Tennessee fans are still getting to know Vols Head Coach Derek Dooley.
We at InsideTennessee.com decided to go behind the scenes to get an "Inside" look at the new head man of the Vols. We go one-on-one with Ruston Daily Leader Sports Editor Buddy Davis to get his thoughts of what Dooley meant to the Louisiana Tech football program.
In a two-part series we do a question-and-answer feature with someone who knows Dooley better than most. Davis developed a great working relationship with Dooley and took time out of his busy schedule to share with Volunteer fans his thoughts on the Vols new head coach.
1. What did Derek Dooley mean to the LaTech program?
DD brought a higher level of expectations to the entire program, not just football. He got people excited about the complete makeup of all of the teams.
2. What was his biggest accomplishment there as the head coach and AD?
He got people thinking more in terms of 'doing things in a first class, high-profile' way. He wasn't satisfied with doing things the average way. It was either do them right or not at all. In my 30-plus years of covering Tech athletics, I had not seen such an all-around, total upgrade in expectations, facilities, incorporating businesses, sponsors, etc. into the total athletics' network.
3. In your words describe what type of person, and head coach Derek Dooley is.
Totally focused and I know 'focus' is an overused term by coaches, athletes, etc., these days. But sheesh, Dooley is as 'locked in' to doing things, whatever they are, as anybody I've seen. With him, and again, it's either done right or first-class or not at all. He wants the very best and won't settle for less.
4. What are his biggest strengths?
Organization and vision of a goal (or goals) to be achieved.
5. What are his biggest weaknesses?
Probably may get so involved in things that he might come across as impressionable or uncaring, but I think, again, that leads back to him being so dadgum focused. Really, he's a good ol' Southern boy with a legendary father and family background in the game, but when he goes into that 'lawyer mode' (ha, ha), he may seem like he's in another world not paying attention to other people.
6. How is he with Xs and Os?
Solid on Xs and Os and can be innovative, a la the unexpected goal line pass (QB Ross Jenkins leaping a TD toss to TE Dennis Morris)he drew up in last seconds of the first half against LSU last year. That caused a huge buzz around the press box and gave him kudos for ingenuity.
Stay tuned to InsideTennessee.com for the second part of the series with Davis.