The situation doesn't look good for University of Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley. While there is no "official" word on Dooley's future, there is an awful lot of chatter about his fate. At this time there isn't much substance to any details surrounding Dooley's job. However, multiple sources are pretty confident that this will be Dooley's last season as the Vols head coach.
When watching Dooley coach a football game, it is clear that he is a fish out of water. Constant substitution issues, feeling okay to run the clock out to enter overtime, and other game management situations have plagued Dooley's career with the Vols. After going 4-18 in the SEC over three seasons, it's safe to say that Dooley isn't cutting it.
This season could have been a turning point for Dooley. With a great offense in place, Dooley was forced to make a crucial hire at the defensive coordinator position. He elected to hire Alabama coach Sal Sunseri as his defensive coordinator. Sure Sunseri was the "flavor of the week" when he was hired, but Dooley failed to realize one thing. Sunseri's defensive scheme did not fit what the current Vols were accustomed to. Knowing that he had to win now, the fact that Dooley was willing to switch to a 3-4 style that was completely different from the previous scheme is baffling.
Clearly the defense has struggled this season and will be a major contributing factor as to why Dooley will not be back next season.
So when will Dooley be fired? Nobody knows for certain, but here are my thoughts. If Tennessee loses this week at Vanderbilt, Dooley will be fired the following week - maybe even Sunday. If Dooley wins against Vanderbilt, he will be fired after the Kentucky game November 24 win or lose.
While this is clearly speculation, it is not without reason. The reason an announcement has not happened yet is because the Vols still have a chance to become bowl eligible if they win against Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
Only time will tell, but it clearly isn't looking good for Dooley in Rocky Top.