Friday, January 15, 2010
Sources: Vols, Dooley talking in Ruston
By Chris Low ESPN.com
Tennessee officials flew into Ruston, La., on Friday afternoon to visit with Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley in a meeting that could finalize the deal with Dooley as the Vols' next head coach.
Dooley, son of legendary Georgia coach Vince Dooley, interviewed for the job on Thursday in Atlanta along with Temple's Al Golden and Houston's Kevin Sumlin.
One of the planes carrying Tennessee officials was in Salt Lake City on Thursday night. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Utah's Kyle Whittingham turned down an offer from Tennessee.
Dooley emerged Friday as the top candidate to replace Lane Kiffin, who left the program Tuesday to become the coach at USC.
Dooley, in his third season at Louisiana Tech, also is the school's athletic director. He played football at Virginia and has a law degree from Georgia. He was a recruiting coordinator and an assistant coach on Nick Saban's staff at LSU.
Earlier Friday, Duke coach David Cutcliffe withdrew his name from consideration in Tennessee's search. A former offensive coordinator with the Vols, Cutcliffe had talks with Tennessee on Thursday.
Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, the Longhorns' head coach-in-waiting, earlier this week turned down a lucrative offer from Tennessee, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com.
Kippy Brown, in his third stint at Tennessee, currently is the Vols' interim coach.
Information from ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach was included in this report.