Derek Dooley spoke to fans and donors today at the Tipoff Club. He started by talking about what he expects out of his players which is being strong on the field, in the classroom and as a person. Coach Dooley says he's set on building a relationship with each athlete. He says it's important to strengthen their mental health since the boys are mostly 18, 19, and 20 year olds who are held to the highest standard. He says it's no different than raising your own children.
Coach Dooley opened up the floor to questions. The first question was from a man who wanted to know how strong the incoming recruiting class is. Coach Dooley says he doesn't judge his players on their rankings. He likened it to Christmas morning when you get a present from your aunt and it's an unexpected surprise, but when you're expecting a big present from your mom you are a little disappointed. Coach Dooley wants to see how the players perform before he gives them a grade.
Another question that was asked, when will the public hear from the assistant coaches. Coach Dooley said he hasn't adopted a media policy yet, but he will be the one talking for the football program. He did say there will be media opportunities to do feature stories with his coaching staff, but ultimately Coach Dooley will represent the program.
One fan in the audience asked when Coach Dooley's mother, Barbara Dooley, was coming to speak to the club. Coach Dooley laughed saying his mother had to fill in as a speaker for his father once, and she made such a great impression, they wanted Barbara back instead of Vince. Coach Dooley went on to jokingly say there's a gag order on his mother in Tennessee for a little while. He said she'll be here, but he'll try to keep her quiet for a while. He went on to say he's the youngest child and sometimes when you're the young one you get embarrassed by his family and they always feel like they can tell you what to do no matter how old you are.
Coach Dooley was asked about his family. He said he has a beautiful wife who is smarter than he is. He met her in his 6th year at Virginia. He talked about his 3 children and how important family time is to him. He did talk about growing up with Vince Dooley as a father. Derek said you might be surprised to find out they didn't sit around the dinner table talking about x's and o's. He said often times his father wasn't there for dinner.
Coach Dooley talked about how being an attorney helps him decipher the NCAA rules. Coach Dooley says he understands why most coaches break the rules because they are hard to read since they're written by attorneys.
He spoke about his coaching staff. He said he picked each one of them and had a special relationship with each of them before he chose them.
He talked about his strength coach, Bennie Wylie. Coach Dooley says Wylie has really connected with the players and has brought a lot of energy to the program so far. Coach Dooley says he believes there is no more important coach on his staff than the strength coach.