Derek Dooley knows how Sal Sunseri feels about the upcoming game with Alabama. After all he had to coach against the team last week that his father coached for years.
This week Sunseri will be coaching against the Crimson Tide of Alabama, where his son Vinnie is a sophomore safety.
Sunseri is well known as a family man and admits that this week has been difficult as he prepares the Vols to duel the Tide.
“It has been very hard this whole week, especially for both of us,” Sunseri said. “Vinnie has done a great job in preparation, everything he has done all year. Emotionally for the family it has been really, really tough. I didn’t imagine it would be this hard, but it is very tough. But we are both going to be professionals about it, we are going to do what we have to do and go out there and play our best football.”
They have still communicated during the week, but have avoided conversations about strategy. “It is more about missing each other and seeing each other,” Sunseri said. “The family is extremely close. When we talk it is more about his technique and how he is playing, asking how I am doing. It has nothing to do with the game itself. It has to do with making sure he is feeling good, making sure he is healthy, making sure that I am feeling good and making sure I am healthy. That is basically what the conversations have been. It is going to be hard on Saturday night when that kid walks on the field.”
Besides having Vinnie at Alabama, Sunseri has a son, Tino, who is a senior quarterback at Pittsburgh and his daughter, Ashlyn, is a freshman on the Tennessee volleyball team.
By Nancy Morris