Bargain Hunters: Derek Dooley Brings Kiffin-Like Success at Half the Price
With the recent revelations that Lane Kiffin will be receiving $4 million a year at USC, the $1.8 million that Derek Dooley received from UT looks like chump change.
Lane Kiffin is that $500 pair of designer jeans that are very flashy, while Dooley is a comfortable pair of Wranglers that was bought on sale from your local Wal-Mart.
Both pairs of jeans essentially provide the same results just with different price tags.
The similarities between the two are staggering.
Both come from football royalty, Lane, the son of defensive guru Monte Kiffin and Derek, the son of Georgia coaching legend Vince Dooley.
Kiffin has a son named Knox —Dooley has a son named Peyton. The two also got their start under the tutelage of today's premier coaches as recruiting coordinators to Pete Carroll at USC and Nick Saban at LSU, respectively.
Each comes with limited NFL coaching experience and an unimpressive overall record as a head coach.
The excitement behind the two hires is very different, however.
Tennessee fans were ecstatic when their brash new coach was promising to sing "Rocky Top" all night after beating Florida one year ago.
A Top 10 recruiting class was brought in with a big splash in signing a couple of one time Florida commitments along with the No. 1 recruit in the land signing with the Vols.
Once all the preseason hype was over, the results on the field was a mixed bag. The Vols basically won the games they were favored in and wore down towards the end of the year.
Kiffin, then as we all know, headed for greener pastures.
Looking back I cannot blame him for making the decision to head to USC to be closer to home and receiving a hefty raise.
The manner in which he left with a quick exit in the night and a few months before signing day does sting a little even though I had no urges to burn a mattress.
In comes Derek Dooley after much speculation from insiders who believed everyone from Will Muschamp to David Cutcliffe would be the new head man of the Vols.
The background of Kiffin and Dooley may be identical, but the personalities of the two men are worlds apart.
Dooley, in his thick southern draw, spoke on building a program based on class and integrity in his press conference. No trash talk, no empty promises, just the fact that he's going to work at placing the University of Tennessee back on top in the ranks of college football.
Patience will be necessary for Dooley to succeed in the long run, but Dooley has shown a glimpse of being able to recruit with the big boys receiving signatures from Georgia wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers, Virginia wide receiver Justin Hunter and Tennessee offensive lineman James Stone.
All of which were pursued heavily by other SEC schools.
He has assembled a staff that is rich with NFL experience which will also make the transition to the SEC a bit easier.
The upcoming season will tell how A.D. Mike Hamilton did in this hire, but by looking at it on paper, I believe the Vols are no better or worse without Kiffin and company.
Just don't expect Dooley to create as many headlines through his quotes.
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