What a weird week for former leaders of the Illinois Fighting Illini program. Ron Turner had to apologize for his FIU players getting naked in public. And now the Zooker.
Ron Zook got a $2.6 million dollar buyout from the University of Illinois. Zook also made a lot of money when he coached the Illini. He made even more money than that when he coached a much higher profile program in the Florida Gators. The Zooker has had many good paying coaching gigs in his life. He was once even Defensive Coordinator for the New Orleans Saints!
Yet, here he is, working in a bank. Not a glamorous high-powered Wall Street investment bank a short walk from the New York Stock Exchange.
No, no, no. Ron Zook is a middle manager at a small little local bank in Ocala, Florida. Yes, he’s working in some town you’ve never heard of, in a boring, mundane local branch, just like the pedestrian bank on the corner in your town. Well, he is a shareholder there too.
Does this make any sense at all? Is the Zookster just one of those people that has to keep working all the time? You know, the type of person that works just for the sake of working and keeping busy. I bet Ron Zook is great at recruiting clients to sign up for free checking! He’s just probably terrible at coaching them in how to save and earn interest!
Look at the website for Gateway Bank in Ocala, Florida. Scroll down, way down to the right hand side. You’ll see him right there.
Business Development Officer
Related: why Zook was hired at Florida and how it relates to Urban Meyer and the Aaron Hernandez saga
He’s the nicest person in the world. Mr. Zook is a really nice guy, but I’m not crazy about the idea of having Ron Zook do anything with my money. For a host of reasons.
1.) With all that money he made with the Gators, Illini, Saints etc. why isn’t he just living fat off the compounding interest of his investments? Sure, he has to put his daughters through college, but can’t he find some secure U.S. Treasuries, or safe yet high dividend securities to live off of? I can show Ron Zook some blue chip stocks or bond issues that conservative investors would like. I’ll show you important charts in Investors Business Daily or the Wall Street Journal you might like.
2.) I wouldn’t trust Ron Zook with numbers. He always had the weird thing about going for two, when he should have just kicked the extra point. And his bizarre decisions about when to kick a field goal or go for it on fourth down had inverted logic. It cost the Illini two games versus Ohio State and one versus Indiana.
3.) I’m not confident in the idea of Ron Zook doing asset management. Sure he can obtain high valued assets, but he doesn’t optimize their performance. The Illini had a first and second round draft pick in both the 2012 and 2011 NFL Draft. And more additional picks in both those drafts. However, those Illinois teams went 14-12! Ron Zook had a very poor record at Florida; ESPECIALLY so by Gators standards. Yet, 20/22 starters on Urban Meyer’s first national title team were recruited by Zook.
Related: Florida Gators current Coach Will Muschamp fires back at Ohio State for turning them in regarding violations
What makes this story so odd is that Ron Zook has a sweet, cushy television gig too.
Granted not a lot of homes have CBS College Sports; and I’m sure it doesn’t pay that much due to its lack of overall reach. However, it’s gotta pay decent, right? Well, Zook is a shareholder in that Gateway bank, so he must be seeing some decent paper off that. So then why work there too? Unless he just loves dealing with people that much?
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. The correspondent/analyst for 95.7 The Fan, also writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)