UT fans feel sad, hopeful about the firing of Coach Derek Dooley

UT fans feel sad, hopeful about the firing of Coach Derek Dooley

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Students at the University of Tennessee are speaking out about the firing of head football coach Derek Dooley. Students at the University of Tennessee are speaking out about the firing of head football coach Derek Dooley.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Fans across Knoxville spoke out Sunday night about the firing of head football coach Derek Dooley.

Many students are passionate fans of the Volunteers and said this season has been hard to watch. Losing this many games is not what they are used to seeing this program produce.

News of Dooley's firing traveled fast across campus Sunday.

Many students say they'd been expecting it and support the school's decision.

"I think it's time for a change. I thought he did a good job but results are the thing that matter in the end and he wasn't getting the W's," said UT Junior Matt Lott.

Getting a win was rarely the case this season, which was disheartening for the students who attend every home game.

"Watching us not succeed in our games week after week took that spirit that I had gained and come to treasure away from me," said UT Freshman David Cunningham.

They hope that today's move by UT is a step in the right direction for the orange and white.

"I think it's a really big make or break moment to make the University of Tennessee a big name again. They need a big coach to come in. They can't keep having this mediocrity." said UT Junior Alex Kronk.

Students tell us they respect Dooley as a coach and as a man. They are sad to see him go in that regard.

"I feel bad for him. He got a lot of the blame. As the head coach, he's going to get a lot of that blame. But it's not all his fault," said UT Junior Julia Cox.

Now they're focusing on the future.

They have high hopes for what upcoming seasons of football will bring.

"Thought he was a great coach while he was here. I really respected him but I'm excited to see who will be brought here and what will come from that," said UT Sophomore Brooke Turner.

Fans in downtown Knoxville's Market Square had mixed reaction, but none were surprised by the news.

"It just seems unavoidable," said fan Jim Clark. "You just have to look at the win-loss record. I like Dooley, fine gentleman I think, fine values and so forth, but Tennessee is just capable of so much more and it's got to bounce back."

Fans watched the press conference in bars around the city, and as the day went on, fans seemed to agree with Athletic Director Dave Hart's decision, saying it was time for Dooley to go.

"I think the timing was good," said fan Jim Klonaris. "I'm a little surprised he's not going to coach the last game of the year. I mean, he's made it this far."

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