Derek Dooley’s season ended a little early. The head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers was fired today with just one game remaining in the season.
It was widely speculated last week that Dooley would be getting the ax. According to the Huffington Post, Dooley’s Volunteers have gone 15-21. They have lost all 15 of their games against teams in the top 25 and were 4-19 in the Southeastern Conference.
Tennessee announced the firing this morning but will talk more in detail about the decision during a news conference later this afternoon.
Athletic director Dave Hart said in a statement:
“We very much appreciate the effort and energy that Derek Dooley and his staff have poured into our football program at the University of Tennessee. Derek and I met early this morning, and I informed him that I believed a change in leadership, despite the positive contributions he has made to the overall health of the program, was in the best long-term interests of Tennessee football. We will immediately begin the search for the best possible candidate to assume this leadership role.”
The Vols will play Kentucky on Saturday with Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney serving as the head coach. If the Vols lose it will be the first time in school history that they failed to win an SEC game.
CBS Sports reports that Dooley’s firing comes after an embarrassing 41-18 loss against state rival Vanderbilt. After the game, Dooley knew that his job as head coach was slipping away but was optimistic about the position of the program.
“I don’t think you can say where this program is on one game. We’ve had a lot of really good games that we didn’t win this year, so the program is certainly not near where we need to be. It’s not anywhere close to where the fans want it to be, but it’s probably a little bit better than what people think it is. That’s how I would assess it.”
Do you think the Tennessee Volunteers will do better next season without Derek Dooley?