An already tumultuous offseason in Knoxville just got more difficult for Vols fans.
After losing wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett to retirement and going through the negative publicity of the DeAnthony Arnett transfer situation, ESPN's Chris Low is reporting that Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon are leaving to take those same positions with the Washington Huskies.
If you asked any Tennessee fan which assistant the Vols could least afford to lose, Wilcox would have been the runaway choice. Losing Sirmon in addition to Wilcox just compounds the effect on the team, the head coach, the fans, and the current recruiting class.
To say Derek Dooley is floundering at the moment would be sugarcoating the matter at this point.
Following the very public DeAnthony Arnett transfer fiasco last week, Dooley has lost a 2012 recruiting commit and his two top defensive assistants. This, following a 2011 season punctuated by the Vols first loss to Kentucky since 1984.
Things are getting ugly fast for Dooley.
What current defensive coordinator would want to come work for a coach whose hold on his own position is tenuous at best?
Dooley has some serious work to do between now and February. Not only does he have to replace a rising star defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, but he has to secure a great recruiting class amidst negative publicity.
This has been a very bad year-plus on Rocky Top. It's Derek Dooley's task to stop the bleeding.
The sooner the better.