Tennessee Vols Football: 5 Coaches That Could Replace Derek Dooley

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Tennessee Vols Football: 5 Coaches That Could Replace Derek Dooley
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

For the first time since 1911, the Tennessee Volunteers football team has had its second consecutive losing season. When a team is setting records like that, the coach is usually on the hot seat.

Derek Dooley has found his way there.

I have defended Coach Dooley for his entire two-year tenure at the helm of the Vols program, even slyly suggesting that Tennessee give him a raise after all of his team's injuries. But after seeing the Vols lose to Kentucky for the first time in my life, I've had to reassess my views on Dooley.

I do think he's a good man with principles and will never lead Tennessee into trouble with the NCAA. I think he's smart and knows football -- he was one of Nick Saban's most trusted assistants for years and is the son of Georgia's most successful coach in history. I see him building a program of integrity while still reeling in top recruits.

Indeed, I like where the Tennessee football program is going with Dooley, but will it get there fast enough? Does he have the stomach to coach year in and year out in the SEC against Saban, Les Miles and Mark Richt?

The effort that the Vols gave against Kentucky led to the first loss to the Wildcats since 1984. Losing is okay, especially when the best receiver hasn't been on the field in months, and the quarterback has a bum thumb.

But losing due in part to a lack of passion is always unacceptable. If the Vols have a semi-repeat performance in 2012, here are five coaches that Tennessee should make a run at to get the Big Orange back in contention.

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