Tennessee coach Derek Dooley is shown at the press conference following his team's Nov. 17 loss to Vanderbilt. (Source: utsports.com)
KNOXVILLE, TN (RNN) - The day after an embarrassing 41-18 loss to Vanderbilt, the University of Tennessee announced that football coach Derek Dooley has been fired.
Dooley had a 15-21 record in his three years at the school, including an 0-15 mark against ranked teams and a 4-19 record in the Southeastern Confrence, according to the Associated Press.
Dooley had four years left on his contract, which required that the university pay him a $5 million buyout, the AP reported.
"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," Hart said in a written statement issued Sunday morning.
"I am sorry we could not generate enough wins to create hope for a brighter future," Dooley said in the written statement.
Dooley will not coach the season finale against Kentucky on Nov. 24 at 12:21 p.m. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will serve as interim head coach. The Vols are 4-7 and winless in seven Southeastern Conference games this year.
Tennessee must defeat Kentucky to avoid going winless in the SEC for the first time in school history.
The loss to Vanderbilt was only the second in 30 years, and the Vols will not reach a bowl for the first time since a four-year span from 1975-78.
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.