Buyouts for Derek Dooley, UT hefty

Coach will play university $4 million if he leaves early

Memorandums of understanding for:

Tennessee appears to have given itself some protection from another quick departure.

Derek Dooley likely sheltered himself from a rough start as well.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding acquired by the News Sentinel on Wednesday, the Vols and their new coach seem to have financially tied themselves together, setting a buyout for Dooley if he resigns at $4 million for the next two seasons and $5 million for the next three if he were to be fired.

The University of Tennessee released salary details for the following football coaches on Wednesday:

Derek Dooley

Position: Head coach

2010 salary: $1.8 million

2010 termination buyout: $5 million

2010 resignation buyout: $4 million

Notable: The Vols shouldn't get burned again like they did by Lane Kiffin with a steeper buyout for leaving the program, and Dooley is likely protected from a rough start with the team.

Justin Wilcox

Position: Defensive coordinator

2010 salary: $600,000

2010 termination buyout: $1 million

2010 resignation buyout: $300,000

Notable: The bright, young defensive mind won't have to pay UT a buyout if he's hired as a head coach at the Division I level.

Chuck Smith

Position: Defensive line coach

2010 salary: $225,000

2010 resignation buyout: $112,500

Length of deal: Two years

Notable: The former Vols star can leave the program without penalty if he becomes a head coach or an offensive or defensive coordinator with play-calling duties at the Division I level.

Eric Russell

Position: Tight ends and special teams coach

2010 salary: $200,000

2010 resignation buyout: $100,000

Length of deal: Two years

Notable: The Texas Tech import is off the hook for the buyout if he's hired as a head coach or an offensive or defensive coordinator with play-calling duties at the Division I level.

Terry Joseph

Position: Defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator

2010 salary: $175,000

2010 resignation buyout: $87,500

Length of deal: Two years

Notable: Dooley's former assistant at Louisiana Tech is free to leave if he's hired as a head coach or an offensive or defensive coordinator with play-calling duties at the Division I level.

For UT, that’s surely a direct response to getting burned by Lane Kiffin in January, when an $800,000 price tag helped ease his jump to Southern California. And for Dooley it’s a bit of insurance that he’ll be given some time to clean up the mess his predecessor left behind.

“This is a destination job,” Vols athletic director Mike Hamilton said when he hired Dooley. “This is the place where he’s familiar with this league, this is the top of the ladder as it relates to getting it done the right way and competing for championships.

“We talked about things like buyouts for leaving and that was never an issue because he said, ‘This is where I want to be.’ ”

One way or another, it would be expensive for somebody if Dooley doesn’t stick around at UT.

The MOU, signed by Dooley, Hamilton and interim president Jan Simek in early March, includes a $3 million payment to the university if Dooley resigns after a third season, then decreases to $1 million or less during the last three years on his contract.

The dropoff isn’t quite so dramatic the other way, with Dooley still getting $4 million if he’s fired after his fourth and fifth seasons with the Vols and $2.5 million if he’s let go before his deal expires on Dec. 31, 2015.

The agreement also specifies one other buyout — with UT responsible for the $500,000 it cost to get Dooley away from Louisiana Tech in the first place.

“I wish I could sit here and give you a one-liner that’s going to convince 100 percent of the fans, but that’s never going to happen,” Dooley said at his first press conference. “All I can do is go to work and assure you that I love being where I am, and I’m not looking to leave.”

It would take a sizable check now if Dooley did want to leave. But it also will be expensive for UT to force him out.

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Comments » 108

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

All Out Dooley Bash in 3...... 2...... 1.......

Volunatic writes:

A little bit better than the contract signed with the previous coach, but I still think Hamilton could have done better. (I guess Coach Dooley's legal background helped him a bit, though.)

NeylandWest writes:

How many mattresses does the student body get to burn if he jumps ship before year 2? Those are the details we need - the really important stuff.

jmorri30 writes:

Why is Hamilton so terrible at writing contracts? If what Dooley has to pay to the University for leaving early drops significantly, so should his buyout-DUH!

Hamilton really did a TERRIBLE job constructing the agreements with Kiffin and Co. They had a clause in Monte's contract that gave him a retention bonus at the end of the year. It should have had restrictions that would not really give him any money unless he started the next season or at least until after signing day.

I'm not foreseeing any issues with Dooley right now but I do wish we had some better legal minds drawing up the contracts on behalf of the University.

VolFaninTriCities writes:

Boring...can't wait to see some results. GBO!

