What Shane Beamer and Derek Dooley have in Common

Derek Dooley and Shane Beamer have both failed to succeed as SEC head coaches with a combined record of 36-39 leaving many to question why they were hired in the first place.
Clemson v South Carolina
Clemson v South Carolina / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

Derek Dooley and Shane Beamer were both hired as SEC head coaches with the arguably delusional expectations that they would be comparable to their fathers, who were both legendary coaches at their respective schools. An overall combined record of 36-39 during their combined tenures as SEC head coaches should be proof enough.

Derek Dooley’s father, Vince Dooley coached the Georgia Bulldogs from 1964-1988 compiling a 201-77-10 record. Dooley’s teams won six SEC titles and the 1980 national championship led by running back Herschel Walker who would go on to win the Heisman Trophy in 1982.

Shane Beamer’s father, Frank Beamer coached the Virginia Tech Hokies from 1987-2015 compiling a record of 238-121-2. He led the Hokies to 13 seasons of 10 wins or more between 1995 and 2011, including eight in a row from 2004-2011.

While Beamer never won a national championship with the Hokies, they made an appearance in the game against the Florida State Seminoles in 2000 only to be beaten by the Bobby Bowden led Seminoles. He is also most known for producing generational talent, quarterback Michael Vick.

Vince Dooley and Frank Beamers sons however have each produced far from what their fathers did. And that is not necessarily surprising considering it is difficult for anyone to live up to the legendary expectations of these two all-time greats at their respective schools.

However, what is more than a fair question is why Derek Dooley and Shane Beamer each received their first head coaching opportunities at SEC programs given the fact that each either did not produce, or has failed to produce so far.

Here are the results of Derek Dooley and Shane Beamer as SEC head coaches

Derek Dooley -  coached the Tennessee Volunteers from 2010-2012 after being hired by former Vols Athletic Director, Mike Hamilton. Hamilton was also responsible for the firing of legendary Vols head coach Phil Fulmer who produced quarterback Peyton Manning and led the Vols to the national championship in 1998.

Before arriving in Knoxville, Dooley was the head coach of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs where he compiled a record of 17-20 in three seasons, including only one winning campaign in his second season 2008 of 8-5 before the team went 4-8 the following year.

Despite this, Dooley was brought to Knoxville to coach in a conference that was inarguably a step up from that of Louisiana Tech, and a team in Tennessee that had national title expectations every year.

The hire, expectations and track record of sub-par performance as a head coach simply didn’t match up for the Volunteers, and the results would show over the next three years as Dooley would go 15-21 before being fired in 2012.

Shane Beamer – Beamer’s first head coaching gig has been at the University of South Carolina where he is currently the head coach of the Gamecocks since 2021.

After going 7-6 in his first season and 8-5 in his second, things seemingly fell flat this past year as the Gamecocks went 5-7 despite having veteran quarterback Spencer Rattler at the controls. Issues on the offensive line all season allowing 41 sacks which ranked third worst in the SEC.

A rash of assistant coaching departures have plagued the Gamecocks since the off season began with the most recent being wide receiver coach James Coley who left for the University of Georgia to coach under Kirby Smart and the national title contending Georgia Bulldogs.

In addition to the losses, a seemingly arrogant Beamer compounded the issues in Columbia earlier this week making comments as shown on X (formerly known as Twitter) by Podcast Host, Michael Bratton  that left many questioning whether or not Beamer was indeed ready for the spotlight.

Both Derek Dooley and Shane Beamer’s previous or current track records simply do not seem to line up with why they were hired into the head coaching positions they were hired into given the expectations in the southeastern conference.

With that, one can only draw a conclusion that bias towards their last names must have been considered here.