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Dooley brings hope

A new year and a new head coach mean Tech football is looking for a new resolution as well

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.

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