The University of Tennessee fired head football coach Derek Dooley on Sunday after three seasons, and just one day after a blowout loss to intrastate rival Vanderbilt, 41-18.
Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will serve as interim head coach for the final game of the season against Kentucky on Saturday.
While athletic director Dave Hart credited Dooley for improving a team placed under difficult circumstances, Tennessee experienced their longest run of consecutive losing seasons in over a century.
“We very much appreciate the effort and energy that Derek Dooley and his staff have poured into our football program at the University of Tennessee,” said Hart in a press release. “Derek and I met early this morning, and I informed him that I believed a change in leadership, despite the positive contributions he has made to the overall health of the program, was in the best long-term interests of Tennessee football. We will immediately begin the search for the best possible candidate to assume this leadership role.”
Dooley joined the Volunteers in 2009 to replace head coach Lane Kiffin, who abruptly left after one season to fill the vacancy at USC.
Dooley finished with a 15-21 record and a 4-19 record in the Southeastern Conference. This season, the Vols are 0-7 in the SEC for the first time ever.
Vanderbilt's win over Tennessee Saturday marked the first time the Commodores had defeated the Volunteers in Nashville since 1982.
“I am sorry we could not generate enough wins to create hope for a brighter future,” Dooley said in the press release. “Although progress was not reflected in our record, I am proud of the strides we made to strengthen the foundation for future success in all areas of the program. During the last 34 months, I’ve given my all for Tennessee, and our family appreciates all this university and the Knoxville community has given us.”
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.