dooley handcuffed his high flying offense and let the time expire and allow the game to go to overtime. The Vols eventually lost the game in the fourth overtime.
His removal being made official today leaves only one question remaining: Who will be the next head coach at Tennessee?
Here is a short list of the names being thrown around as the the next potential candidate.
- Jon Gruden
- Charlie Strong
- Bobby Petrino
- David Cutcliffe
- Gary Patterson
- Dana Holgerson
When the next coach is named, he will be the fourth for the Vols in the last six seasons. Any one of these men should be able to do a good job at Tennessee (you can find a breakdown of potential candidates in this article by Darin Pike).
The hire will also have to bring together a divided fan base.
The person that takes the job will have a lot of work to do to get Tennessee back to the level where it has traditionally been.
Under the direction of Derek Dooley, Tennessee has fallen to depths that it hasn't been to in a long time.
His ousting is the best thing for the program right now. He made strides in the level of talent that was brought in. Unfortunately for him, the talent didn't translate to results on the field.
Now that the deed is done, it's now time for the healing to start on Rocky Top.