Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/18/12
In a move that surprised few around college football, Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart announced Sunday that Derek Dooley has been fired as the Vols head football coach. Dooley will not coach Tennessee’s final game of the season Saturday against Kentucky. Hart and the Tennessee athletic department sent out a release Sunday morning which said the following: "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," said Hart. "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 then released his own statement. He said: "I am sorry we could not generate enough wins to create hope for a brighter future," said Dooley. "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." Tennessee and Dooley will hold a 2 p.m. EST press conference to make the move official. Sadly, Dooley’s words truly did reflect his time with the program. Under Dooley’s watch the program did make incredible strides off the field, and to his credit, Dooley cleaned up a huge mess that was left behind by his predecessor Lane Kiffin. At the same time, no matter how many strides were made off the field, you’ve got to win on the field, and Dooley didn’t do nearly enough of that. In his three years at Tennessee Dooley finished with just a 15-21 record overall and a meager 4-19 record in the SEC. And really, that SEC record tells you everything you need to know. In his last two years at Tennessee, the Vols finished just 1-14 overall in the SEC, including a loss last year to Kentucky, the Wildcats first against Tennessee in 26 years. Saturday’s 41-18 loss to Vanderbilt proved to be the final nail in Dooley’s coffin. What will be interesting to see is the kind of candidates this job opening will draw. Tennessee is a proud program, but also one which simply doesn’t have the money to spend that some others around the conference does. They also don’t have the inherent recruiting advantages of schools like Alabama, Georgia or Florida either. The name that every Vols fan wants is former Super Bowl winning coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden. Given that his wife once attended Tennessee, there’s a chance Gruden would at least listen to the school, but admittedly, it is a very small one. More realistically, look for Hart to look at Kirby Smart, the current Alabama defensive coordinator to fill the role. Hart and Smart worked together when Hart was an assistant AD at Alabama before coming to Tennessee. Beyond those two, look for the usual list of candidates to surface, including Western Kentucky head coach Willie Taggart and Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes. Also don’t be surprised if current Duke head coach and longtime Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe gets a look for the job as well. For all his insight, analysis and opinion on college football, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.  
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

FIFA Penalizes 7 countries for discriminatory acts

Report: Jets offering Ryan Fitzpatrick 3-year deal, $12 million for 2016

Warriors, Thunder taking turns beating each other in the opposite style

Yoenis Cespedes open to spending rest of career with Mets

Los Angeles Kings reportedly to strip Dustin Brown of captaincy

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Sixers to gauge interest in Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel

Rob Ryan echoes brother Rex: ‘Bring Belichick on. We got him’

Wizards will offer Beal max contract

Report: Owners unhappy with Robert Kraft's letter for Brady

LeBron: Cavs need ‘urgency from the start’ in Game 6

Kevin Durant not apologizing for volume of Game 5 shooting

Scientists call for Rio Olympics relocation or rescheduling

The biggest questions about the WWE brand split

U.S. Women’s Soccer players demand right to strike over equal pay, as Olympics near

Pat Riley reportedly hates the Dwyane Wade-LeBron James friendship

UEFA Champions League Final: The two Madrids and history in Milan

Memphis newspaper confuses Juwan Howard for David Fizdale

The tale of Kevin Love's inconsistent play

WATCH: Raiders release video promoting move to Las Vegas

Ricky Williams opening marijuana-friendly gym

Report: Utley's family received death threats after NLDS slide

The greatest day in motorsports racing finds each major series at a crossroads

How expanded instant replay has hurt the NBA

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

How expanded instant replay has hurt the NBA

Best regular-season NBA teams not to win a championship

Every time an NBA team came back from a 3-1 deficit (and what it means for the Warriors)

How disallowed goals can change the course of NHL games

The five most disappointing MLB teams this season

QUIZ: Identify these NHL Hall of Famers by their nicknames

QUIZ: Name every winner of the Belmont Stakes since 1867

Sniping quotes highlight NHL conference finals animosity

QUIZ: Name every NBA franchise's original incarnation

The 15 biggest playoff upsets in NBA history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker