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Saturday, December 16, 2006
Dolphins TE coach Dooley in talks with La. Tech

By Len Pasquarelli
ESPN.com

Miami Dolphins tight ends coach Derek Dooley has interviewed with Louisiana Tech officials about the school's head coach vacancy.

Louisiana Tech president Dan Reneau and athletic director Jim Oakes flew to South Florida late this week to huddle with Dooley, who is in his second season in Miami. A Dolphins official confirmed that university officials had sought and received permission from coach Nick Saban to meet with Dooley about the job.

The vacancy was created when Jack Bicknell was fired on Dec. 4 after eight seasons, and following a 2006 campaign in which Louisiana Tech was 3-10.

Dooley, 38, is the son of legendary former University of Georgia coach and College Football Hall of Fame member Vince Dooley. He has never been a head coach at any level, but is said to be highly recommended by independent consultant Chuck Neinas, and apparently made a strong presentation to school officials.

Among the other candidates for the job are LSU assistant head coach Jimbo Fisher, LSU passing games coordinator Todd Monken and Valdosta State head coach Chris Hatcher. Fisher is a candidate for several other jobs, including the offensive coordinator position at Florida State.

School officials have not discussed a timetable for choosing Bicknell's successor. Clearly, the Dooley name and lineage carry some cachet.

Dooley was a walk-on wide receiver at Virginia who earned a scholarship as a sophomore. Following his playing career, he earned a law degree at Georgia, and spent three years in private practice. He joined the coaching ranks in 1996 at Georgia, moved on to SMU for three seasons (1997-99), then was hired by Saban at LSU in 2000.

In 2005, he followed Saban to the Dolphins.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com