After losing Josh Heupel as an offensive coordinator to be the head coach at UCF, Missouri head coach Barry Odom needed to find a replacement. He ended up bringing former Tennessee head coach and Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Derek Dooley into the Missouri program to fill the void. For Dooley, a chance to return to the college game and in the SEC is one he embraced, and he seems to be looking forward to putting his past at Tennessee behind him as he hopes to help keep Missouri moving forward.
“Getting back into the crosshairs is a little bit more my personality,” Dooley said Friday at his first press conference with Missouri media, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It’s easy to stay removed from the firing line. You guys have the ammo and you’re firing away. That’s OK. That’s your job. But there’s a lot of personalities (in coaching) that don’t like that. And that’s OK. They’re great coaches. But I guess that’s not mine. I’m a glutton for punishment.”
As far as Odom is concerned, he seems optimistic about hiring an offensive coordinator with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
“He’s got something to prove,” Odom said. Odom also said he has something to prove. After a rough start to the 2017 season, Odom made a passionate claim he was the right guy to coach the Tigers. Sure enough, Missouri turned things around in a big way to reach a bowl game. The season ended with a loss to Texas in the bowl game, but that gives Odom a sense of unfinished business, a mantra his entire program can buy into this offseason.
Dooley certainly does. Back in the same division as Tenessee, Dooley hopes his work as offensive coordinator at Mizzou will erase the image he had when he went 15-21 as head coach of the Vols. Dooley will have a talented offense to work with next fall, which is led by the return of the SEC’s leading passer from last season, Drew Lock.