Derek Dooley's focus: redefining the standard

Derek Dooley's focus: redefining the standard

July 21st, 2011 by Patrick Brown in Sports - College

UT coach Derek Dooley talks to the press.

UT coach Derek Dooley talks to the press.

HOOVER, Ala. - University of Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley was unhappy with his Volunteers after one recent offseason workout.

Now in his second year at UT, Dooley has continued to push his team toward understanding the requirements of being a UT football player.

"I remember one of the offseason workouts where I was really upset with them," Dooley told a group of local media Thursday morning before making the rounds at Southeastern Conference media days. "I explained to them what the expectation is at Tennessee, and the fans expect us to go out there and compete for a championship and get one of those banners. We need to work like that.

"There's a standard at Tennessee that's always been there, and we lost that standard [last year]. We did. I thought it was very important we turned the page after last season to redefine the standard of excellence that Tennessee has had for so long.

"You're never going to get there if you don't at least start establishing it."

Dooley and his staff have worked toward recentering his team's focus on competing for championships, a notion that was lost among UT's players last year while they adjusted to a third different head coach in three years.

"It's hard as a first-year coach to be overly expecting of [the players] to be great," senior tailback Tauren Poole said. "It's tough, but now that we know what coach Dooley wants, we're ready to go and we're just ready to try our best to win as many games as we can."

More coverage online, in Friday's Times Press and on Twitter.