Alt_news (Inactive) writes:

Volunatic wrote:
"I guess Coach Dooley's legal background helped him a bit, though."

No, what helped Coach Dooley the most is that Jimmy Sexton owns both Mike Hamilton and Derek Dooley.

Fat Baby is one of the three most destructive influences on the Tennessee football program in the last 10 years.

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

nobody cares about the money game in college football

Mark63 writes:

This might be the wrose, contract that ever was written. But in the end, it might be wroth it.

FearlessFreep writes:

in response to Alt_news:

Volunatic wrote:
"I guess Coach Dooley's legal background helped him a bit, though."

No, what helped Coach Dooley the most is that Jimmy Sexton owns both Mike Hamilton and Derek Dooley.

Fat Baby is one of the three most destructive influences on the Tennessee football program in the last 10 years.

Bingo. Sexton plays Hamilton like a Stradivarius.

atlkevin writes:

in response to Mark63:

This might be the wrose, contract that ever was written. But in the end, it might be wroth it.

Definitely the wrose, probably not wroth it.

HUH???

allvol9 writes:

Alot better than Kiffins....but why should the University have to pay out more over the long haul if he is fired? I just think Dooley's and UT's should be the same. But glad this is done....let's get on with football.

MikeInTN writes:

in response to jmorri30:

Why is Hamilton so terrible at writing contracts? If what Dooley has to pay to the University for leaving early drops significantly, so should his buyout-DUH!

Hamilton really did a TERRIBLE job constructing the agreements with Kiffin and Co. They had a clause in Monte's contract that gave him a retention bonus at the end of the year. It should have had restrictions that would not really give him any money unless he started the next season or at least until after signing day.

I'm not foreseeing any issues with Dooley right now but I do wish we had some better legal minds drawing up the contracts on behalf of the University.

Yes, Hamilton signed off on it, but he didn't write a thing. It's the university lawyers, and remember Dooley is a lawyer.

franxman#2 writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did you really want to keep Kiffin?

bugman (Inactive) writes:

I agree I think kiffin was and will be a much more sucessful coach than the dudester will be. I see dooley as the next buzz peterson.....

bugman (Inactive) writes:

oh btw, fire raeligh too

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

in response to bugman:

oh btw, fire raeligh too

And Pearl, or have you finally realized you were wrong about him all along? Who's to say you're not wrong about Dooley?

FWBVol writes:

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't think CDD will bolt for any program now that he is at Tennessee. UT is one of the big boys, which nobody can say about La. Tech.

We are one of the top 10 programs in college football of all times as far as wins, winning percentage, bowl games and bowls won. We have one the five largest stadiums in the country.

Yes, he has strong family ties to Georgia, but UGA cannot offer anything that UT can't match or top.

I really believe Derek Dooley when he said his wife has sacrificed so much of her career while he climbed the coaching mountain. Now that he has reached the top of the mountain as far as being at an elite program there's no reason for him to go elsewhere. I hope he will pay her back for packing up her practice every few years by allowing her to put down deep roots in Knoxville.

And I hope CDD pays back Hamilton's confidence in him by winning a lot of football games and joining the ranks of the great coaches that have roamed the sidelines at Neyland Stadium.

bugman (Inactive) writes:

in response to PoochPuntOn3rdDown:

And Pearl, or have you finally realized you were wrong about him all along? Who's to say you're not wrong about Dooley?

i didnt say anything about pearl he's good. summitt should go ahead and retire too

MikeTheTiger writes:

UT lawyers must have graduated from UT law school. Presume that after year 3 Dooley is doing great things and the team is a contender. At that point he only would have to pay 1 million to leave when he is a hot commodity. If he stinks, UT has to pay him 4 million. Hmmmmm.........OK.

tnsportsman writes:

The NCAA should require and use the NFL Head Coach Contract Rule, not the Universities individually.

It's real simple HC leaves early, the HC or the hiring school owes the balance of the contract. Same for the University firing a HC early, they would owe the balance of the contract.

But, glad it's done for now lets go win football games Big Orange! CDD will be at Tennessee a long time IMO.

GO VOLS!

BigBadVol writes:

in response to Orange_A_Holic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LMFAO! I couldn't have said it better.

tnsportsman writes:

in response to MikeTheTiger:

UT lawyers must have graduated from UT law school. Presume that after year 3 Dooley is doing great things and the team is a contender. At that point he only would have to pay 1 million to leave when he is a hot commodity. If he stinks, UT has to pay him 4 million. Hmmmmm.........OK.

