Sept. 4, 2011
By JOSH PATE
When Tennessee came onto the field for warm-ups prior to Saturday's season opener against Montana, all eyes focused on head coach Derek Dooley and his orange slacks. The colorful attire was a shock to many but matched perfectly with Tennessee's official shade of orange.
The pants also served up viral interest among social media followers of the Vols.
Within minutes after it was posted on the Tennessee football Twitter account, the photo was averaging 3.54 views per second. By game's end, Dooley's fashion statement had seen more than 17,000 views just from Twitter alone.
Dooley said the idea to wear the pants wasn't a gimmick but was inspired from watching the ESPN documentary The Color Orange: The Condredge Holloway Story.
"There's nothing better than old footage," Dooley said. "I just remember seeing the old footage of the coaches out there and they all had orange pants on. So I asked Fraiz (equipment manager Roger Frazier) if he could get a pair of orange pants. He didn't think I'd wear them. He thought I was wasting my money. So Fraiz got it done and I felt like, let's put them on."
General consensus is that the impact was positive among fans and players alike.
To offset the bright trousers, Dooley went with the plain white collared shirt, a black belt and brown dress shoes.
"Everybody else wanted me to wear white shoes and a white belt. My wife intervened on that," Dooley said, with agreement from athletic director Joan Cronan from the back of the crowded media room. "That's why you never do anything without asking your wife."
No word yet on whether Dooley plans to don the orange britches every game, or ever again.