Dr. Allison Dooley speaks to Volunteer TV News on Friday night following a press conference announcing her husband had been named UT's new head coach.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – There is an old saying that goes, “behind every great man is a great woman.” The saying is especially true in the case of Derek Dooley, who was named head football coach of the University of Tennessee Volunteers on Friday evening.
Dr. Allison Jeffers Dooley joined her husband in the Stokely Media Center at Neyland Stadium. At her side were the couple’s children, John Taylor, 10, Peyton, 7 and Julianna, 5. After the news conference, she told Volunteer TV News that the last several hours had raced by.
“We’ve been through a whirlwind tour here, but we’ve just enjoyed it and been very impressed with everything,” she said. "I just wish it would have been daylight when we landed, because I would have loved to have seen the mountains when we came in.”
Dr. Dooley has traveled across the country with her husband as he has held positions with the University of Georgia, Southern Methodist University, Louisiana State University, Miami Dolphins and Louisiana Tech. During that time she has practiced medicine as an OB/GYN specializing in gynecology, infertility and woman’s health. Even though the move to Knoxville mean’s she’ll have to leave behind her practice in Ruston, she was excited at what Coach Dooley’s new position with the Vols means.
“Who wouldn’t be,” she asked? “It's a wonderful program and a wonderful tradition. Anyone would probably give their right arm for this job and we're lucky to have it.”
Dr. Dooley has been no stranger to her husband’s programs in the past. When he became Louisiana Tech’s head coach, she began organizing and spearheading “Bulldogs Tackling Breast Cancer.” The annual event was held at one game a season, and helped raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Many Vol fans admitted they already liked the Dooley family based on the first name of their middle son Peyton. Some even wondered Monday evening if he was named after legendary Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning.
“It is a coincidence,” she said laughing as the seven year old grinned up at the camera. “I did always love the name and tried to name my oldest child that, and my husband finally came around to it by the time I had our second son.”
Peyton Dooley’s name wasn’t the only thing the Big Orange faithful seemed to like about Tennessee’s new coach. Two of the most frequently heard comments from UT fans on Friday night were that Coach Dooley seemed comfortable and honest during his speech, and when he spoke, he sounded like a regular guy.
“I think we're going to love it,” said Dr. Dooley about her family making East Tennessee their home. “I grew up in the south, my husband grew up in the south and we enjoy living in the south."