Now that's funny but true, LOL.

WLafIndianavol writes:

"Coach will play university $4 million if he leaves early"???????????????????????

ThugTillIDie writes:

We should be saving that money for when Pete Carroll gets fired by the Seahawks. Dooley is just a stop on the road to getting a real coach.

WLafIndianavol writes:

If Hamilton is smart, he will sign Bruce Pearl for years to come and make it very difficult to leave the Vols. Bruce Pearl did an AMAZING job coaching this year!

WLafIndianavol writes:

in response to ThugTillIDie:

We should be saving that money for when Pete Carroll gets fired by the Seahawks. Dooley is just a stop on the road to getting a real coach.

No one at UT will EVER want anyone even remotely associated with SCUmbag U ever again!

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to bugman:

i didnt say anything about pearl he's good. summitt should go ahead and retire too

lets see your a bugman and your talking about who should be hired and fired?I cant believe UT didnt consult with you on who needs to be here or who should retire. I take it your a bugman for a reason.

veloce928 writes:

Someone explain to me what you mean about Sexton. I'm only vaguely familiar with him and his relationship to the Vols.

volsnationalchamps writes:

Better than Kiffins obviously, but disagree with the buyout the last few years. Kiffin would have left anyways to USC. Hamilton definitly made it easier with that lame buyout though.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

My 'fan buyout' clause is only $1.5 million. I'm kind of hoping the university exercises their option to fire me pretty soon.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to NeylandWest:

How many mattresses does the student body get to burn if he jumps ship before year 2? Those are the details we need - the really important stuff.

Remember------

There is nothing he can say to convince us this is a destination job not a springboard job.

99gator writes:

with all due respect......

who's coming after derek dooley within three seasons?

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to MikeTheTiger:

UT lawyers must have graduated from UT law school. Presume that after year 3 Dooley is doing great things and the team is a contender. At that point he only would have to pay 1 million to leave when he is a hot commodity. If he stinks, UT has to pay him 4 million. Hmmmmm.........OK.

OOORRRRRR.....
If he is successful and at least gets to an SEC Champ game in his 1st 3 years, then UT will up his salary, thus ensuring happiness for all.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to 99gator:

with all due respect......

who's coming after derek dooley within three seasons?

Nobody.

I hate to say it, but I believe CDD at the best will be like Foolmer's average year.....9-3. Hope he surprises me with an SEC crown, but getting over that Meyer-Satan hump won't be easy.

He's a genuine good guy. No dirt on this fella. But what anyone will notice 40 years from now is the w/l. If he goes 9-3 average every year he'll last 6-7 years. I'm thinking realistically, the VOL in me wants an SEC title by year 4 like Satan.

99gator writes:

in response to AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons:

Nobody.

I hate to say it, but I believe CDD at the best will be like Foolmer's average year.....9-3. Hope he surprises me with an SEC crown, but getting over that Meyer-Satan hump won't be easy.

He's a genuine good guy. No dirt on this fella. But what anyone will notice 40 years from now is the w/l. If he goes 9-3 average every year he'll last 6-7 years. I'm thinking realistically, the VOL in me wants an SEC title by year 4 like Satan.

kiffin (for whatever reason) has the ability to charm someone in an interview and get a job that is above his pay grade. so, i know people will say kiffin was offered a great job after a 7-6 season........

but, if dooley went, 7-5, 8-4, 9-3.....his first three seasons at tennessee (with no championships of any kind), i think that would be a hell of a job.

and yet, i don't think any school the stature of tennessee would be knocking on his door at that point.

god forbid he does worse than that, then, for sure, no one is knocking on the door.

bugman (Inactive) writes:

in response to chrisw2967:

lets see your a bugman and your talking about who should be hired and fired?I cant believe UT didnt consult with you on who needs to be here or who should retire. I take it your a bugman for a reason.

i said the same thing!! why didnt they hire me? In fact why am i not the AD?

AllforTenn writes:

in response to MikeInTN:

Yes, Hamilton signed off on it, but he didn't write a thing. It's the university lawyers, and remember Dooley is a lawyer.

The lawyers only draft the documents in legal terms. They do not negotiate the terms of the agreements. Why blame it on the legal minds? It is the AD and the agents who come to the terms.

AlpharettaVol writes:

in response to PoochPuntOn3rdDown:

All Out Dooley Bash in 3...... 2...... 1.......

You certainly are perceptive. Great post.

