Dooley leave Vols with great first impression

Derek Dooley was impressive in his first press conference as the new head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers. He was smooth, appeared not to be stressed and looked very comfortable being the head coach of the Vols. Go "Inside" and get our thoughts about the impressions Dooley left on Vol fans and players.

First impressions are everything.

That's something that we have been taught from a very young age. Some take that statement serious while others thumb their nose at it.

Tennessee's 22nd head football coach, Derek Dooley, embraced that old saying, among a few others.

Dooley gave the Vol faithful a sense of style, and he didn't ask his new team to trust him nor did he ask the Vol fan base to do so.

"Trust is something you have to earn," Dooley said. "I have to earn that trust from my players and from you the fans."

Dooley also didn't seem like he was struggling for the right words, unlike his predecessor. He seemed comfortable in his surroundings, and he didn't seem like he was afraid of saying the wrong thing.

One reporter asked Dooley if the Vols new head coach planned on calling USC players to tell them not to go to class - something that the former staff has been accused of doing the night they left Knoxville.

"Guys, if you're looking for me to give you one liner sound bites for ESPN that's not me," Dooley said. "I'm not the type person to do that, that's not me."

Wow, that's different.

One look at Dooley and it's obvious that there is a new attitude or lack of attitude with the new head man.

Kiffin loved one-line zingers; he loved zinging with the best of them.

He loved the spotlight, even if he had to bring the lights himself.

Dooley, on the other hand, seemed content to do things his way, something that is apparent in the way he grew up.

The son of former Georgia Head Football Coach Vince Dooley, Derek proved at a young age that he was going to do things his way and not necessarily what people thought he should do.

Instead of walking on at the University of Georgia, he decided to attend the University of Virginia, where he became a four-year letterman for the Cavilers. He also attended law school and earned a law degree but after two years as a practicing attorney, he decided to give up the legal profession to be a college coach.

"He has always been his own man," Vince Dooley told reporters Saturday. "He's not always listened to my advice; he has always been one to have a mind of his own. I tried to convince him not to get into coaching. I didn't win that argument with the lawyer of the family either."

Another key difference that was apparent when meeting Dooley was the fact that he genuinely appears to really want to be the next head coach at the University of Tennessee.

You get a sense that he wants to be in Knoxville, to coach in the SEC and not just use this job as a stepping stone for the next best thing that comes around.

"There is no place I would rather be the head coach than at the University of Tennessee," Dooley told the large audience Friday night. "As most of you know, I grew up in this conference. I grew up in the SEC. It didn't take me long as a youngster to realize that Tennessee was the essence of college football."

There was never a doubt that Lane Kiffin was a great recruiter and a great salesman of what he was trying to do while he was the head coach at Tennessee. That's not to say there aren't great used car salesmen either. The question is do you really ever trust them?

Dooley told the large group of Tennessee faithful that he would run the program with the utmost class and integrity.

"I can tell you this - everything we're going to do is going to be with a foundation of integrity in every aspect of the program. We're going to represent this institution with class, on and off the field, and we're going to be a fun team to watch."

Dooley also told his players and the fans that he was very familiar with the SEC and its coaches and planned on having a great working relationship with the league.

"I have a lot of respect for the SEC and the coaches in this league," Dooley said. "You can have respect for these great coaches in this league without losing a competitive edge. We will also carry ourselves with class and integrity, always."

Wow, I'm hearing this guy right.

While Dooley might not be quite as fun to cover on a daily basis, probably due to the lack of one-liner blasts at other SEC coaches, one thing is for sure. It's going to be different.

Different in a good way for the players, for the fans and for the media covering the University of Tennessee, it's a different day in Knoxville.


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