Derek Dooley: 'Everybody said I was fired, and I didn't even know it'
Posted by: Chris Vannini on November 12, 2012
Things are starting to get really awkward in Knoxville.
After the Vols lost a four-overtime heartbreaker to Missouri, there were some reports that the decision to fire Derek Dooley had already been made. At his weekly press conference Monday, Dooley refuted those rumors based on his own talks with vice chancellor/athletic director Dave Hart.
"I'm not going to talk to you guys about what I tell the team," Dooley said. "Yeah, I addressed it. They're getting banged up on their phone the way my kids where getting banged up on their phone, the way my wife was getting banged up. Everybody said I was fired, and I didn't even know it. I'm sitting there working on Vandy, and I have already talked to Dave. You've got to come home and address all that with your family, and then you've got to address it in the morning with the team. I addressed it."
Did Dooley ask Hart if he would return next season?
"No, I didn't ask him that, but I did ask him a lot of things," Dooley said. "We talked very frankly about it. He told me he had not made a decision, even if we go 6-6, despite what all the reports are. Either the sources are wrong, or Dave wasn't being forthright with me, and I have no reason to believe Dave's not being forthright with me. He's an honest man. He's always been honest with me. I've appreciated how he's handled everything about this. I really have."
Does Dooley think he will return? He wasn't going to get into that.
"I'm worried about Vanderbilt," Dooley said. "I can't make that decision. I can give you compelling arguments where I should, and there's plenty of compelling where I shouldn't. It's not going to be your decision. It's not going to be a bunch of these sources' decisions. It's Dave and the Chancellor. It's their decision. I can't control what they think.
"We've had a lot of good dialogue. I think he has a good handle on how I do things and where we are and why we're not getting the results we want. So you move on and live with it."
The 4-6 Vols finish the season with Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Below is today's presser.
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Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org