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The Ballad of Derek Dooley

Missouri Week brings a familiar face back into the fold. Let’s revisit some of Derek Dooley’s most memorable moments as a Vol.

Tennessee v Georgia
Dooley left Vols fans with plenty of advice to adhere to in their lives.
Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Despite the football program’s recent struggles, there have still been plenty of memorable moments throughout the years.

A lot of those go to former head coach Derek Dooley, who was with the team from 2010-2012.

Yes, that Derek Dooley. The guy who is currently the offensive coordinator of this week’s opponent, the Missouri Tigers.

The man was not the answer at head coach, BUT he was certainly entertaining. These moments later became known throughout Tennessee lore as “Dooleyisms” and will likely remain as the highlights of his short time in Knoxville.

These aren’t Mike Leach-level, but they’re still pretty good.

We are the Germans (right?)

So, the guy is pretty smart at the end of the day. But for some reason, Dooley figured it was a good idea to compare his young team’s struggles to those of the Germans in World War II:

It was the Doolemeister’s first year at the helm and his 2-5 squad just came off a 41-10 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

I don’t think it’s the best idea to color yourself and your team as the worst human beings to ever walk the planet. I mean, in all honesty, the bright orange can be hard enough for outsiders to deal with, much less the First Reich.

There aren’t going to be too many people who sympathize and/or empathize with you - and for good reason - after those statements.

But leave it to his goofy ass to somehow make it entertaining and get a couple laughs with his depiction of the situation.

Shower discipline and bathing technique

Staph infections are never good. Especially in a contained and populated area such as a locker room. Unfortunately, a few players were hit with such infection before the start of Dooley’s first year.

Dooley may be a football coach, but he doesn’t play games when it comes to personal hygiene.

He took control of the situation harder and faster than he ever did with Tyler Bray’s career and immediately led his men into battle with improper shower technique and the lack of education in proper bathing methods.

He may not have won much on the field, but at least he won the battle against bad hygiene.

Now THAT is what you call a fearless leader.

Punting with the Pythagorean theorem

They always said “Derek Dooley is a punter’s best friend” for a reason.

During a press conference, Dooley explained how the popular geometry theory could be used to gauge the distance of a punt in a more accurate manner.

I mean, it’s science. Who can argue with that?

The Stool

Look, I never want to kick a man when he’s down. I currently have a torn ACL, so I know how detrimental a significant injury can be.

But in the case of Derek Dooley and The Stool, I have to mention it for the sake of this post.

Dooley had to have surgery during the 2012 season after an MRI showed a fracture in his hip. He coached in the press box during the Mississippi State game, but later moved to the stool on the sideline.

Alabama v Tennessee
Derek Dooley literally sat on a stool on the sideline during games.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
This defines the Dooley Era well.

A picture says a thousand words, but the second picture arguably defines a coaching career.

Hey, the guy could work, so it could’ve been a lot worse.

Shakespeare for the kids

Dooley obviously had a tough time getting his message to resonate on the field, therefore, it’s easy to imagine that could’ve been attributed to a lack of communication between the head coach and his players.

This became more logical after Dooley told reporters that he read Shakespeare to his players in order to open their minds to the idea of executing better.

Yep. Instead of showing them film and coaching them up, the man thought that it’d be better to read his guys 600-year-old literature that has nothing to do with football.

Dooley even said later that he doesn’t understand what his kids were saying.

Ah, Derek. Never change.