Derek Dooley, head coach of the University of Tennessee's football squad, was fired Sunday, just one day after Dooley's team was crushed by intrastate rival Vanderbilt University, 41-18.
Although there is still one game left on Tennessee’s regular-season schedule, Dooley -- who, with a 4-7 won-loss this season, has endured his third consecutive losing year -- will not be coaching it against the University of Kentucky next week. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will served as the interim head coach then, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
“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,” the school's athletic director, Dave Hart, said in a press release. “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.”
Dooley joined the Tennessee Volunteers in 2009 to replace single-season head coach Lane Kiffin, who abruptly left for the equivalent position at the University of Southern California.
Dooley’s head-coaching record at Tennessee is 15-21 overall and 4-19 in the Southeastern Conference of NCAA Division 1. This season, the Vols were 0-7 in the SEC for the first time ever.
Vanderbilt's win over Tennessee Saturday marked the first time the Commodores had bested the Volunteers in Nashville since 1982, ESPN reported.
“I am sorry we could not generate enough wins to create hope for a brighter future,” Dooley said in the press release. “Although progress was not reflected in our record, I am proud of the strides we made to strengthen the foundation for future success in all areas of the program. During the last 34 months, I’ve given my all for Tennessee, and our family appreciates all this university and the Knoxville community has given us.”
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