Dr. Dooley, a football coach's wife and proud southerner

By: Nick Bona and Mark Edwards Email
By: Nick Bona and Mark Edwards Email
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 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."

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  • by Anonymous on Jan 19, 2010 at 04:17 PM
    Bitter people need to cut out the negativity. Fulmer will not be the AD at UT. Kippy Brown was not offered the Tennessee State coaching job, or the Memphis (his alma mater) job. Dooley will be an amazing coach and he has a great family. His good name means something to him and he will show integrity in the way he comports himself. Thank God!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 18, 2010 at 08:04 PM
    Welcome to Big Orange Country Coach Dooley. You will love it here. I think he will be a great coach. We hope so. Go Big Orange.
  • by Home Location: Home on Jan 17, 2010 at 07:24 PM
    Who cares how nice they are? He has a record of 17-20 over three years. Sure he grew up in the south but that has nothing to do with coaching. It should have been Kippy Brown. He kept everyone together when Kiffin left. Kippy got a raw deal. Don't expect Kippy to ever return to the Vols.
  • by Home Location: Home on Jan 17, 2010 at 03:06 PM
    The Vols have made a big mistake. It should have been Kippy Brown. He is a true UT Man.He as great character and ability and has been at UT as a Assistant before. He rallied the troops when Kiffin left and got a raw deal. Don't expect Kippy to ever come back to UT and how could blame him. Yes they interviewed Kippy but Haslam and his boys were working out the contract with Dooley. Why wasn't Hamilton working out the contract? Haslam was at Tech and Hamilton was in Knoxville talking to Kippy. It was already a done deal. Best of luck to the vols, they are going to need it!!!!
  • by Chuck Location: Knoxville on Jan 17, 2010 at 02:26 PM
    Coach and his family sound very impressive. Our community will not only benefit from a great coach and university representative but also from an involved family. I particularly like the respect Coach Dooley has already shown toward Johnny Majors and Phil Fulmer; they both deserve it in my opinion. Hiring Coach Dooley has shown the SEC and the nation how we really want to be represented in college football.
  • by ken Location: Penny Rile on Jan 16, 2010 at 01:50 PM
    WOW I am realy impresed with our new coach and his family, I see nothing ahead but good things, maybe even a championship.
  • by Susan Location: Knoxville on Jan 16, 2010 at 09:42 AM
    Thank goodness! A couple with brains and class! The coach sounds very sound, and his wife is terrific. Such a change... I couldn't be happier! GO VOLS!


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