Dool(ey) Role

At a press conference first announced by BleedTechBlue, Louisiana Tech University announced today that Head Football Coach Derek Dooley has accepted the position of Athletic Director. Dooley will continue as Head Football Coach, taking on the huge responsibilities of both jobs.

Tech fans everywhere are already split about this exciting news. Half of the fans are optimistic about the possibilities while others believe it is an attempt by Tech president Dan Reneau to save a couple of dollars.

It is my opinion that this is in no way an attempt to save money. Derek Dooley would not have accepted this position without certain guarantees that would give him the control and funding he needs to be successful. When the details come out completely, I am sure that Dooley will be given an increase in pay of at least what the previous A.D. was making. Also, if Dooley is to take on a double role, he is going to have to delegate more than a normal coach or A.D. would delegate. In order to delegate, Dooley is going to have to hire additional staff. Any time you hire additional staff, you start spending more money, hardly a sign of doing things on the cheap.

The first staff addition is likely to be an Associate A.D. for Internal Operations. Eric Buskirk does a great job in the External Affairs arena and Tech needs an equally competent person to work on things like Budgeting, Facilities, and Event Coordination. Coach Dooley spends hours upon hours pouring over every detail of his football program and will want to spend the same energy in his new role. However, he will obviously have to turn the details over to his right hand people if he desires to keep his sanity.

Having worked in the NFL, in the SEC, and having the ability to call on his father's numerous contacts, Dooley has the ability to not only find the right people to work under him at Tech, but he also has the ability to find the right people and businesses to partner with in order to take Tech to the level we desire. Dooley's father, Vince, was the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at the University of Georgia for nearly ten years and then continued as the Athletic Director until 2004.

The most important aspect of today's announcement may be that Louisiana Tech is willing to step out on a limb and go for the top. We can not reach the highest levels of success by sitting back and complaining about our lack of support and funding. Today is yet another move in the right direction. Dr. Reneau has taken another bold step to change the direction of the Athletic Department. For years, fans have asked for the Administration to care, to dare, to try to be better. In the last 16 months, Tech has done just that, and more.

Athletic Director Derek Dooley will not do anything that is second rate or second class, he will do it the right way. Dooley will not take no for an answer and he will be successful. The Tech family can take pride in their Athletic Department, lead by a true leader. For those who may be afraid that that leader will leave us for bigger challenges in the future, I say do not be afraid of success. He will likely leave, and maybe even sooner than we would like, but he will leave us much better than we could have hoped. Also, Dooley will put the right people in place to carry Tech on after he leaves. I can only hope he will make Tech great enough for a big money program to hire him away, and Tech fans everywhere should thank him for the great job he did if that happens.

It can be done, but it will take everyone from the President to the fans to make it happen. With people like Dr. Reneau, Derek Dooley, Kerry Rupp, Wade Simoneaux, and Karl Malone determined to make it work, who is going to get in our way?

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