Bradley Central's Sanders, A Future Vol, Says Dooley Still On The Job

Bears Lineman Disputes Reports That Embattled Coach Has Been Fired

Sunday, November 11, 2012 - by Larry Fleming

Bradley Central senior offensive lineman Austin Sanders, who is committed to Tennessee, on Sunday evening disputed reports that Vols coach Derek Dooley has been dismissed.

Sanders tweeted: “Dooleys not fired I just got off the phone he is still coach.”

Sanders, a 6-foot-6-inch, 300-pound tackle helped Bradley Central to a 6-5 season that ended with a 31-6 loss to rival McMinn County in the first round of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Class 6A playoffs on Nov.


Sanders committed to Tennessee as a junior and thus far has stuck with his decision. He's expected to sign with the Vols on national signing day in February.

Sanders is a finalist for the TSSAA Class 3A Mr. Football Lineman of the Year, along with Memphis Central's Frank Herrin and Brentwood's Logan Teichmann.

Earlier, reported that Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart had made the decision to fire Dooley but allow him to coach the Vols’ final two games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky.’s Bruce Feldman picked up on the report, pointing out that “there are still some issues the school is trying to sort out” before making the move public. Feldman referenced the report as saying the decision has been made and “the only question is when the school will make the announcement.”

Sports Illustrated's website,, also picked up the report.

It was also rumored that Hart was meeting with the Tennessee teams as reports began to buzz around the internet.

Sanders’ tweet seemed to shoot down the reports, at least for the time being.

The Vols are 4-6 overall and 0-6 in the Southeastern Conference, ahead of only winless Kentucky in the SEC East. Kentucky fired coach Joker Phillips last week.

Dooley, in his third year with the Vols, has been under increasing fire for the past several weeks.

Tennessee lost four straight games to nationally ranked SEC foes -- Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama and South Carolina. To break the skid the Vols had to fight for their lives -- and Dooley's job -- to beat Troy, 55-48.

On Saturday, Tennessee blew a 21-7 second-half lead and lost to Missouri, 51-48, in four overtimes.

Dooley was strongly criticized for allowing the final 30 seconds -- the Vols had two timeouts left -- to run off the clock in the fourth quarter without trying to gain enough yardage for a potential game-winning field goal.

Dooley is 15-20 in his three years at the helm, including a 4-18 SEC record.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at


University Of Mobile Defeats Dalton State Soccer

The (RV) University of Mobile Rams came to Dalton and knocked off the young (19) Dalton State Roadrunners, 1-0.  The fans were still filing into Lakeshore Park Thursday night when the University of Mobile’s Pierre Mangold kicked the only goal of the game with only 48 seconds played. “We were not ready to play the match,” said Dalton State Coach Kerem Daser. "It’s ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Silverdale Defeats Grace For District 5-1A Crown

Woman Stabbed To Death On Hooker Road; Man Injured

A young woman was stabbed to death on Hooker Road early Friday morning and a man was injured. At approximately 1:54 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a stabbing at the 4000 block of Hooker Road. There police located an unidentified black female, believed to be in her twenties, deceased. A second person, an unidentified black male, was transported to a local hospital ... (click for more)

World Class Guitar Collection To Go On Display At The Choo Choo

A world class guitar collection is set to go on display permanently at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. "Songbirds," which is built around the collection of Lookout Mountain businessman Thorpe McKenzie, was introduced to the public on Thursday night. Invited guests at the Choo Choo heard Nashville guitar star Doyle Dykes perform in the Choo Choo's new Revelry Room. He played some ... (click for more)

Regulations As A Whole On Signal Mountain

A few years ago I was flying over Chattanooga on my way to Atlanta.  The sun had just come up and I enjoyed picking out Signal Mountain’s location, on Walden’s Ridge, in the morning light.  What was amazing was that I could not tell that a town existed under the tree canopy.  I hope that the same can be said 10, 20, or even 50 years from now.  During last ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Must Learn To Tell

On July 4th of this year, FBI agents – acting on a tip -- arrested Alexander Ciccolo, a 23-year-old with known mental problems, as he carried a duffel bag full of automatic-attack weapons. Moments before, he had bought the illegal firearms from an undercover informant outside of Boston. As agents later scoured his apartment, they found bomb-making equipment including a pressure ... (click for more)