Dooley to pull for son, Vols

Georgia legend will watch from home

ATHENS, Ga. --- Vince Dooley still works a few times a week out of an office in the Rankin Smith Center, which overlooks the Georgia football practice field.


"My blinds are closed," Georgia's former coach and athletic director said jokingly.

Dooley's son, Derek, will coach against Vince's Bulldogs on Saturday at Sanford Stadium in a game that caught fans of both schools' attention in January when Tennessee made Derek Dooley its coach.

The storyline of the 42-year-old Athens native returning home to play the program where his father won 201 games has taken a back seat to the stark reality that both teams remain winless in the Southeastern Conference.

"A lot of people are trying to make something out of this," Derek Dooley said Monday. "I left Athens when I was 18. I know I'm not old, but that was a long time ago. I've worn a lot of colors since that time."

Georgia is trying to avoid its first five-game losing streak in the same season since 1953.

Tennessee is still feeling the sting of losing 16-14 to No. 12 LSU after getting penalized for having 13 men on the field when the game seemed to be over.

For Saturday's game, Vince Dooley is sticking to the plan he revealed this summer: He will be at home in front of the TV..

"They're not going to find me because I'm going to be home," said Dooley, who coached the Bulldogs for 25 years, winning six SEC titles and the 1980 national title. "The reason I'm going to be home is that this is my son, my family, so I'm going to be pulling for my son, but there's no way I will be pulling for anybody against Georgia in Sanford Stadium. I'll do that in the confines of my home."

Derek Dooley earned a law degree from Georgia in 1994 before deciding to become a coach. He served as a graduate assistant for the Bulldogs under defensive coordinator Joe Kines in 1996.

"I've coached there already as an opponent, I played there as an opponent, so there won't be any nostalgia -- probably more at LSU than there would be at Georgia," he said. "It's a very different place than when I grew up. The Athens that I knew and the Georgia that I knew was my dad coaching as a kid, and that's it. When he stopped coaching and when I went to college, that ended. I know a lot of people down there and I know the coaches. I have a lot of respect for them."



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