Former players applaud Southern's hire of longtime assistant
BATON ROUGE - As Eric Dooley was being introduced as the 20th head coach of Southern University's football team, BREC superintendent Corey Wilson was in a meeting at the Baton Rouge Zoo nearby. As soon as that meeting ended, he knew he had to get to campus.
"Knowing where he started and where he is now, I was pretty excited and proud to see him land the job," Wilson said.
Wilson, a New Orleans native, first built a relationship with Dooley when during his high school years.
"Coach Dooley was my wide receivers coach," Wilson said. "He was able to come to that new program with a lot of new players who hadn't played football before, like myself, and he was able to coach us up and obviously leave a lasting impression."
After the introductory press conference Tuesday, Wilson grabbed Dooley for a quick picture and conversation. The newest hire picked up right where the pair left off.
"He immediately started asking me about other players that I played with thirty years ago," Wilson said. "So just imagine the number of players he's coached over the last thirty years, to still be able to rattle off players that I played with you shows you the deep connection and relationships he has with his players."
The hire brought more than just Wilson's praise. Former Southern players from Dooley's days as a jaguar assistant also calling the move a home run.
"He allowed us to earn the respect of him as a coach," Calvin Mills, Jr., a Southern fullback from 1997-1999, said. "When he told us to do certain things we bought into it, and it showed on the field."
"Coach Dooley, more than football, he always just preached life on us, which made us feel great," Quincy Richard, Jr., a quarterback for the Jaguars from 1999-2003, said. "When you get recruited, you feel like just an athlete. But now, when somebody's worried about your life, your well-being, you'll run through a wall for them."