LSU Football: Top 5 all-time worst SEC coaching hires

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Former Tennessee Vols head coach Derek Dooley (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images) /

5. Derek Dooley — Tennessee (2010-2012)

A comedy of errors led Tennessee to Derek Dooley in early 2010.

In late 2008, the Vols unwisely parted ways with Hall of Fame head coach Phillip Fulmer and hired Lane Kiffin (who had just been fired as the Oakland Raiders head coach).

Kiffin road into Knoxville making wild promises (like promising to beat Florida…which didn’t happen). During his brief stint on Rocky Top, Kiffin angered opposing coaches and then left town in the dark of the night for his “dream job” at USC (where he was also fired).

As a result of Kiffin’s decision to bolt after one season (just a month before National Signing Day), the Vols were forced to search for a coach in January, which is not prime coach searching season.

And that’s how they ended up with Dooley, a coach who had just one winning season in three years as the head coach at Louisiana Tech.

There were reasons for hope for UT fans, though. Dooley was a Nick Saban disciple who spent time on staff at LSU and with the Miami Dolphins.

However, those hopes were quickly dashed when Dooley-blunders became a new normal at Tennessee (the infamous 2010 LSU win in Baton Rouge for example).

Dooley had some good offenses at Tennessee (especially in 2012), but he could never quite put it all together. By the end of his tenure, after three straight losing seasons, Dooley essentially lost the team and was fired after an embarrassing UT loss to Vanderbilt in Nashville.

To make matters worse, Dooley’s failure to recruit at a high level set Tennessee’s depth back a couple of years.