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Derek Dooley

who spent his first season at Rocky Top laying the foundation on which to support his long-term vision of success for Tennessee football.

who spent his first season at Rocky Top laying the foundation on which to support his long-term vision of success for Tennessee football.

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Derek Dooley Biography

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley, who spent his first season at Rocky Top laying the foundation on which to support his long-term vision of success for Tennessee football.

With his energetic personality, meticulous approach and belief in the dedication to both the character and on-field development of the student-athlete, Dooley, 43, was able to refocus, reshape and rebrand the Volunteer program in one short year.

After being hired as Tennessee's 22nd head football coach on January 15, 2010, Dooley had less than three weeks to assemble his staff and put the finishing touches on his first of two consecutive recruiting classes ranked in the top 12 nationally.

The momentum generated during those early weeks continued to build throughout the 2010 season, as Dooley piloted the Vols to a bowl game, redesigned the now under construction $40-million, state-of-the-art football training facility, established a new academic accountability system and developed the Vol For Life (VFL) comprehensive player support and character education program.

This increased commitment to excellence in all facets of the program provided the framework that helped the Vols exceed expectations on the field in Dooley's first season at the helm. Despite serving as the third head coach of the Tennessee football team in a 15-month period and competing roughly 15-20 scholarship players below the established scholarship limit of 85, Dooley led his first Vols squad to four consecutive November wins, an appearance in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl against North Carolina, and a 6-7 finish.

The bright future on the horizon for UT football was exemplified by performances from the talented freshmen class. Tennessee played 26 freshmen in 2010, including 16 true freshmen, both the third-highest totals in major college football. A school-record seven true freshmen started against Memphis.

Many of the 2010 UT freshmen assumed significant roles and produced record-setting seasons. Quarterback Tyler Bray was 4-1 as a starter and set a Tennessee record for passing yards by a freshman with 1,537. He also set overall school records for passing touchdowns (five) and passing yards (308) in a single half (both at Memphis).

Freshman wide receiver Justin Hunter set a Tennessee freshman record with seven receiving touchdowns and averaged a team-best 25.9 yards per catch this season. Additionally, the Vols received 31 starts by freshmen on the offensive line, including right tackle Ja'Wuan James, who started all 13 games at right tackle. James Stone (eight starts), JerQuari Schofield (five starts) and Zach Fulton (five starts) also started multiple games on the offensive line in 2010.

And while the future certainly seems promising, the 2010 team featured a big-play offense that produced 71 plays of 20-plus yards, 19 of which were touchdowns, a significant increase from the 2009 totals of 61 plays of 20-plus yards, 10 of which went for touchdowns.

The 2010 Vols additionally developed as the season progressed defensively as well, ranking eighth nationally in November by allowing only 13.0 points per game. Tennessee also was a plus-nine in turnover margin in November, the third-best total nationally. And despite having such a young roster, the disciplined nature of the 2010 Vols allowed them to rank third in the conference in fewest penalty yards per game for the entire season (41.5 yards per game).

Determined to make immediate strides in changing the culture of the program, Dooley created the Vol for Life program. The four-year VFL curriculum focuses on the often-overlooked personal growth of the student-athlete, encompassing the following topics: character education, personal finance, life skills, career development, spiritual growth, community service, mental conditioning, personal branding, and navigating the social media landscape.

The ultimate goal of the VFL program, in Dooley's eyes, is to reshape the culture of the program into one that produces not only great players and teams, but even greater men. The program has not only helped to build the bond between teammates, but also between the Tennessee football team and the Knoxville community. In addition to charitable work with groups such as Habitat for Humanity, the Vols have partnered with other local leaders and organizations, including spending a day with the Knoxville Police Department to learn about the challenges that face law enforcement.

Dooley has led by example as well, speaking at numerous events throughout Knoxville and the entire state of Tennessee to help raise more than $750,000 for children and other causes in the local community.

