ATHENS - Vince Dooley is going with the same strategy as two years ago, when his son Derek led Tennessee into Sanford Stadium the first time.
"I will not be at the game. I'll be watching the game at television by myself," Vince Dooley, the former Georgia head coach and athletics director, said on Monday.
The reason for that is so Dooley can root for his son's team, without having to do so in the stadium Vince won so many games himself, and still regularly visits. In fact Dooley, who still lives in Athens, attended Georgia's 48-3 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday, and was at head coach Mark Richt's press conference last week. Dooley hired Richt in 2001.
But Dooley said he has to pull for his son, which he admitted is still "tough" because the father is helpless.
"At least when I was coaching I could make a decision and even if it was wrong, I could do something," Dooley said. "But just to sit there and not to do anything, yeah it is very, very difficult."
Derek Dooley is 14-15 in two-plus years at Tennessee, and 4-13 in SEC games. When he was hired, he was the third Tennessee coach in three years, coming after the forced retirement of Philip Fulmer and Lane Kiffin's sudden move to Southern California.
"He's still got a very tough job there. He's still lacking in recruiting and getting some athletes in order to compete," Dooley said of his son. "It's an instant success generation that we're in. Frank Beamer, when he went the first six years (at Virginia Tech) I think he was 24-48. If you look at this record the first six years it's amazing that he stayed, that he held on to his job. But he did, and now he's one of the winningest coaches in the country, with 240 wins. But patience is very thin, and this is an important year for him. So I hope it will allow them to have patience to give him time to get a chance to get establiished up there. Because he did inherit a tough situation."
More on Derek Dooley and Tennessee in Tuesday's papers.