Former Florida and Illinois coach Ron Zook has given college coaching the old college try twice, and failed twice. Now he's in an exile of sorts in Florida. And he's working at a bank.
The Zooker is, specifically, a business development officer at Gateway Central Bank in Ocala, which sounds like the kind of landing spot you get near but not in the college town that chewed you up and spat you out. (Former Gators who stick around Gainesville often end up doing big things: Chris Doering runs a mortgage firm, Danny Wuerffel still hawks a local credit union in ads, and Brad Culpepper's become one of Florida's most successful personal injury attorneys.)
Zook's not completely closed off to the idea of coaching—he sounds like a man in the hinterlands, mostly, of late—and I've been told that he's working at the bank with "buddies," and in addition to, not instead of, his studio work with CBS Sports Network. But the image of a guy who once rushed to break up a fight at a Florida fraternity now fielding calls at a bank is funny.
So was Zook's reply to a Illinois alum and tipster, who emailed Zook with the subject line "We want you back" (Illinois went 2-10 in 2012 under Zook replacement Tim Beckman). The tipster's email:
Although it didn't work out at Illinois and your time was cut short, the Tim Beckman experience has been absolutely brutal...
Hope all is well.
All well here thanks
Photo credit: AP