Man, remember when Mike Hamilton was in his salad days as the AD With A Plan?
“First of all, ultimately I look at the salary pool – the head coach and assistant coaches – as a line item in our budget,” Hamilton said. “At a lot of institutions, the model is the head coach is making a significantly higher salary than anybody else on his staff.
“This model is a little bit different from that. It spreads the dollars around a little bit more. You’ve got a couple other guys that are making pretty high-end salaries.”
Nearly two-thirds of UT’s total budget for assistant coaches will be paid to the two men deemed essential hires by new coach Lane Kiffin: defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and assistant head coach, defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron.
Yeah, well, that’s some model you got there, Mr. Hamilton. Now that your mercenaries have all left after one not-so-glorious season for sunnier climes, where do you go from here?
Why, back to the future.
… Including Wylie — who, unlike his predecessors, will work exclusively with the football program — the current UT staff will earn at least a combined $4.75 million next season. That $875,000 reduction (despite one extra position) would place the Vols seventh in the SEC, based on last season’s salaries. Most of the league’s schools are expected to pay more this season, so UT’s ranking could dip even further.
It’s kind of sad when you realize the football coach has more sense than the guy who hired him, but check out this quote from Derek Dooley:
… Dooley said during last month’s introductory news conference that his ideal coaching staff didn’t necessarily mirror his predecessor’s preferred path. Lane Kiffin often bragged — and still brags, albeit on the West Coast — about assembling the “best staff in the country.”
“This whole ‘putting together the best staff in the country’ and all this … well, every staff can’t be a headliner to me to make a good staff,” Dooley said the day he accepted UT’s position. “A staff is a team, and each member of a staff brings strengths, and each member of a staff has things that maybe they don’t do as well. It’s no different than assembling a football team, and so what I’m more concerned with is who wants to be here? Who is going to believe in how we’re going to run our organization, and how we’re going to play offense, defense and special teams? What kind of team member are they going to be? How much are they going to believe in this institution?”
Don’t forget that Dooley was the AD at Louisiana Tech, too. Maybe Tennessee hired him to fill the wrong position. Or, do they have athletic-directors-in-waiting these days?