TommyJack writes:

First of all, No one on this board knows how CDD will perform, especially Duke DaFulmer, Agent99gator, Farragutless from Cullman, et al.
Second of all, CDD's law degree doesn't mean squat as to his abilities between the lines. I like CDD, but the law degree has no relevance here. Enough of the law degree crapola.

Lastly, leave the man alone. Come back in a couple of years if you feel the need to evaluate him. It's total nonsense to do so presently.
That is all.

ethanfrome writes:

in response to jmorri30:

Why is Hamilton so terrible at writing contracts? If what Dooley has to pay to the University for leaving early drops significantly, so should his buyout-DUH!

Hamilton really did a TERRIBLE job constructing the agreements with Kiffin and Co. They had a clause in Monte's contract that gave him a retention bonus at the end of the year. It should have had restrictions that would not really give him any money unless he started the next season or at least until after signing day.

I'm not foreseeing any issues with Dooley right now but I do wish we had some better legal minds drawing up the contracts on behalf of the University.

Hamilton does not write the contracts; there is an entire office staff that is involved with writing the contracts.

Monte's retention bonus was simply a way to avoid having to pay it to him up-front, which he had the capital to demand. Whether that was a poorly schemed plan or not is simply a question of whether you know when he was going to leave .

HtownVol writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Anyone that can say Saban WILL retire at Bama can not be taken as a football fan.

Or maybe you did not know of Saban when He was the Dolphins coach.

Well I will tell you what he did. There was rumors that he was taking the Bama job. He replied to the rumor by assuring that He will not be the Bama coach...24 (24!) hours later, he was the Bama coach.

Yes, hes a great coach. Anyone that says he is not dont know squat. But Do NOT EVER think he will stay at ANY job. Tommorrow is not promised with Saban, as seen.

Also, no one on here knows what DD will do at UT. So, shut up. The speculators are just nerds that do not know football.

I have no doubt that the ones who predict wins for Dooley, are the ones who said Auburn coach G. Chizik (?..sp) would not win more than 3-4 games in his first year.

And Farragut... You bet $1000. OK, but who was the recruiting coordinator for Nick Saban for a lot of his top recruiting classes? CDD only recruited 26 of UT's players. And none of the ones in the draft this year.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Geez, who peed in your cornflakes this morning?

tdvol1989 writes:

in response to jmorri30:

Why is Hamilton so terrible at writing contracts? If what Dooley has to pay to the University for leaving early drops significantly, so should his buyout-DUH!

Hamilton really did a TERRIBLE job constructing the agreements with Kiffin and Co. They had a clause in Monte's contract that gave him a retention bonus at the end of the year. It should have had restrictions that would not really give him any money unless he started the next season or at least until after signing day.

I'm not foreseeing any issues with Dooley right now but I do wish we had some better legal minds drawing up the contracts on behalf of the University.

Good Question. I am not sure the Buyout and Payoff should be the same though. I really thought we had HAND here. I think Dooley was a good hire, but honestly, this was a better job than he deserved...right now. That does not mean I don't think he was the right guy. It's just that he has more to prove as a coach than we have to prove as a prestigious job opportunity.

In summary, BUYOUT protection IF HE LEAVES should have been the priority. That just makes common sense especially after what happened with Kiffin and the general concerns that Dooley might have the desire to return to Georgia.

vols2#227315 writes:

Hamilton need fired so that we can get a real football coach who can bring talent to UT and start winning games and championship.

RoadTrip writes:

I love Dooley being our HC for a long time to come. The naysayers will disappear as the W's start happening with increasing frequency.

volsoutwest writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Was it really a loss?

TommyJack writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

Geez, who peed in your cornflakes this morning?

Nah...he's just a chronic beecher. Likes to talk tall about his dough. Doesn't realize there are many on here could buy him with their egg money.

volsoutwest writes:

in response to TommyJack:

First of all, No one on this board knows how CDD will perform, especially Duke DaFulmer, Agent99gator, Farragutless from Cullman, et al.
Second of all, CDD's law degree doesn't mean squat as to his abilities between the lines. I like CDD, but the law degree has no relevance here. Enough of the law degree crapola.

Lastly, leave the man alone. Come back in a couple of years if you feel the need to evaluate him. It's total nonsense to do so presently.
That is all.

TJ, wish I had written that.

92volalum writes:

not sure I care as long as he wins...... and that's all i really care about.... just win baby!!!!! and recruit...recruit....recruit....... because that's the only way we'll be contenders

dhwright64 writes:

"Coach will play university $4 million if he leaves early". I believe if he has to "play" the university, the university will win.

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