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To coach or not to coach? That is the multi-million dollar question

To coach or not to coach? That is the multi-million dollar question

Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012 8:22 am
By: By David Critchlow Jr., Editor

To coach or not to coach? That is the multi-million dollar question | David Critchlow Jr.

I think I need to be on the University of Tennessee at Knoxville payroll.
And by the way, I don’t think I should have to do anything to get that paycheck.
Just put me under the “Paid to Not Coach” category at UT, which seems to be very lucrative for those falling under that description.
The most recent addition to that exclusive club is former football coach Derek Dooley, who will be paid $5 million to keep his fluorescent orange pants off the sidelines.
His former staff stands to make a few million to steer clear of the program as well.
With a stadium that seats about 100,000 fans — only about half of whom showed up for the abysmal season’s final few games — I’m wondering if the supporters need to get some of that monetary windfall — if there is any money left.
As it turns out, apparently there is plenty of money left.
In the Volunteers’ pursuit of a new football coach, the school was willing to offer the University of Louisville more than $2 million for their coach not to coach there anymore.
Maybe the athletic department doesn’t see me jumping up and down trying to get their attention, but I’m willing to not coach for them or any other school for a fraction of what they’re willing to spend on someone they will cast off in a few years. As someone who is not coaching, I think I’m deserving of a few hundred thousand dollars — at least — to continue not coaching. Think of the savings to the university.
Of course, Dooley and his staff are not the first to be paid by the university to give up coaching one of its athletic programs.
Off hand, I can think of a couple of other ex-football coaches — Hall of Famers Johnny Majors and Phil Fulmer — who were paid to return their whistles to the athletic department offices.
Throw in payoffs to ex-basketball coaches Wade Houston, Jerry Green, Buzz Peterson and Bruce Pearl, baseball coach Rod Delmonico and ex-athletics director Mike Hamilton and you’re talking about some eight-figure payouts overall.
If Lane Kiffin, who jilted the university for the greener pastures of Los Angeles three years ago, had only stayed another couple of years, UT probably would have paid him handsomely to go to California. As it turns out, he may be getting a similar paycheck from Southern Cal to give up coaching. But I digress….
Of course, you can’t truly expect to be paid not to coach. You have to have some sort of coaching resume, and I certainly do.
In fact, I used to coach a little football myself, albeit of the European variety. Sure, my “football” team was comprised of girls 5-8 years old, but that shouldn’t disqualify me.
Basically, after three years of having no clue what was going on, my career ended unceremoniously. Unfortunately, there was no huge golden parachute as I was given an encouraging shove out of the game.
So with that, I am officially announcing my candidacy for the head coaching position with the UT football team.
If it doesn’t pan out, I guess I can buy another lottery ticket to try to make my millions.
Unfortunately, I think the odds are better at making that kind of money as an ex-Tennessee coach than actually winning the lottery.
Editor’s note: This morning, Tennessee hired Butch Jones away from Cincinnati. The university will be paid $1.4 million by UT for Jones not to coach at there. Looks like I’m going to have to wait a bit longer for my high-paying non-coaching job.
David Critchlow Jr. may be contacted by email at

Published in The Messenger 12.7.12