Kirby Smart Discuss Relationship With Former Colleague Derek Dooley

Kirby Smart Discuss Relationship With Former Colleague Derek Dooley

Football

Kirby Smart Discuss Relationship With Former Colleague Derek Dooley


Derek Dooley, the son of legendary Georgia football coach and 1980 national champion Vince Dooley, has bounced around the football world throughout the 21st century.

The current Missouri offensive coordinator began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Georgia in 1996 under Jim Donnan. After a stop at SMU, Dooley made his way to LSU to coach under Nick Saban, where he then followed Saban to the Miami Dolphins. Stops at Louisiana Tech, Tennessee and with the Dallas Cowboys ensued before Dooley was hired at Mizzou last offseason.

As for Georgia coach Kirby Smart, he also got his coaching start at Georgia three years later then Dooley in 1999, still under Donnan. The two became colleagues in 2004 at LSU under Saban. Smart coached the defensive backs and Dooley acted as the assistant head coach, running backs coach and special teams coordinator. When Saban went to the Dolphins in 2005, Dooley followed. Smart would take a job as running backs coach at Georgia for a year prior to joining Dooley and Saban in 2006.

“As far as Derek and my relationship, we worked together at Miami,” Smart said. “We’re good friends, and we were at LSU at the same time. I have a lot of respect for his dad, and Derek and I have always been good friends.”

Dooley is now the offensive coordinator at Missouri, where he leads a high flying offense centered around preseason all-SEC senior quarterback Drew Lock.

Georgia has its hands full with Lock, who currently ranks sixth in the nation and first in the conference in terms or passing yards.

Smart highlights was Dooley brings to the table at Mizzou:

“I think Derek (Dooley) has brought some good changes for them. The physicality, I think, is what Barry’s (Odom) intent was in getting Derek devoted to running the ball, which they did at the Cowboys and Derek’s been throughout his career. The commitment to that, to running the ball, even though you have a potential high-round draft pick at quarterback, they still have a commitment to running the ball and being physical. I think that’s important in this league. And they’ve made that. That’s the biggest change that I’ve seen, but they’ve kept a lot of the elements that are tough to defend in this offense. So he’s done a good job of that.”

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