Before his arrival in Knoxville, Dooley served as the head coach at Louisiana Tech during the 2007-09 seasons and also doubled as the school's athletic director for the last two years of his tenure in Ruston. As the head coach of the football team, Dooley's tenure was highlighted by an 8-5 mark in 2008, including the school's first postseason victory in 30 years at the Independence Bowl. Tech finished second in the WAC that season and played in a bowl game for only the third time since joining the major college ranks in 1989. For his efforts, the Louisiana Sports Writers' Association named him 2008 Coach of the Year.

The only athletics director serving as head football coach on the major college level at that time, he was able to organize efforts to negotiate a new team apparel agreement, contract a multimedia rights deal, rebrand the Louisiana Tech athletic logos, and significantly upgrade facilities, including finalizing plans and launching a campaign for a new football training center and the addition of both a state-of-the-art HD video scoreboard and a new FieldTurf surface at Joe Aillet Stadium.

Additionally, Dooley also restructured the athletic foundation by creating LTAC, Team Tech 100 and the new LA Tech Kids Club, all of which contributed to an increase of annual giving by more than 150 percent. Net corporate sponsorship revenue also increased by 123 percent during his first year as athletic director, and Dooley also oversaw a restructuring of the ticket operation and the implementation of an online ticketing system, the first in school history, all of which led to a 51 percent increase in ticket sales and a new record for football season tickets.

The youngest son of Georgia legend Vince Dooley, who coached the Bulldogs for 25 seasons and claimed six league titles and the 1980 national championship, Dooley never accepted the predetermined path to success. He played his college football at Virginia, turning down scholarship offers elsewhere to walk on and later earn his own scholarship from Cavaliers head coach George Welsh.

As a wide receiver, Dooley earned that scholarship after his second season and went on to help the Cavaliers to three bowl appearances and the 1989 Atlantic Coast Conference championship. In 1990, he was named first team Academic All-ACC and helped Virginia to a Sugar Bowl bid against Tennessee. During his playing career, Dooley caught 41 passes for 604 yards and three touchdowns. His level of play was such in the 1990 season that he was invited to and participated in the Senior Bowl.

He graduated that year with a bachelor's degree in government and foreign affairs, and then went on to earn his law degree from the University of Georgia in 1994. Before embarking on his coaching career, Dooley practiced law at a private law firm in Atlanta for two years.

After a successful start to the legal profession, Dooley switched gears and returned to his love of football, beginning his coaching career in 1996 as a graduate assistant at Georgia under defensive coordinator Joe Kines. He then served from 1997-99 as wide receivers coach and co-recruiting coordinator at SMU, where Dooley helped the Mustangs to the school's only winning season over a 20-year stretch.

Dooley joined the staff at LSU under Nick Saban in 2000, serving as recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach from 2000-02 and then running backs coach and special teams coordinator from 2003-04. While LSU's recruiting coordinator, Dooley helped the Tigers land No. 1 classes in 2001 and 2003.

The Tigers won SEC championships both of those seasons, claimed the BCS national championship in 2003, and Saban promoted Dooley to assistant head coach for the 2004 campaign. Dooley left with Saban to serve as tight ends coach for the Miami Dolphins from 2005-06. During his two years in the NFL, Dooley oversaw the continued development of tight end Randy McMichael, who ended his Dolphins career as the all-time leader in receptions by a tight end.

Dooley is married to Dr. Allison Jeffers Dooley, an OB/GYN and Fort Worth, Texas, native. They have two sons, John Taylor (12) and Peyton (9) and a daughter, Julianna (7).

Allison is active in fundraising and serves on the Board of Directors locally for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Imagination Library.

The Dooleys also host an annual fundraising event for Variety, an organization that provides financial support for numerous children's charities.

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    Derek Dooley is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Coaching, Football.
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Derek Dooley is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Derek Dooley for your event is available upon request. Derek Dooley generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Will Muschamp, Nick Saban, Bill Bates, Mike Sherman and Steve Addazio. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Derek Dooley for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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