What does it take to be Knoxvillian of the Year? Sometimes, you just have to be anybody but Lane Kiffin. But Vol Coach Derek Dooley’s admirable qualities appear to have been the perfect antidote to our collective sense of football shame, helping us get over that huckster from California. In his first season, Dooley seemed like a no-nonsense taskmaster intent on building a real football team out of the mess Kiffin left in his wake. But with an eked-out .500 season and a close, controversial loss in the Music City Bowl, it’s hard not to see this award as mostly a vote of confidence in his future. So let’s call it aspirational, a nod of respect to a guy who we believe will stick around for the hard work ahead.
Runners Up: Helen Ashe and Ellen Turner/Love Kitchen, Tim Burchett, Frank Gambuzza