Tennessee fires Derek Dooley

The University of Tennessee has fired head football coach Derek Dooley, effective immediately.

The move comes a day after the Volunteers dropped a 41-18 decision at Vanderbilt to fall to 4-7 overall and 0-7 in SEC play.

Dooley was in his third season with the Vols and posted a record of 15-21. The program did not have a winning record during his tenure, although his first team in 2010 reached the Music City Bowl after a 6-6 regular season and lost to North Carolina.

"We very much appreciate the effort and energy that Derek Dooley and his staff have poured into our football program at the University of Tennessee," said athletic director Dave Hart in a statement Sunday. "Derek and I met early this morning, and I informed him that I believed a change in leadership, despite the positive contributions he has made to the overall health of the program, was in the best long-term interests of Tennessee football. We will immediately begin the search for the best possible candidate to assume this leadership role."

Dooley, the son of Georgia coaching legend Vince Dooley, was the head coach at Louisiana Tech from 2007-09 and took over at Tennessee when Lane Kiffin departed after one season to take the vacancy at Southern California.

"I am sorry we could not generate enough wins to create hope for a brighter future," said Dooley through the school. "Although progress was not reflected in our record, I am proud of the strides we made to strengthen the foundation for future success in all areas of the program."

Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will coach the Vols for their season finale next Saturday against Kentucky.

Hart said the search for a new head coach will begin immediately.