Eric Dooley officially introduced as the new football coach at Southern University
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Southern University formally introduced Eric Dooley as the school’s 20th head football coach at a press conference on Tuesday, Dec. 7.
“He’s a champion of a man, and our expectations are to have a champion of a program,” said Athletic Director Roman Banks.
In his first public comments, Dooley spoke on what it meant to come back to the place that launched his coaching career. Dooley was a member of Coach Pete Richardson’s staff at Southern from 1997 to 2009. He was a key figure in guiding the Jaguars to two HBCU National Championships and four SWAC titles.
“The opportunity I got in 1997, Coach Richardson didn’t know who I was. I was just a young man coaching football in high school in New Orleans. He gave me an opportunity to come here, and I can truly say since that day that I’ve never looked back,” said Dooley.
Coach Richardson sat in the front row of the press conference and said he always knew Dooley would find his way back home.
“They had already made a commitment because their daughter was in school here, so if that opportunity became available, I knew he wanted to get back home and if they offered it to him, I knew he’d capitalize on it,” said Richardson.
Richardson is arguably the greatest coach in Southern’s history, but some fans believe Dooley could one day take the crown.
“Based on what I’ve seen, I think he’s going to be the best. Winners recognize winners,” said Allen Semien.
When asked about his decision to leave Prairie View after leading them to a SWAC West Title, Dooley said he had no regrets.
“No, because my thing is I knew I wanted to leave a place better than what it was when I got there. I felt like I left it in good hands, and this was an opportunity that I’ve been waiting on and I tell the players all the time, seize that opportunity when it comes, and that opportunity presented itself and I thought it was a great opportunity for me,” said Dooley.
Dooley finished the press conference talking about the last time he was at Mumford Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Jaguars 48-21.
Dooley said that game played a part in him coming home.
“I use this phrase a lot, every day of your life you’re on an interview. So, I thought that was a part of my interview,” said Dooley.
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