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I appologize for this jumbled up rant before hand but i have a lot of pent up thoughts and most I still won't get out right but here goes:
I think the thoroughness of the new athletic facility is just one more example of why Derek Dooley is the right man to guide this program for many years to come. He is a meticulous planner and great evaluator of not only players but coaches. We all expect results and they are coming but we easily forget the shape of the program and the amount of time everyone said it would take to rebuild this program from the ground up. I think some of the reasons we are expecting so much from Dooley so soon Is because of how well the team performed in his first year. With the state of the roster most experts expected and no one would have been shocked if we had finished 4-8 or perhaps even 3-9 in his first year. However by making a bowl game we far exceeded most expectations. If we hadn't nearly pulled the major upset in Baton Rouge or If there was no bowl game and thus no rule changing heart breaker at the hands of North Carolina in the music city bowl would last year have been as much of a let down. If he had kept Bray on the bench his freshman year and we hadn't rolled off the 4 straight wins to end the regular season would the expectations have risen so quickly? If we hadn't played Oregon so tough in the first half as we did so many other teams and showed we could compete with most anyone until our lack of depth finally allowed good teams to pull away would the expectations be lower this year?
I firmly believe that Dooleys own success has created higher expectations and made many people forget just how long experts believed it would be before anyone could have this program competing to win even the SEC east. I have said since early on that Dooley is the right man in my opinion, if the people that make the decisions are half as smart as I think they are then they see the entire picture and Dooley will have at least until the end of his original contract before his final judgement. This will allow him to coach and be judged over a couple years with rosters that are comparable to our foes not only in talent and depth but also with players who have had time to redshirt and mature into men. Considering the job that he undertook, the job everyone else was scared of doesn't he deserve at least that. How easy we forget just how daunting a task he faced. We forget that we were in such a mess that most coaches were not willing to take the chance and face the challenge that this job held at the time. No one at the top of our list wanted to face the difficulties that this job presented. They knew the expectations of the fan base would be lofty and that fans would expect results sooner than logic said it could be accomplished. They didn't want to undertake the staggering amount of time it takes to nationally recruit at UT in its prime, let alone when the program was in shambles. Dooley wanted this job. He understood this job and what it meant. While most coaches saw obstacles and reasons this wasnt the job it once was Derek Dooley saw an opportunity to return one of the true juggernauts of college football and the SEC to its rightful place at the top of the football world. This was in a sense his dream job, he wanted to be the head coach and to lead an SEC power. It was what he hoped to become when he started coaching. I could be wrong but I think he viewed it as his destination job and that we don't have to worry about him leaving after he starts winning.
He has built a solid foundation on which we can continue to grow and win for many years. He did this without taking shortcuts and at the same time reshaped the culture of the program. He did all this while NCAA infraction committees and penaltys loomed overhead. He didn't use smoke and mirrors like some or try to turn us into something we are not. He recognized our long and proud tradition, he embraced it and showcased it in the culture and in the new facility. He now has us positioned to return to those proud days. He created a recruiting advantage and a way to unite all players going forward when he created the Vol for Life program. He wants to makes sure our players are taught life skills and more than just football. With the VFL program he emphasizes that being a member of this proud University has many advantages and benefits long after a players playing days are done.
I am confident Dooley will be here for years to come and that the results we now expect will be met but regardless in his very short time as our Head Coach he has made a tremendous impact on our program and will be looked back on and appreciated for the improvements he made not only by us but by many generations still to come. I hope and believe he will still be our coach when the rewards from all his hard work are realized. I think he has earned at least the chance to coach and be judged with a roster that is comprised of players that he recruited and developed. I believe everything is going to take care of itself and Dooley will be here for a long time but regardless we will look back and see Derek Dooley as a great hire and the man who was responsible for turning this program around. We will admire the many changes and contributions he made that will be a part of the program for years to come.
Personally I don't think anyone could have done a better job to this point and I believe Dave Hart knows this. Is it possible another coach could have possibly won one or even two more games? I guess it is but they also could've won fewer games as stated above. That part is debatable but what isn't in question is the job Dooley has done as it pertains to the entire football program off of the field. I don't think anyone else could've navigated the many obstacles including public perception of impending NCAA sanctions and built a better foundation for long term success than what Dooley now has in place. We are now ahead of everyone in facilities, the culture of the program is now trending in a positive direction, our relationships with prospects for the next few recruiting cycles are already started, the staff are respected and proven recruiters that have long established contacts in the fertile recruiting areas that we must recruit successfully in order to return to national prominence. We now have what I view as one of the top and most innovative S&C coaches and program in the country. This will afford us many advantages on the field going forward.
This program is set up for success going forward I don't see how anyone can debate that and the man we have to thank is Derek Dooley. We have to allow the system that he has set up time to work. I think any coaching change talk is a mute point that will be squashed during this season however I don't see how anyone can't see that a pre-mature coaching change, and thats what any change at this point would be would, could only set us back. If we can all agree that the system in place is a good one and that the assistant coaches in place are now the right ones then I don't see how or why we can't agree that only one thing has been missing.
The missing piece is the TIME necessary for the system to work. The TIME to recruit, the TIME for coaches to coach, the TIME for the S&C program to grow, strengthen, and to mature our roster. We have invested that time and taken our lumps we have made progress and are finally close to a return to our winning ways now just a little more Time is the only missing piece in our return to Glory. It's coming and it's gonna be great. I for one am glad we have Coach Dooley.
This post was edited by bigorange on 7/27/2012 at 9:15 PM
2013. Team 117. Beginning of the new Era.
"I'm like Wes." --Ryan Callahan
TIME is the key..........he has only been here 2 season and even Kiffin knew 2011 was the bottom talent wise and esp experience wise. Next year will be a Dooley SR class (and even then we lose elite 3 or more JRs probably to the NFL)...........his elite JRs too. 2012 is just the start...........2013 is when we are 4-class full............2014 is when we are on an equal playing ground with our competition IMO with 4 full classes and 2+ RS years (last year was our first year in a while we RS'd some players)
This post was edited by SamVolsam on 7/27/2012 at 9:56 PM
What bothers me most about people criticizing Dooley is that they act like he won't ever improve beyond what he was.
You, sir, have "the faith." The Faith that Dooley is going to take Rocky Top back to the top.
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