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Why I Am Worried

  • I am a little worried about it being basically a "one-man show" in making the hire for the next head football coach at Tennessee. I know Hart knocked the Dooley press conference out of the park but this is why I am concerned about him:

    1. He did not force it but definitely endorsed the Sal Sunseri hire to Coach Dooley. Sal has turned out to probably be the worst coordinator in UT history. Surely the folks at Bama knew he was more of a position coach and not coordinator material but, most of all, Hart did not recognize this and he knew him best.

    2. Apparently Hart really didn't have his hand on the pulse of the program if he truly would have been willing to keep Dooley at 7-5 like I've heard from trusted media sources. You can tell from the tweets sent out by players, as well as some of their comments, that they did not care for Dooley and saying he was not a "player's coach" would be a HUGE understatement. Plus, the fans had lost all interest in him as evidenced by the attendance the last few games so next year would have been atrocious! And then the article in the Chat Times was the icing on the cake regarding how most area high schools thought he was arrogant and a lousy recruiter.

    3. Does Hart himself have an ego problem? Some have suggested he wants to pass on Gruden possibly because he is not willing to concede total control of the program. I don't know if that is true but I DO know this is a crucial hire for the program and he MUST get it right. If we hear 2 years from now that he passed on Gruden or someone of that caliber just as Hammy did on Patterson when Kiffin was hired - that's going to be hard to take!!

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  • No matter who is hired we probably won't know if he will win here until 2014.

  • Nobody has yet to clarify what total control of the football program really means. Because right now it only looks like Gruden could make a hire without consulting Hart first. If that's the case, I'm all for Gruden having full control. Maybe that prevents a Sunseri from happening again.

  • Good points OP.

    1. You are 100% right. I would be shocked to learn that Hart was not involved in that hire.
    2. I think you are seeing right now why he wanted to keep Dooley. Hiring the big hire is tougher than some people thought, and due to the magnitude of the hire, simply getting a coach that wins 8 games consistently wont be enough. If he had gotten another year out of Dooley, especially a bowl eligible Dooley, we would be in a much better positino to make a huge hire than we are now.
    3. Who knows? I don't mind an AD that doesn't want to cede complete control of the football program to someone who doesn't have experience running a college football program.

  • How do we know it's a one man show? For all we know, the Big Boosters are running the show and Hart is following their orders. Nobody knows. I wouldn't worry about it until the deal is done and the smoke is cleared.

  • agreed This hire is WAY too important to many more people than Dave Hart...

    This post was edited by allwillbeorange 17 months ago

  • 1. There weren't many (trying to be nice) successful defensive coordinators who wanted to board a ship that was already taking on water, so Dooley's and by extension Hart's choices for the position were extremely limited. You could argue that Hart could have extended Dooley's contract a few years to attract better candidates, but then Hart would be known as the UT AD that gave an extension to a 5-7 coach and the first UT coach to lose to KY in 26 years. So they were stuck with a career assistant to fill the position.

    2. Maybe, but I think a better guess would be that keeping Dooley was more about money than the hunt for the big fish. I suspect that without firing Dooley and having to hire a new coach the university would be keeping its previous arrangement with the athletic dept and that 6 mil/yr would continue to flow to academics.

    3. There is no way and I repeat no way that Hart will be making this decision alone, if he's talking to the big fish. Hamilton did not fire Fulmer without making sure he had the support of certain people outside the University, for obvious reasons. I do believe that Kiff and Dooley were Hamilton hires. Why? Because he didn't need the big donors to pony up cash. He had cash on hand after Fulmer, even with the buyouts and Dooley was on the cheap. This time Hart needs the donors to cut some checks, not just in the normal course of business, but he needs, as they say in church, a "love offering." I doubt that any of these donors are going to throw out cash without making sure there's a serious return on investment (for the program), which means that I can't see Hart making this decision by his lonesome...............unless he's getting another coach from the bargain rack. So when I hear rumors that this is all Hart, it scares me, because if it truly is all Hart, we may very well be getting another coach on clearance.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by DCVolunteer 17 months ago

  • I hope you are right.

    I was just going by Hart's comments at the presser and what some in the media have said about this all being handled solely by Hart. Many media members have blamed the lack of info on that fact.

    But I agree with what you said - if he needs money from boosters, which I think he will, then I am sure they will have their say. I just sure hope Hart listens because I trust boosters that bleed orange more than (sorry) a former Bammer.

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  • Good points.

    1. Regardless of the limited pool of possible hires, they ended up on what turned out to be the worst DC on college football this year. Furthermore, look at the other quality assistants that took the job (Grahem, Pittman, Palermo, Ansley (up and coming), so while CDD's status could be a deterant, it is unfair to pretend that the pool was that shallow.
    2.Be it money or looking to hire a big fish, there are a lot of reasons why CDD making it to 7-5 and being retained would have been a positive for the program.
    3. How tight the information has been seems to hint that the circle making the decision is pretty small. Also, getting the money from the school suggest that no donation was big enough to hijack the decision making powers from Hart. Finding the right bargain coach seems to be the best possible outcome if that coach can come in and win games.

  • 1. Pittman had just lost his job at NC; Palermo was at MTSU; Ansley was headed to Central Florida, I believe; and Conklin was at the Citadel. Dooley did not raid any great programs, the NFL, or any other prominent employer for any of them. Graham is a Vol, plain and simple.

    2. I don't disagree with you, but if the AD's finances were stable, I question whether 7-5 would have saved Dooley. Attendance was declining, and season ticket sales were going to take another hit. Beating Missouri, Vandy, KY, and mediocre pickem team in a bowl wasn't going to motivate the fanbase to show up. Dooley would have three years left on his contract and bringing him back without an extension would have been the kiss of death in recruiting.

    3. Getting the right bargain coach, getting the right coach period is hard to do, which is why some teams go through several coaches before they finally find the right coach. I'd argue that UT has to get this right or fall further behind, and if the margin for error is already small, in terms of finding the "right" coach, shopping for deals is not going to increase the odds you get the "right" coach.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by DCVolunteer 17 months ago

  • 1. My only point is that good coaches were available, and Sal was the WORST. Not bad, not unqualified, but the worst coach at his job in college football this year. It wasn't about hiring the best DC out there, it was an inability to hire a competant DC and still paing him 1.6 mil per year.
    2. This is the real interesting question IMO, because I don't think our fanbase will get motivated for much less than SEC East contender at this point. Most fanbases won't. So bringing in a better coach that only gets us to 8 or 9 wins will still result in declining season ticket sales and attendance.
    3. I understand the feeling that finding the 'right' coach is a must. But why? What happens with another mediocre coach? Do all the diehards fade away?