KNOXVILLE – Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley underwent a successful surgical procedure on his hip at UT Medical Center in Knoxville on Tuesday afternoon, the school has confirmed.
“Over the last two months, Dooley experienced increasing pain in the right hip area,” UT said via a release. “The procedure was scheduled Monday following an MRI Friday afternoon that revealed a fracture requiring an immediate need for surgery.”
He is unlikely to be with the team at practice on Wednesday morning, and he will coach from the press box at Wade Davis Stadium when the Vols play at Mississippi State on Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET.
He is expected to resume normal coaching duties next week when the Vols prepare for Alabama, pending approval of his doctors and the UT sports medicine staff.
Dooley was at practice Tuesday morning, and he downplayed the injury when speaking to the media after practice.
“I got a little hip issue,” he said. “I’ll keep you updated on it. Time will tell (the extent of the injury). I know I’m here and I’m working and nothing has changed so that’s all that matters. I wasn’t (in a red, non-contact jersey), but I wasn’t moving like I normally move.”
The Vols have not confirmed how sideline coaching duties will be divided on Saturday at this point. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and safeties coach Josh Conklin normally sit in the press box, and there has been no indication that will change.
If they remain in the press box, defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri will be the highest-ranking assistant coach on the field. Though he’s never been a head coach in his 27-year career, he was the assistant head coach the last three years at Alabama.
Wide receivers coach Darin Hinshaw, who is Dooley’s longest tenured position coach on staff, would be a logical choice to handle the offensive administration on the field. He has coached quarterbacks and wide receivers for the Vols and is a former offensive coordinator at Georgia Southern and Middle Tennessee.