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O'Leary, first coach/AD combo since Derek Dooley, follows throwback model

6/23/2015
Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez can always find an interim coach in his office. Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

During the 1960s, '70s and '80s, college football coaches who served dual roles as athletics director were about as popular as the wishbone offense.

In the past, football coaches were the most powerful men on campus, so they often held control of the athletics department's purse strings.

Nowadays, it's pretty rare. Most college coaches no longer have enough time to do both jobs, and athletics departments require more of a CEO role.

That's what makes Central Florida's announcement that coach George O'Leary will serve as its interim AD so surprising.

The last FBS coach who worked both jobs simultaneously was Derek Dooley, who, as Louisiana Tech's coach, added the AD title from 2008 to 2010. Of course, Tennessee fans might argue that Dooley couldn't even handle one of those jobs during his forgettable tenure with the Volunteers.

Watson Brown was UAB's AD/football coach from 2002-05, and Rich Brooks had dual roles at Oregon from 1992-94.

Here's a closer look at some of the more notable coaches who also doubled as the athletics director:

Barry Alvarez

As Wisconsin's coach, Alvarez is credited with resurrecting the program, leading the Badgers to a 118-73-4 record from 1990 to 2005. A year before Alvarez retired from coaching, he replaced Pat Richter as Wisconsin's AD (Alvarez had served as associate AD since 2000). Alvarez was able to choose his successor, promoting defensive coordinator Bret Bielema to head coach.

When Bielema left Wisconsin for Arkansas in 2012, Alvarez was the Badgers' interim coach in a 20-14 loss to Stanford in the 2013 Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO. He was Wisconsin's interim coach again this past season, guiding the Badgers to a 34-31 overtime win against Auburn in the Outback Bowl, after former coach Gary Andersen left to become Oregon State's coach.

During Alvarez's tenure as Wisconsin's AD, the Badgers have won 14 team national championships and 50 conference regular-season or tournament titles.


Bear Bryant

When Bryant left Texas A&M to become Alabama's football coach and athletics director in 1957, the Crimson Tide's athletics department had an operating budget of about $700,000 annually. By 1979, it was close to $5 million.

During Bryant's 26 years as Alabama's AD, football revenues helped pay for the construction of Coleman Coliseum, football practice fields, tennis courts, swimming pool, track complex and Bryant Hall, the athletics dorm. Bryant-Denny Stadium's capacity also was increased from 31,000 seats to more than 70,000 with three expansion projects under Bryant's watch.

Bryant, who guided the Crimson Tide to six national championships and 14 SEC titles during his 25-year coaching career, retired from coaching after the 1982 season and served as AD until his death in 1983.


Frank Broyles

Broyles was hired as Arkansas' football coach in 1957 and guided it to its first national championship in 1964. In 1973, Broyles was named the Hogs' AD and held dual roles until he retired from coaching after the 1976 season.

Broyles served as Arkansas' AD for more than three decades until he retired in 2007. Under his watch, the Hogs moved from the now-defunct Southwest Conference to the SEC in 1992. During Broyles' 34-year tenure as AD, Arkansas won 43 national championships, 57 SWC titles and 47 SEC titles.

Broyles oversaw construction of Bud Walton Arena in 1993 and expansion of Reynolds Razorback Stadium, which grew from 42,678 seats in 1984 to 72,000 today.


Vince Dooley

Dooley won 201 games, six SEC titles and the 1980 national championship as Georgia's coach from 1963 to 1988. He was named the school's AD in 1979 and held the position until he was forced into retirement by then-UGA President Michael Adams in 2004.

Under Dooley's watch, Georgia's sports teams won 23 national championships and 78 SEC crowns. He oversaw seven expansions of Sanford Stadium, construction of Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, Ramsey Center and Foley Field, as well as the women's soccer and softball complex.


Pat Dye

Dye was hired as Auburn's coach and athletics director in 1981. He guided the Tigers to a 99-39-4 record in 12 seasons, winning four SEC championships.

Dye's most important work might have been bringing the Iron Bowl game against rival Alabama to Auburn for the first time. Played annually at Birmingham's Legion Field, Dye informed Alabama officials that the Tigers were going to play each of their home games at Jordan-Hare Stadium in 1989. On Dec. 2, 1989, the Tigers upset No. 2 Alabama 30-20 in the first Iron Bowl played at Auburn.

Dye was forced to resign as Auburn's AD in 1991, after former player Eric Ramsey implicated boosters and assistant coaches in a scandal involving improper benefits. Dye resigned as coach after the Tigers went 5-5-1 in 1992.


Tom Osborne

As Nebraska's coach, Osborne won 255 games and three national championships during his 25 years on the sideline. Following retirement after the 1997 season, Osborne was elected to Congress three times and had a failed gubernatorial bid in 2006.

The next year, when the Cornhuskers were limping through another mediocre season under then-coach Bill Callahan, university Chancellor Harvey Perlman fired AD Steve Pederson. Osborne took the job the next day and then fired Callahan after a 5-7 season. Osborne gets a nod on the list after he appointed himself interim coach so he could recruit before hiring LSU assistant Bo Pelini as the new coach.

Osborne, who served as AD for five years until retiring on Jan. 1, 2013, oversaw the Cornhuskers' move from the Big 12 to the Big Ten, construction of Pinnacle Bank Arena and expansion of Memorial Stadium to more than 90,000 seats.


Bo Schembechler

Schembechler wasn't Michigan's AD for very long -- he oversaw the athletics department from 1988-90 before leaving to become the Detroit Tigers' president -- but he left an indelible mark for one of his decisions … about basketball.

On the eve of the 1989 NCAA tournament, then-Michigan basketball coach Bill Frieder informed Schembechler that he was taking an offer to become Arizona State's new coach. Schembechler fired Frieder on the spot, and ordered assistant Steve Fisher to take over. "A Michigan man is going to coach Michigan," Schembechler said at the time.

Fisher guided the Wolverines to an NCAA championship, beating Seton Hall, 80-79, in the championship game.