You’re Nick Saban. You’ve been grooming one of your top recruiters and position coaches to fill the Kirby Smart slot that will open up when some other school takes a shot at hiring Smart as its new head coach, only to see one of your former protegés step in and make him an offer he couldn’t refuse. All that hard work, gone to waste. Then, to top it off, he has the nerve to make you sound magnanimous about it.
“I told Nick when I called him that it was a hard call because it isn’t a Tennessee-Alabama deal. It was such a good opportunity professionally for Sal, and I know Nick has always been proud of the coaches that go on to bigger and brighter things because of the time they spent with him.
“I’m appreciative of what he gave me as a coach and I know Sal is appreciate of what he has given him as a coach. I was really pleased at how professionally he handled it. We have a friendship too, and that will never be compromised. It wasn’t about Tennessee taking anything from Alabama. It was a guy that has had a track record of great coaching over the last two decades and an opportunity that I think he has been wanting for a couple of years.”
Well, screw magnanimous. You didn’t just win another national title by being magnanimous. You won it because you’re the most ruthless bastard on the block. There’s got to be something you can do to put young Dooley in his place.
Tennessee won five football games this season.
Since then, the Volunteers have lost six assistant coaches.
Lance Thompson is the latest to leave UT, as the defensive line coach will return to Alabama, according to a source inside the Vols’ football program. The national champion Crimson Tide had a vacancy to fill on their staff after UT hired outside linebackers coach Sal Sunseri as its defensive coordinator last week. Thompson’s departure gives Vols’ coach Derek Dooley three vacancies to fill.