Former Virginia Tech football coach Bill Dooley says he wants recognition for all he accomplished at the university during his tenure, despite his stormy departure in a contract dispute.
"I worked my butt off up there; I really did," Dooley, now the coach at Wake Forest, told the Roanoke Times & World-News. "Any job is too large for one man. One man can't run an organization. You say a guy can't be athletic director and coach? Well, hell yeah, unless he's got the right support personnel."
In his nine seasons at Virginia Tech, Dooley won 62 games -- the most of any football coach in the program's history. He left his dual jobs as coach and athletic director at the end of 1986 after claiming he had been fired.
On Sept. 15, 1986, he sued the school for breach of contract. One of the provisions of the suit's settlement was that he step down by Dec. 31, 1986.
"I didn't want to sue," said Dooley, who settled out of court for about $1 million. "In fact, the thing was a secret. It wasn't going to happen during the football season."
Dooley contended he was fired from both jobs the previous February by Virginia Tech President William Lavery. With no settlement in sight, Dooley hired lawyer S.D. Roberts Moore of Roanoke to represent him. School officials later asked him to stay on, acting as only coach.
Dooley said accounts of financial problems at Tech -- the athletic department's reported $3.5 million deficit -- are misleading.
"There's no financial problem there at all, other than the fact money was pledged, those pledges were not fulfilled and the money had to be paid out of operations," he said.