Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Coaching Carousel, Part 2

Some more on the Rich Rodriguez to Michigan situation: RichRod showed us two ways not to leave a job. First, he told star recruit Terrelle Pryor of Jeannette, Pa. that he was headed to Michigan, before he informed the athletic director and president of West Virginia. Pryor was considering West Virginia, but he is now considering Michigan. Second, Rodriguez handed his resignation letter to a graduate assistant for delivery to the athletic director. That’s just a really good way to leave a gig. Nice job there, Rich.

Now, to some more coaching changes:

Houston: U of H could have done a lot worse. The Cougars lost Art Briles to Baylor after Briles rebuilt the Cougars’ program into a factor in Conference USA. U of H went out and hired Kevin Sumlin, the passing game coordinator at Oklahoma. Sumlin played at Purdue and has coached all over the country, including at Texas A&M. In 2002, Sumlin became A&M’s offensive coordinator and almost singlehandedly saved R.C. Slocum’s job, and engineered an upset of OU. Bob Stoops was so impressed he hired him for his staff. Sumlin should be able to keep the momentum going on Cullen Boulevard. Oh, yeah, he’s also African-American. That doesn’t hurt at all.

UCLA: The Bruins fired Karl Dorrell after a 6-6 season. The Bruins are looking at NFL coaches, including Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow. UCLA needs to step up the fund-raising, as the Bruins are not known for paying their coaches market value.

Nebraska: Interim AD/King of Nebraska Tom Osborne made the hire that should have been made four years ago, by hiring Bo Pelini as head coach. Pelini was defensive coordinator and interim head coach at Nebraska during the 2003 season. He then spent a year at Oklahoma and the last three years at LSU. Husker Nation is happy with this move. Pelini is a defensive guy, and defense was in short supply this year in Lincoln. He also understands Nebraska football and the Nebraska Way. He has a good pedigree as well: he played at Ohio State and is a graduate of Youngstown Cardinal Mooney High School, alma mater of the Stoops brothers.

SMU: The laughing stock of college football. SMU was the first school to fire their coach, and are in the process of becoming the last school to hire their new coach. Big-dollar alum Gerald J. Ford wasted millions of dollars by giving the school money to build a new stadium. That was the ultimate example of putting lipstick on a pig. Post-death penalty, SMU is a football graveyard. Coaches are doing well by staying away from there. Paul Johnson, in leaving Navy, negotiated with SMU, and was able to use the Mustangs to get a better deal from Georgia Tech. A coach will get this job and be able to live in Highland Park. Problem is, he will have to coach at SMU. By the way, Phil Bennett will land on his feet as a defensive coordinator somewhere.

More coaching changes later…

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