A new year and a new head coach mean Tech football is
looking for a new resolution as well. Undoubtedly, bringing a tradition of
winning to the Bulldogs is paramount.
Tech’s season ended with a disappointing 3-10 record
after facing a brutal non-conference schedule and an underwhelming performance
in conference play. Coach Jack Bicknell gave Tech a Western Athletic Conference
championship in 2001 and some outstanding wins over legendary programs like the
University of Alabama. That, and getting the Bulldogs their first-ever
Associated Press Top-25 ranking, are but a few reasons Bicknell has earned our
unwavering respect and gratitude for his tenure as head football coach.
However, as Athletic Director Jim Oakes said, there was a
need for change in the program. With that, Derek Dooley was introduced as the
31st head coach of the Bulldogs. Hiring Dooley has built an air of excitement
and buzz about Tech football. Something we have not felt in a while.
Dooley even has the pedigree for success. Mentioning his
father, Vince Dooley, to any University of Georgia alumnus recalls an era of
football dominance in the late ‘70s and the ‘80s (not to mention a national
championship). Dooley was raised in a winning culture and has always thrived in
whatever area of coaching thrust upon him.
Dooley has proven that he can improve and win
consistently on any scale of football and in nearly every aspect of the game.
He served as recruiting coordinator, running backs coach
and special teams coordinator under Nick Saban during LSU’s return to national
prominence from 2000 to 2004. Dooley followed Saban into the NFL, working as
his tight ends coach for the past two years with the Miami Dolphins.
He served as wide receivers coach at Southern Methodist
University. At LSU he combed through the plethora of talent available in not
only Louisiana or even the South, but across the nation. Dooley knows Louisiana
high schools and could give Tech’s program an edge they desperately need when
trying to woo recruits away from the huge purple and gold elephant in the room.
Tech President Dan Reneau and Oakes were responsible for
finding the next head coach.
“It’s called going from good to great,” Reneau said. That
sums up the attitude needed for success in Division I football. Hiring Dooley
is a big step in that direction. Speaking about Dooley, Reneau said, “There was
no doubt who fit the mold of this university.”
The position will be Dooley’s first shot at head coach.
The future of Tech athletics looks to someone whose history is dominated by success.
Lifting Tech’s football program to greatness will not be easy and Coach Dooley
holds the Bulldogs’ future in his hands. Let’s just hope he does not jump ship
too early like his previous boss.