The internet is full of get-rich schemes. They require completion of complicated steps, and along the way, you’re sure to wittingly or unwittingly (but never Jason Wittenly– more on him later) divulge most to all of your private identificatory material and click on a few virus downloads in a process that never quite leads to that free ipad, college tuition, or $10,000 prize. Perhaps ironically in this Internet Age, the pound-for-pound best way to get rich fast without having to try too hard is completely offline. In fact, the less you know about technology, the better, I’d say. The trick is to be a mediocre college football coach for just a few years, then get fired. Here’s how a man named Derek did that very thing.
Derek Dooley’s coaching career spanned six consecutive seasons, three each at two different schools. In 2007, he started at WAC powerhouse Louisiana Tech. That was a joke, but also essentially true. I don’t know how he got that job, and I don’t mean that in the rhetorical or implication-laden way. I actually do not know, but I’m going to assume it’s because his dad was a really good coach at Georgia for twenty-five years and because he has a law degree, which he does, and nothing but professional malpractice (more on that later) can take it away from him.
In his three years at La.Tech, Dooley amassed a 17-20 record. He had one over-.500 season, his second, in which he beat Northern Illinois in the Independence Bowl, 17-10. In his final year there, he went 4-8 but no problem because Knoxville’s on the phone and they want to hire a sub-.500 WAC coach and here we go. Dooley did slightly worse in his three years at Tennessee, building a 15-21 record. He also made it to one bowl game, the Music City Bowl, but he lost it to North Carolina. During those six years, Dooley’s teams were ranked in the AP Top 25 just once, when UT peaked at 23 in his final season, and he never beat a top-25 team.
Sounds pretty bad. Bad enough to get fired, in fact, and that’s just what happened. And what prize did he earn for his efforts?
Tennessee is obligated to write Dooley a check for just under $105,000 a month, every month for the next four years, for a total of $5 million.
And speaking of gravy trains and Rob Ryan, Dooley isn’t even done. Now he’s supplementing his prize winnings with a new revenue stream courtesy of Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. The kid can’t