Derek Dooley was fired as Tennessee Volunteers head coach after amassing a 15-21 record in three thoroughly forgettable seasons. Dooley has been gone for two years now but the feelings are still raw among former Vols players.
One former Vol, Corey Larkins, had especially harsh words for Dooley. Larkins absolutely lit Dooley up in an interview with The Times Free Press:
I just want to see some fight. I’ve seen our guys for the last few years not only get beat to the ground, but then the other players push up off their chest to go back to the huddle and our guys just got up and walked back to the huddle. I want to see some guys with some fight and defend the program. That mentality came from the guy we had before [current coach Butch] Jones. Derek Dooley was a loser. He’ll always be a loser and he rubbed off on the program and created a losing attitude.
Not to be outdone, Troy Fleming had this to say about Dooley:
The guys who have worked around the program for years are at ease now, which tells you things are good again. The biggest thing about Coach Jones is he actually does his job. Unlike that guy we call Derek Doolittle, who really did very little.
And then there was this from another former Vols player, Al Wilson, who threw Lane Kiffin into the conversation along with Dooley:
I really don’t even want to say the names of the two guys who were there between Coach Fulmer and Coach Jones. They don’t deserve to have their names mentioned with Tennessee football.
I’m getting the sense there isn’t much of a Derek Dooley fan club back in Tennessee. Driving a program into the ground will do that.